4 factors turning Vietnam into Southeast Asia’s next growth story

Several batches ago, we started to see a steady influx of Vietnamese founders applying to our AppWorks Accelerator. It was a rather curious phenomenon because at the time, we had only begun expanding our scope outside of Taiwan to include Southeast Asia and had really only seen inward interest coming from developed markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.

AppWorks Analysts Natalie Lin and Jun Wakabayashi (from left to right) join several Vietnam founders at an AppWorks Founders Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam November 2019

Indonesia had long been earmarked for obvious reasons, but Vietnam was nowhere on our radar. And yet, we ended up having founders of startups such as Innaway (AW#17), Triip.me (AW#18), KardiaChain (AW#18), and Abivin (AW#19) join our program. Granted, each of them had different motivations for coming to Taiwan, but it was enough to pique my interest in understanding the Vietnamese market, specifically the context and mentality in which these founders were coming from.

A handful of trips and dozens of meetings later, I’ve grown to become quite fond of the ecosystem in Vietnam. There’s an almost festive-like energy reverberating throughout the local startup scene. The country is experiencing a level of economic prosperity it has never seen before, and as a result, a generation of eager entrepreneurs laser-focused on tapping into the limitless possibilities at hand. Based on my observations, there are several key factors currently driving this growth.

The macros

Vietnam’s ascension to the regional, if not global, spotlight has been nothing short of an economic miracle. Just three decades ago, the country was one of the poorest in the world, with gross domestic product per capita treading around US$100 and over 70% of its population living in poverty.

Thanks to the Doi Moi reforms introduced in 1986 that gradually saw the liberalization, privatization, and diversification of its economy, Vietnam today is a comfortably middle-income country, with an accelerating market driven by a large, increasingly wealthy, and digitally connected middle class. From 2000 to 2015, Vietnam exhibited an average GDP growth rate of 6.9%, most recently clocking in at 7.08% in 2018, placing it among the fastest-growing economies in the world.

With 95.5 million people, Vietnam boasts not only the third-largest population in Southeast Asia, but also a young one, with over half under the age of 35. Levels of disposable income have also never been higher, and internet and mobile adoption are becoming more ubiquitous among its consumer base.

These are the fundamentals that should whet the appetite of any early-stage investor worth their salt, and many seem to agree. In the 2019 eConomy SEA report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, Vietnam was designated as the third-most funded country in Southeast Asia after Singapore and Indonesia, having attracted over US$1 billion in funds over the last few years. The country’s internet economy has expanded by 38% on an annualized basis since 2015 – growing far more quickly than its regional peers with the exception of Indonesia – and is now set to reach US$12 billion or 5% of its GDP in 2019, according to the report.

It was only a few years ago when Vietnam lagged behind the majority of its peers in terms of capital allocation, deals done, and overall interest. But now, the conversations are evidently shifting from “Why Vietnam?” to “How do I get a piece of Vietnam?”

The tech talent

A classic characterization of the ideal Southeast Asian startup is one that is headquartered in Singapore, targeting Indonesia, with designers in Thailand, customer service in the Philippines, and engineers in Vietnam. It’s a gross oversimplification of each country’s strengths, but it’s nonetheless rooted in some degree of truth.

Vietnam’s heavy investment in science, technology, engineering, and math education over the last 15 years, combined with improved internet connectivity and a young, low-cost workforce, has spawned a thriving IT outsourcing industry. Vietnam is now home to roughly 30,000 IT companies, while churning out 80,000 IT graduates a year from its universities, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The country has also usurped China as Japan’s second-largest software outsourcing partner, right behind India, and houses substantial research and devvelopment bases from the likes of IBM, Intel, Oracle, Samsung, and Grab.

What does this mean for startups? This country is producing a legion of skilled developers ready to join a startup or bootstrap one of their own.

Many of the local founders I met previously worked for an outsourcing company (or in many cases simultaneously), but turned to entrepreneurship and startups in search of greater opportunities for growth and impact.

Of course, the talent pool is not without its challenges. The talent is certainly there, but it’s raw, and it’s young. As the ecosystem is still relatively nascent, there are very few people who have experience managing teams and solving problems at scale.

Moreover, while Vietnam’s education curricula in technical subjects like math and science have evolved tremendously in the last two decades, outsourcing is still an inherently low-level, low-value process, leaving a void of product-focused engineers that understand the holistic impact of their efforts on end users.

Nevertheless, the foundation is there. Vietnamese students regularly outperform the majority of their regional peers, while notably surpassing student performance in several Western countries, such as the UK and the US. Especially now, as we embrace the onset of deep technologies like AI and blockchain, Vietnam’s massive talent pool – if properly refined and nurtured – gives the country a unique comparative advantage over other Southeast Asian countries when it comes to producing prospective tech startups.

The sea turtles

In Taiwan, they’re called “hai gui;” in the Philippines, “balikbayan;” and in Vietnam, “Viet Kieu.” Collectively, they’re commonly referred to as “sea turtles”: locals who lived overseas, typically in Western countries, and eventually returned home to work or start their own businesses.

