Category: Business

Huawei Invest US$1 Million Into New AI Research Partnership With UC Berkeley

Artificial intelligence has been heralded as the trend in the tech industry presently. In the latest news on that front, China’s Huawei and University of California, Berkeley are forging a research partnership focusing on basic Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. The Chinese technology company will be providing US$1 million into funding the research.

Additionally, the partnership will be between Huawei Noah’s Ark Laboratory and Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR), with the research unit being billed as “a strategic partnership into basic research” will be concentrated on the development of machine learning, AI and data mining.

As such, Huawei and UC Berkeley researches will work on the next wave of Artificial Intelligence technology, specifically catering to specific AI related domains such as deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision and reinforcement learning.

But ultimately, the aim of the partnership is not only to advance Artificial Intelligence research but instead to find uses for the technology among the daily life of the society, that is into real-world application rather than have it confined as mere theoretical models in the laboratory.

“The two parties believe that this strategic partnership will fuel the advancement of AI technology and create completely new experiences for people, thus contributing greatly to society at large,” said Huawei.

In practicality, the advancements made at the Berkeley lab would be similar to Google with its AI assistant or Microsoft and its Cortana virtual assistance, that is adding an AI powered feature into the smartphone or tablet software.

Contact Info
Name: Vivian
Organization: Unicorn Media

Singapore’s Carousell Expands Into The Philippines With 40 Million Potential Users

Adding another location to its geographical influence is the online mobile marketplace known as Carousell. The Singapore-based startup is moving to the Philippines, one of the prime mobile commerce markets in Southeast Asia which has over 40 million smartphone users.

Founded in 2012 by Lucas Ngoo, Quek Siu Rui and Marcus Tan, Carousell caters to the needs of the population that has a need to get rid of the things they no longer need or have use for as products. In this case, Carousell facilitate as a platform for people to resell their products with just a simple three-step method, that is to just snap, describe and list it among their catalog of goods. Additionally, users can also chat with other users to discuss about the product.

Although today marks the official launch of Carousell in the Philippines, the application has actually been released earlier in May. It has achieved 110% monthly growth in listings and 240% monthly growth in transaction since the initial launch of the app. This goes to say that the application serve a need to the Philippines with it being the fastest market to reach half a million listings milestone in under six months.

To date, the list of countries which can download the Carousell application includes Singapore, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Taiwan, United States, United Kingdom and the newly joined, Philippines.

About Carousell
Carousell is a Singapore-based consumer-to-consumer marketplace app for iOS and Android. The application provides a simple way for users to sell their surplus of clothes, gadgets and accessories by simply taking a picture and providing a description.

For more information, please visit https://sg.carousell.com/

Contact Info
Name: Vivian
Organization: Unicorn Media

Soundtrap, A Collaborative Music And Audio Creative App Raises US$ 6 Million In Series A

Competing with Apple’s GarageBand, Soundtrap is a recording studio app that allows users to record music or audio with their friends online. Recently, the startup announced that it has raised US$6 million in its Series A led by Industrifonden, a Nordic VC firm based in Stockholm. The funding was also participated by its array of existing and new investors which includes Peter Sterky, the former CFO and COO of Spotify.

Founded in 2012 by Gabriel Sjöberg, Björn Melinder, Fredrik Posse, and Per Emanuelsson, Soundtrap is based in Sweden like its industry peers Spotify, Soundcloud and Tidal. Though its vision differs as it aims to democratize music and creative audio production, making it accessible to users with all levels of musical interest and abilities.

Since its official launch is in June 2015, Soundtrap has to date garnered more than half a million users from 200 different countries worldwide. Additionally, with the education version of the Soundtrap app launched in January in California, the Soundtrap application is also popular with more than 3000 schooling establishments and the number continues to grow.

Soundtrap CEO and co-founder Per Emanuelsson said, “What differentiates Soundtrap is that it’s designed to allow users all over the world to collaborate on a song, movie soundtrack or other audio creation, no matter what computer or mobile device they’re using. All the audio elements are created and shared in the Web-based app.”

In other words, the application is browser-based and is available on iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac and Windows and it’s this cross-device compatibility function that sets it apart from its competitor, Garageband, which is restricted to only Apple devices.