These returnees are often a primary driver of value creation for developing markets. That’s largely due to the experience gained, best practices learned, and network accumulated from some of the world’s leading universities and companies, which they’re able to integrate into their own ventures. Among Southeast Asia’s current crop of unicorns, the majority of their founders received some form of education abroad. For example, Grab’s Anthony Tan, Gojek’s Nadiem Makarim, and Traveloka’s Ferry Unardi all studied at Harvard Business School.

Looking at Vietnam’s current startup hall of fame, the majority of founders studied abroad at some point or another:

  • Son Tran, founder of Tiki.vn, University of New South Wales
  • Hai Linh Tran, co-founder and CEO of Sendo, Nanyang Technological University
  • Ba Diep Nguyen, founder of Momo, Curtin University
  • Tuan Pham, founder and CEO of Topica Edtech Group, New York University

And the list just goes on from there. In fact, even Minh Le, chairman and CEO of VNG – the country’s one and only unicorn – received a part of his higher education abroad at Monash University.

But this is just the beginning. There’s an estimated 4 million Vietnamese currently living overseas, with more than 130,000 of them studying abroad every year. Ho Chi Minh itself receives approximately 30,000 young Vietnamese returning from overseas annually to seek business and startup opportunities. The government has also doubled down on its efforts to attract overseas talent by creating relaxed visa programs for Viet Kieu and exempting them from certain investment requirements.

The homegrown ecosystem

Although Vietnam has yet to produce a regional success story the likes of a Grab or Shopee, the country does have its fair share of rising stars and homegrown champions that are effectively holding their own against foreign entrants. There’s Tiki.vn for ecommerce (reportedly raising over US$100 million in its latest round), Momo for e-wallet (recently raised US$100 million in series C funding), Zalo for messaging (owned by VNG), and also a handful of local ride-hailing contenders including Be (started by VNG’s co-founder) and FastGo (recently expanded in Singapore).

The fact that consumption hasn’t been completely dominated by international companies is indicative of a robust, end-to-end, and local ecosystem, underpinned by key pillars of support including angels, institutional investors, accelerators/incubators, media, and co-working spaces collectively split across major tech hubs in Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang.

The tone at the top has also played a pivotal role in the proliferation of the startup scene in Vietnam. Techfest, for example, is an annual event organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology that draws out over 5,500 attendees, 250 investors, and 600 startups. Earlier this year, the ministry also hosted the first iteration of the Vietnam Venture Summit, which brought out over 100 domestic and international funds to “unfreeze capital flows” and jumpstart innovation.

The time is now

Vietnam has come a long way since its agrarian roots. The country’s transition into the digital era is full steam ahead, with the transformation of its major cities into sprawling metropolises and key economic centers already well under way.

And the ones at the heart of this metamorphosis are the Vietnamese people, defined by a growing population of students, coders, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

For locals, there’s never been a better time to start a business. The country’s overall development and rapid urbanization over the past 20 years, sprinkled in with a formidable sense of national pride and ethnic belonging have collectively opened up a waterfall of opportunities that are now ripe for the taking.

For international stakeholders, especially those from developed markets where several generations of serial entrepreneurs and investor know-how have already run their course, there still exists a level of experience arbitrage in Vietnam. It’s a unique window of opportunity to diffuse tactics, playbooks, and best practices into an emerging market just now coming to terms with increasing affluence, consumer sophistication, and digital transformation.

探索台灣 AI 生態系地圖 (2019H2 更新)

Sandi Wu, Analyst (吳岱蓉 / 分析師)

負責 Accelerator 與投資。加入 AppWorks 前,任職於富邦產險電子商務部,負責線上投保平台的專案管理及 Email 行銷,喜愛探究數字背後的意義。曾前往芬蘭交換學生半年,期間走遍半個歐洲,喜歡寂靜的自然風景勝過繁華的現代都市。畢業於台大財金系,擔任系女排隊長,熱愛美食、排球、旅遊及挑戰新事物。

在 AI 的發展上,台灣一直是大東南亞地區 (東協 + 台灣) 領先的人才重鎮。我們也可以看到,過去兩年來,Google、Microsoft、IBM 等科技巨頭陸續在台灣成立 AI 研發中心,主要原因除了台灣有好的人才以外,在地理位置上,台灣也位居連接東南亞與東北亞地區的樞紐位置。

除了世界巨頭外,越來越多東南亞地區的新創企業也相繼來台徵才。例如,同樣來自新加坡的 Carousell,以及 AppWorks Accelerator 第 13 屆 (AW#13) 校友 ShopBack。台灣的吸引力,在於相較整個大東南亞地區,台灣的電商發展十分蓬勃,2019 全年營收預估突破新台幣 2,000 億大關,因此擁有大量的電商數據,成為了發展 AI 模型最佳的基礎。 在 AppWorks Accelerator 每半年更新一次「2019 H2 台灣 AI 生態系地圖」(The Taiwan’s AI Ecosystem Map 19H2) 的過程中,我們發現,在過去半年中,以下的垂直在 AI 發展上有更為顯著的成果:

大平台廣告紅利結束,企業專注於影片行銷、熟客經營及再行銷

隨著 Facebook 演算法改變、資訊爆炸,運用有限的預算、透過數位廣告來吸引消費者越來越困難。企業開始注重經營自媒體,以及經營熟客與再行銷,專注於忠誠度最高、貢獻度也最高的客群,並提供給他們最適合的商品,這樣的趨勢,為提供行銷解決方案的 AI 新創開創了更多的商業機會。

創立於 2011 年的 iKala,從一開始的線上卡拉 OK、直播平台,歷經 8 年的轉型成為人本 AI ( Human-Centered AI) 行銷科技公司,是 Google Cloud 亞太區最大的合作夥伴及 Facebook 全球行銷解決方案夥伴,目前市場遍佈台灣、香港、新加坡、泰國、越南及日本,並於去年初宣布完成 A 輪融資 500 萬美元。從 iKala 提供的服務來看,可以見到隨著影音行銷崛起,也創造了更多的商機,除了吸引眼球外,透過 AI 技術,可以更有效率地找到適合的網紅,並透過成效導向的廣告解決方案打中消費者。

其他像是同為 AW#16 的 Easychat 以及 Rosetta.ai,都專注於提供品牌再行銷服務,不再是透過群發訊息,協助企業客戶利用 AI 模型精準的打中消費者,因為企業客戶擁有大量的數據,而新創擁有良好的技術,創造雙贏的局面。

結合硬體實力,專注在安全監控和居家應用場景

台灣擁有世界一流的硬體實力與完整的產業供應鏈,再加上公眾攝影機基礎建設的完善,我們可以看見,在 AI 應用中,安全監控與居家應用分別出現了幾家小有成績的新創。

安全監控一直以來都是企業重視的議題之一,透過結合 AI 技術,可以大幅減少浪費人力以及避免人為疏失,進而提升監控品質和安全性。以安全監控產業來看,除了 AW#9 的 UmboCV 成功進入歐美市場,並在超過 30 個國家擁有長期付費用戶,還有於 2014 年創立、AW#19 的 Beseye,其為日本東急鐵道導入人體骨幹分析,透過 AI 擷取人體骨骼特徵,當攝影機偵測到有人進入禁行的軌道時,系統便會自動通知中控中心或站務人員即時處理,降低鐵路平交道事故,目前已有超過 2,000 家企業客戶,其中也包含遠傳及中華電信等大型企業。其他新創像是 ioNetworksCyCarrier 也都專注於提供安全監控相關的服務。

在居家應用層面,隨著現代人生活忙碌,逐漸出現了許多針對不同族群的照護攝影機,也讓用戶在工作時,可以更方便關心家中的長輩、幼兒與寵物。像是 AW#10 的 NUWA Robotics 於 2018 年推出第一代陪伴型機器人「凱比同學」售出超過 5,000 台後,近日推出第二代陪伴型機器人「Kebbi Air」,在群眾募資平台嘖嘖上線不到半小時便募資突破新台幣百萬元。NUWA 主打 STEAM 程式教育、劇場式英文學習和體感互動教育,著眼於教育陪伴機器人市場,也是居家智能小幫手。另有 Aeolus 專注於長輩居家照護服務、AW#16 的 Cubo 智慧寶寶攝影機以及 Furbo 專注於「毛小孩」寵物照顧服務。

透過金融沙盒,金融業逐漸擁抱創新

因為受到高度監管,金融業的 AI 運用算是腳步稍微慢一些,但有鑒於擁有大量數據及客戶完整資料的優勢,箇中的潛力商機一直不容可小覷。金管會在 2018 年開放外界申請監理沙盒實驗以來,2019 年申請案已經受理超過 10 件,超出金管會當初設定的目標。2017 年成立的 HowInvest,透過機器學習提供客製化的智慧決策及即時監控服務,來降低民眾理財門檻,今年和遠東銀行旗下的數位銀行 Bankee,申請通過進入沙盒,進行「即時基金互換」實驗,投資人可以將持有的基金,以基金淨值與其他會員做等價即時交換,好處是不必贖回就能換到喜歡的基金,還能省下交易費用,能更彈性的調整投資目標。

許多金融新創也開始和大型金融業合作,不再從取代現有金融業體系的角度出發,除了可以降低金融業者的憂心,還可以創造雙贏的局面。像是 hiHedge 和富邦期貨共同推出「富邦 hiHedge 籌碼 AI 趨勢策略」,使用 AI 技術每日計算台灣上市股票的籌碼流向,提供消費者更完整的資訊。其他新創像是 Adenovo 則是專注於為金融機構與企業,提供即時的智慧金融解決方案,已獲得阿里巴巴創業者基金、兆豐創投的投資