Along with the Series A funding, this brings the total amount raised by the startup to US$8.5 million. According to Soundtrap, this funding will be used in international expansion, as well as to expand its reach in both consumer and education markets.

About Soundtrap
Soundtrap is a cloud-based music and audio recording platform that help people make their music online. Users can record their song by linking their instrument to the computer or just record a song directly with the microphone.

For more information, please visit https://www.soundtrap.com/

Contact Info
Name: Vivian
Organization: Unicorn Media

Next Unicorn Ventures, a New Early-Stage Capital and Incubator, Appoints Daniel Tan as CEO For Growth and Deal Flow

Malaysian startup and incubator ecosystem now has a new player on the block. Next Unicorn Ventures (NUV), a Malaysia-based early-stage capital and incubator firm will invest in seed rounds of exceptional startups in the Asia Pacific region which are founded with great passion and vision that set out to disrupt the world. The board has appointed Daniel Tan as the Chief Executive Officer.

“Our goal is to make lead investment in early-to-middle stages startups, specifically focusing on their pre-Series A seed rounds. Daniel Tan is the perfect leader to drive this forward as he has very good business acumen, experienced both as an investor and growing of startups, as well as leadership in marketing and business development,” said a shareholder of Next Unicorn Ventures.

Daniel Tan, who is also serving as the CEO of MarketersMEDIA leads the company to serve more than 50,000 customers globally. Notably MarketersMEDIA has also grown to become a leading News and Press Release newswire connecting business with media outlets including CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, AssociatedPress, Reuters and more, in a mission to gather audiences for businesses. MarketersMEDIA is named the official newswire to assist PR and content marketing for Next Unicorn Ventures’ portfolio companies.

“All businesses exist because of customers,” is the motto Daniel Tan strides on. His user-first approach has gathered him more than 100 published testimonials from companies, individuals and customers. And undoubtedly, this would be a required trait to grow startups the firm seeds.

To-date, NUV has invested in 2 startups, a hotel startup running under the DoubleTree by Hilton and CitizenM brands and a gaming company positioned to run the first ever VR theme park in Malaysia, who has just won South East Asia Champion in Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest recently.

“We look forward to build a portfolio of 20 to 25 companies in the next few years and at the same time to assist related players and circles to build Malaysia’s roadshow platform and incubators,” Daniel Tan added, “as we believe startups have the unique ability to move humanity forward in an unprecedented manner.”

For more information, please visit http://nextunicorn.ventures/

About Next Unicorn:

Next Unicorn is an early-stage capital and incubator seeking to invest in pre-Series A seed rounds. The company pursues, advises and invests in startups cutting across different industries. Ultimately, their goal is to identify unique companies that can deliver extraordinary practical values and make a change in the world.

Contact Info:
Name: Vivian Foo
Organization: Unicorn Media

Jack Ma Team Ups With Steven Spielberg To Bring Hollywood To China

In an announcement held earlier on 9th of October in Beijing, Steven Spielberg, the Oscar-winning film director famous for his production in Jaws, E.T. and Jurassic is teaming up with Jack Ma, China’s richest man and the Chairman of Alibaba Group.

The two have struck a deal together to cooperate on production, marketing and distribution both globally and in China, the world’s second largest movie market.

“Among Chinese consumers, there is an increasing demand for premium global content,” Ma said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. “The collaboration can serve as a cultural bridge and have a positive impact on the next generation of Chinese consumers”

With this partnership, Alibaba Pictures will have the option to finance in Amblin Partners’ films. The Chinese company will also be involved in marketing, distribution and merchandising of Spielberg’s movies in China. This will also place Amblin films on the Chinese company’s video streaming site, such as Youku or Tudou.

In another statement, Jack Ma praised Spielberg’s storytelling abilities and how his style resonated with Chinese audience, saying that “I don’t think there are many differences between East and West – the only difference is that the West is better at telling stories”. He also adds that Alibaba hopes to learn more from Spielberg and Amblin.

Under the terms of the deal, Alibaba Pictures will be joining India’s Reliance and Canda’s eOne, having also take a minority equity stake in Ambiln and to place a representative to join Amblin’s board.

Alibaba Pictures has a history of investments in both Chinese and international movie productions, examples include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Star Trek Beyond and Mission Impossible:Rouge Nation.

Contact Info
Name: Vivian
Organization: Unicorn Media

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