隨著越來越多 AI 新創冒出頭,台灣在創業加速器、教育、研究等面向,也呈現蓬勃發展。在創業加速器部分,2010 年成立、自 2018 年 8 月 (AW#17) 起限定招募 AI / Blockchain 新創的 AppWorks Accelerator,目前為止已經招收三期 AI / Blockchain 共 89 個新創,其中有  44 組 AI、11 組 IoT 新創,持續為台灣 AI 生態系挹注新能量。

AppWorks 之外,包括微軟新創加速器 (Microsoft for Startups)、Taiwan AI x Robotics Accelerator 等,皆是以 AI 新創團隊為主要招募對象的創業加速器。台灣人工智慧學校、台灣人工智慧實驗室,則分別是台灣在 AI 教育與研究領域的代表性機構,也期望越來越多的資源會注入 AI 領域的發展。

The Taiwan’s AI Ecosystem Map 19H2 由 AppWorks 製作,每半年更新一次,有任何指教與建議,請 email 至 a@appworks.tw

【歡迎所有 AI / IoT、Blockchain 的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator

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Taiwan’s AppWorks Demo Day #19 Puts 18 of the Most Promising Greater Southeast Asian AI / Blockchain Founders on Stage

AppWorks Accelerator, the region’s longest-running accelerator with a focus on AI / blockchain, presents Demo Day #19, a showcase of 18 founders from Greater Southeast Asia (ASEAN + Taiwan), who are pushing innovations in AI / IoT and Blockchain in a US$ 3 trillion region. 

Founding Partner and Chairman of AppWorks Jamie Lin

This founder-focused showcase underpins the case that Taiwan as a startup hub is an integral component of this growth region. Within only 18 months, AppWorks alumni have expanded their presence in GSEA 1.6x, testimony that the accelerator and the country are a launchpad for founders driving business change in a region where population growth is rising 3.5x the pace in Greater China. 

The 18 founders pitching today demonstrate experiments in the AI / IoT and Blockchain frontiers that are catalyzing growth in industries from real estate, to finance, to medical science. 

Our founders represent innovations in AI and blockchain that are happening across Greater Southeast Asia.

A total of 14 AI / IoT startups and four Blockchain startups pitched. Six of those founders are from Taiwan, and the other 12 come from around the world and GSEA. More than half of the founders in this batch are serial entrepreneurs, with many hailing from established tech companies like Google, Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek, Agoda, IBM Watson, Initium Media, and PepsiCo. 

Having spent four months developing these frontier-shaping technologies in Taiwan, they will be pitching in front of the investors and potential corporate partners from Taiwan and SEA, including investment professionals and executives from Fubon Financial Holdings, Taiwan Mobile, Cathay Life Insurance, Wistron Corporation, Hungtai Group, UDN, FarEasTone, as well as Taiwan’s National Development Council,  and many more. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for investment and business collaboration for these founders. 

All of the founders pitching today have produced early traction, especially in customer acquisitions. Their products have pushed into new markets and many used Taiwan as a launchpad for potential accelerated growth throughout the region. 

Telepod is a smartEV shared scooter and a battery kiosk network, already rolled out in seven markets

Jin-Ni Gan, founder of Telepod, a miniEV mobility startup based in Singapore, has grown her mobility and battery kiosk platform to seven markets in an effort to bring transport efficiency and climate harm reduction to cities in developing SEA markets. 

Matters founder Annie Zhang was influenced by her journalism background to help content creators get paid, and remembered, through using blockchain

Annie Zhang, founder of Blockchain startup Matters from Hong Kong, will demonstrate a Blockchain platform that enables content providers to be paid for their content, rather than to have their content and revenue opportunities taken hostage by advertising algorithms and walled social media gardens. She has scaled to over 20,000 customers during her accelerator session. 

Shaq Tu, founder of Beseye, has booked giant Tokyo Railways as a client for the startup’s wifi-managed AI cameras, which scan the movement of people near railway tracks to prevent accidents.

SELF TOKEN from Taiwan creates Blockchain digital assets through Ethereum Smart Contracts and is committed to creating an ecosystem of immersive entertainment experiences.  Founder Jack Hsu also directed “The Last Thieves”, the world’s first film based on Blockchain. He was nominated this year for the Best New Director in the 56th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan.

WeavAir is a sensors and analytics company started by Singularity University graduate Dr. Natalia Mykhalova. The company uses AI and IoT sensors to build a recurring revenue business model that helps developers and landlords pinpoint trouble spots in their building control systems. The team have embarked on projects with 12 clients in SEA, including FarEastone and the Airport Authority of Hong Kong. 

Arical co-founders Clement Tien (left) and San Wong (right) are using AI to work with companies like HongKong Land to shrink the amount of time it takes to perform real estate market analysis and architectural feasibility studies

Arical, co-founded by Clement Tien and San Wong from Hong Kong, is a platform that “unlocks the potential of property development” by using AI to create “instant” feasibility studies that provide value to investors and communities. Their AI 3-D generation engine enables clients like HongKong Land to spend only a few minutes to map out all feasible possibilities to optimize for the ideal product mix / tenant mix, as they have done recently in a project in Manila, the Philippines. This is an order of magnitude more efficient than the weeks and months it often takes to come up with new proposals.

The construction equipment platform Fourcons was started by founder Felix Hartantio, from Indonesia. Fourcons provides an AI-driven platform for finding, verifying and managing construction equipment. Only one month after launch, they have fulfilled US$11k in orders in several provinces in Indonesia, and they are rushing to fulfill the remaining US$800k, even as they scale to new provinces.

In the area of real estate, Blyng is an AI virtual assistant created by co-founder Julien Priour, which helps agencies cut down on missed opportunities in qualifying inbound leads. The company has secured several real estate agency clients in Europe and in GSEA. 

Anthony So, co-founder of OnMyGrad, faced a difficult time after his education and now wants to help other students like his former self understand exactly what they need to do to succeed in careers of their choice

Career development and workforce transition platform OnMyGrad, co-founded by Anthony So, from Hong Kong, works with recruiters to help students prepare for roles in several industries. They have engaged with 3,800 participants and 10+ universities over the course of the accelerator period, and taken in HKD $2 million (US$ 256k) in total revenue in just two months. 

KaChick co-founder Peggy Cheung and her fellow co-founder Larry Lam are travelers who want to unite photographers and brands through the capture of beautiful moments with loved ones

KaChick co-founders Peggy Cheung and Larry Lam have built a platform for sourcing authentic photography from over 1,500 amateur and professional photographers, and have taken steps to pair those media assets with brands in the hospitality and entertainment space to drive more engaging marketing and branding campaigns at lower margin cost. They have beta trials in place with regional companies like Dyson, Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park, and AIA. 

Dent & Co founder (and dentist) Steve Chu will attempt to bring more smiles to the world through a medical services AI chatbot

Other AI startups include Dent & Co, a medical services AI chatbot created by dentist Steve Chu. Fluv, a pet care platform for local pet parents and sitters, is being demonstrated by former PepsiCo marketing staffer Candace Chen. 

Mellow, created by first-time founders Chester Szeen and Teresa Chan from Hong Kong, is an app to help young people and families manage finances. It enables children to use their “first money” through debit card usage and parent-regulated accounting. The app aims to grow into a platform targeting a US$2 trillion market, and they have created early development success in Hong Kong and Japan. 

Also in the vertical of payments, but focused on Blockchain, is Dapp Pocket, a crypto wallet app for Dapp lovers, created by Anderson Chen. And Portto, a Blockchain startup created by three former members of the crypto company Cobinhood promises to make the KYC and onboarding process for using Blockchain simpler. 

AI/IoT startup  Whoopee Robot, created by founder Morris Lu, is now operating in five local shops and has served over 10,000 cups of robotically-delivered espresso beverages.

Chien Lee demonstrated his AI-powered PR service SparkAmplify, which delivers an automated public relations system for clients. In one case, the platform generated 127,000 views for Mavin, Inc. during recent press events. 

Husband and wife team Dr. Lisa Hsu and Mark Mai built Gigvvy Science to shorten the time it takes to push scientific research into the hands of people who can use it to save lives

Finally, New Zealand-based co-founders Lisa Hsu and Mark Mai will demo Gigvvy Science, a platform for speeding up the sluggish vetting and reviewing of critical science research. 

Background and Recap 
AppWorks Chairman and Partner Jamie Lin said at the opening of the event: 

“The twice a year AppWorks Demo Days have always been THE go-to event for investors and corporate leaders to witness firsthand the development of cutting-edge technologies and their business applications that have a GSEA twist as well as meeting future startup stars. 

With AW#19, 68% of the founders hail from countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, Canada, the US, and China. Of the 31 teams that were admitted to the AW#19 program, 19 are working with AI/IoT, 10 with Blockchain/Crypto, and 2 are incorporating both technologies. What’s more, 23% of founders from this batch are female, which marks one of our highest percentages in recent years. 

With the addition of the graduates from AW#19, there are now a total of 376 active startups and 1,113 founders in the AppWorks Ecosystem. Collectively, all companies produced a turnover of US$ 4.97B, an annual increase of 98% compared to the same time last year, and have fostered the placement of 11,162 employees, 1,047 more than the year prior. Altogether, the Ecosystem raised a total of US$ 1.1B, an annual increase of 36%, with an aggregate valuation reaching US$ 4.72B, growing 29% YoY.

While the numbers alone are impressive, the trend of ASEAN+Taiwan is even stronger. Over time this connection continues to mark Taiwan as a launchpad for SEA founders. As we observe today’s pitches, keep in mind that as growth continues to accelerate in this dynamic region, this integral connection will continue to deepen and grow stronger.”

The State of AppWorks Ecosystem

Active Startups:       376 (+48 YoY)

Total Founders:      1,113 (+188 YoY)

Total Raise:    US $ 1.11B (+36% YoY)

Total Valuation:   $ 4.72B (+29% YoY)

Annual Revenues:   $ 4.97B (+98% YoY)

Total Employees:    11,162 (+16% YoY)

A list of today’s founders and teams

1TelepodSGIoTUrban mobility with a network of swappable battery kiosks.
2Dent&CoTWAIMedical AI chatbot.
3MellowHKAIMobile finance solution for kids and parents.
4MattersHKBlockchainShared Infrastructure for content creators on blockchain.
5Beseye 雲守護TWAIAI Video analysis platform for security cameras.
6BlyngFRAIConversational AI chatbot for real estate.
7Self TokenTWBlockchainIntegrating entertainment and Blockchain technology.
8Fluv 毛小愛USAIPet care platform for local sitters and pet parents.
9WeavAirCLIoTSmart sensor and predictive analytics that helps building owners and service providers save energy, improve indoor air quality & prevent equipment failure.
10porttoTWBlockchainMake blockchain simple and accessible for everyone.
11KaChickHKAIAn AI-powered platform that connects travelers with local photographers and experiences through business partnerships in Asia.
12AricalHKAIAI real estate investment predictive analytics platform.
13Dapp PocketTWBlockchainCrypto wallet app for Dapp lovers.
14FourConsIDAIOne-stop solution for heavy equipment needs.
15Gigvvy ScienceNZAIAI platform for science research publishing.
16OnGradHKAIAI career learning platform.
17SparkAmplifyUSAIAI-powered PR service.
18Whoopee Robot TWIoTAIoT controller for robot arm in the service industry, like a turn-key robot arm solution for Cafe Shops.

AppWorks Demo Day #19 登場,18 支國際新創備受矚目!AppWorks 生態系募資突破 10 億美元、總估值達 47.2 億美元

大東南亞 (GSEA,東協 + 台灣) 最大創業加速器 AppWorks Accelerator (之初加速器) 在今日 (11/26) 舉辦 AppWorks Demo Day #19,共計 18 組加速四個月有成的 AI / IoT 與 Blockchain 新創登台,吸引超過 1,200 位投資人、業界代表出席。

自 AW#17 (2018 年 8 月進駐、2019 年 1 月畢業) 起,AppWorks Accelerator 開始限定招募 AI / IoT 與 Blockchain 團隊,至今已是第三屆。AW#19 團隊自今年八月正式進駐,經過三個月密集加速,於 AppWorks Demo Day #19 登台,尋求媒合投資人與企業合作夥伴的機會 。

本屆 Demo Day,18 支登場團隊中,11 支新創以 AI、3 支以 IoT、4 支以 Blockchain 為創業主題。這群潛力新創中有 12 組國際團隊,比例高達 67%,分別來自印尼、新加坡、香港、美國、加拿大、法國、紐西蘭等地。這群未來之星中,有出身自 Google、Qualcomm、Samsung、聯發科技、Agoda 的高管,以及《端傳媒》的創辦人。

觀察 AW#19 新創團隊,可發現兩個重要趨勢。第一,AI / IoT 與 Blockchain 這兩個巨大典範轉移已經成為主流,吸引全球最優秀、經驗最豐富的創業者投身其中。第二,成立超過 9 年的 AppWorks Accelerator,校友網路發展蓬勃且區域化,持續扮演支持創業者長期成長的重要平台,因此吸引越來越多國際優秀創業團隊進駐,繼續引領大東南亞地區創業生態前進。 

促進新創社群的國際交流、投資、商務媒合,以及更多的可能性,是 AppWorks 每年舉辦兩次 Demo Day 的主要目的。本次活動,共有來自產官領域逾百位高階主管與代表到場參觀,尋求投資、合作標的。包括國家發展委員會、富邦金控、台灣大哥大、國泰金控、宏泰人壽、UDN、緯創、遠傳電信、Amazon AWS、Nvidia、中信金控、華南金控、兆豐金控、統一國際開發、中華開發資本、台新金控、花旗銀行、基石創投、義美食品、光寶、宏碁、友達、瑞昱、華碩、佳世達、瀚宇彩晶、阿里巴巴、Facebook、Google、Line、KKday、雄獅旅遊、Nokia、Razer、台灣大車隊、資誠聯合會計師事務所等,都派經營、投資團隊出席。

潛力新創亮眼登場!

Telepod 電動滑板車與換電系統,獲評全球最值得關注微型移動企業

SELF TOKEN 發行全球首部 Blockchain 主題的華語電影《聖人大盜》

來自新加坡的 Telepod,是大東南亞地區領先的電動滑板車廠商。除了銷售滑板車與電池外,也佈建自有的電池交換站,目前,服務網絡遍及美國、新加坡、馬來西亞、日本、印尼、印度、智利等國家,2018 年獲得新加坡公共運輸集團 SMART (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit) 種子輪 50 萬美元投資,預估 2020 上半年,營收將突破 600 萬美元,並被科技專業媒體《The Information》評選為全球最值得關注的八家微型移動 (Micro-Mobility) 企業之一。

來自新加坡的 Telepod,是大東南亞地區領先的電動滑板車廠商。除了銷售滑板車與電池外,也佈建自有的電池交換站,目前,服務網絡遍及美國、新加坡、馬來西亞、日本、印尼、印度、智利等國家。

來自台灣的 Beseye 雲守護,提供 AI 安全攝影機的影像分析服務平台,透過獨家的人體骨幹分析技術,為商業場域或家庭進行自動化的安全監控和商情分析。目前客戶包括微軟,以及日本的東急電鐵、JFE 鋼鐵,台灣的中華電信、遠傳電信、研華科技等,服務版圖涵蓋台灣、日本、香港、泰國、新加坡、紐西蘭、荷蘭、英國、烏克蘭、美國等國家地區。

來自台灣的 Beseye 雲守護,提供 AI 安全攝影機的影像分析服務平台,透過獨家的人體骨幹分析技術,為商業場域或家庭進行自動化的安全監控和商情分析。

來自香港的 Matters,是以 Blockchain 為底層技術、Crypto 驅動作者回饋機制的公民媒體平台,創辦人為前《端傳媒》創辦人張潔平。自 2018 年 5 月上線至今,已擁有超過 2 萬名作者、每月流量突破 200 萬人次、流量進入全球網站排名前 8 萬名。

來自台灣的 SELF TOKEN,透過以太坊智能合約創建 Blockchain 數位資產,並致力打造沉浸式娛樂體驗的生態系。2019 年發行、打破虛擬與現實界線的沉浸式娛樂電影《聖人大盜》,是全球首部以 Blockchain 為題材的華語電影,由創辦人徐嘉凱執導,獲得知名電影人曾志偉與《我的少女時代》總監製葉如芬全力支持,徐嘉凱也因此部電影獲得第 56 屆金馬獎最佳新導演提名。

來自台灣的 SELF TOKEN,透過以太坊智能合約創建 Blockchain 數位資產,並致力打造沉浸式娛樂體驗的生態系。

不容小覷的 AI 新創!

Dent&Co 開發應用在牙醫診所的客服機器人

FourCons 打造重型機具設備的租用媒合平台

值得注意的,從本屆新創團隊中,可看到 AI 不斷深入各產業與垂直領域,出現更多創新應用。例如,來自台灣的 Dent&Co,由一群牙醫師共同創辦,協助牙醫診所打造跨 Messenger、Line、WhatsApp 等通訊平台的客服機器人,提供自動提醒回診、診後追蹤、線上約診等服務,降低診所的人力成本與看診爽約率,上線半年來,已獲得破百間牙醫診所使用,服務超過 7 萬人次;來自美國的 Fluv 毛小愛,則透過 AI 系統打造寵物照顧平台,針對臨時需要寵物照顧服務的毛孩家長,媒合經過線上認證的寵物愛心家長協助照顧,上線一週內,就媒合達 1,300 位使用者、完成超過 200 次服務;來自印尼的 FourCons,則以 AI 系統提供挖土機、吊車等重型機具設備的租用媒合服務,上線四個月後,服務已遍佈印尼 8 個省,10 月收到的訂單總值達 80 萬美元。

來自美國的 Fluv 毛小愛,透過 AI 系統打造寵物照顧平台,針對臨時需要寵物照顧服務的毛孩家長,媒合經過線上認證的寵物愛心家長協助照顧。

來自法國的 Blyng,建構 AI 房地產仲介經紀系統;來自紐西蘭的 Gigvvy Science,由一對科學家夫妻共同創辦,運用 AI 與 Machine Learning 技術,提供學術論文發表平台,致力提升科學論文的發表效率與品質;來自美國的 SparkAmplify,則以 AI 系統推薦線上記者的模式,協助企業與品牌進行 PR 推廣。  

在本屆來自香港的新創團隊中,同樣也可發現各種結合 AI 技術的創新服務。例如,KaChick 建立以 AI 驅動的平台,串連起亞洲遊客以及在地攝影師,以效率更高、品質更佳、費用更低的方式,捕捉旅遊的精彩瞬間,2018 年上線以來,已建立起涵蓋 60 個城市、超過 2,000 位攝影師的服務網絡;Arical 則建立針對房地產開發投資的 AI 資訊分析平台;OnMyGrad 則運用 AI 技術,建立針對大學畢業生的職涯進修的教育平台;Mellow 的 App,則可協助父母培養小孩的金錢觀念與責任感。 

來自香港的 KaChick 建立以 AI 驅動的平台,串連起亞洲遊客以及在地攝影師,以效率更高、品質更佳、費用更低的方式,捕捉旅遊的精彩瞬間。

後勢看漲的 IoT 與 Blockchain 新創!

Whoopee Robot 開發餐飲業專用機器手臂

Dapp Pocket 推出新一代 Crypto 錢包

在 IoT 領域,本屆也有兩支讓人印象深刻的新創團隊。來自台灣的 Whoopee Robot,針對餐飲服務業,搭配 AIoT 控制器,開發協同式機器臂,並由雲端派送機器人所需的程式,無需任何工程背景就能在兩週內順利導入,協助客戶節省人力、降低培訓成本、穩定品質,滿足快速布建餐飲業自動化的需求,客戶包括台灣前三大商用咖啡機通路商、泰國咖啡豆廠商以及曼谷的無人咖啡店。來自加拿大的 WeavAir,利用智慧感測器與預測分析系統,幫助建築物所有者或服務商節省能源,並可自動改善空氣品質並防止設備故障,客戶與技術夥伴包括香港機場管理局、聯合利華、LG、遠傳電信、研華科技等。

來自台灣的 Whoopee Robot,針對餐飲服務業,搭配 AIoT 控制器,開發協同式機器臂。

在 Blockchain 領域,本屆則有兩支來自台灣的新創團隊,企圖促成更多 Blockchain 的落地應用。Dapp Pocket 推出新一代的 Crypto 錢包,可支援超過 2,000 種 Ethereum 和 TRON 的 DApp,2019 年 1 月上線,至今月活躍用戶已達 1,000 人次; portto 的成立目標,是讓 Blockchain 變成人人都能方便使用的技術,第一個推出的產品 Blocto,是專門針對 DApp 使用者開發的瀏覽器,希望降低使用者進入 Blockchain 的障礙,以及簡化 Crypto 購買過程,進而為 DApp 開發商降低獲客成本。

來自台灣的 Dapp Pocket 推出新一代的 Crypto 錢包,可支援超過 2,000 種 Ethereum 和 TRON 的 DApp。

AppWorks 生態系再放大

AppWorks 從 2010 年正式啟動 AppWorks Accelerator 至今,已來到第 19 屆,整體生態系持續成長。成績包括:活躍新創累積至 376 家、共 1,113 位創業者,所有企業的加總年營業額來到 49.7 億美元 (約為 1,516 億新台幣),較去年同期大幅成長 98%,員工數 11,162 位,年增達 16%,生態系累積募資金額首度突破 10 億美元來到 11.1 億美元 (約為 339 億新台幣),年增率達到 36%,總估值突破 47.2 億美元 (約為 1,440 億新台幣),較去年此時增加 29%。

在 AppWorks 生態系快速成長的過程中,AppWorks 董事長暨合夥人林之晨持續看好大東南亞區數位經濟圈的發展,他指出:「大東南亞區人口成長率是大中華區的 3.5 倍;印尼、越南、菲律賓、泰國、馬來西亞更位居 IMF 帶動全球經濟成長的前 20 大國家之列。印尼過去幾年來,也誕生了 Gojek 一隻十角獸 (Decacorn,市值超過 100 億美元),以及 Tokopedia、Traveloka、Bukalapak、OVO 等四隻獨角獸,這是百年難得一見的成長機會,AppWorks 很榮幸能透過我們的加速器、校友網路,持續幫助創業者參與這個廣大市場的形成,發展區域級科技企業。」

AppWorks 董事長暨合夥人林之晨持續看好大東南亞區數位經濟圈的發展,他指出:「AppWorks 很榮幸能透過我們的加速器、校友網路,持續幫助創業者參與這個廣大市場的形成,發展區域級科技企業。」

AppWorks Demo Day #19 登場團隊介紹

【歡迎所有 AI / IoT、Blockchain 的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator

Introductions to the startups pitching on AppWorks Demo Day #19

AppWorks Demo Day #19 將於今天 (11/26) 下午隆重登場,無法親臨現場的朋友,可以到 AppWorks Facebook Page 觀賞本次活動的實況轉播。

若你也想登上 AppWorks Demo Day 的千人大舞台,展現自己的產品與商業模式,AppWorks Accelerator 現正招收 AI / IoT 與 Blockchain 團隊,歡迎加入我們。

以下是將在 AppWorks Demo Day #19 出場的 18 支新創團隊簡介:

AppWorks Demo Day #19 will take place this afternoon. If you’re unable to physically attend the event, you can catch the Livestream on the AppWorks Facebook Page.

If you are an AI / IoT or Blockchain startup founder and also excited about the opportunity to pitch your product and business idea to over 1,000 people on the AppWorks Demo Day stage, join us by applying to AppWorks Accelerator. We look forward to receiving your application!

The following are brief introductions of the 18 startup teams at AppWorks Demo Day #19: 

1. Telepod

Urban mobility with a network of swappable battery kiosks.

Jin Ni Gan | jinni@telepod.sg | https://www.telepod.co

2. Dent&Co

Medical AI chatbot.

Steve Chu | steve123933@gmail.com | LINE ID : @dentco

3. Mellow

Mobile finance solution for kids and parents.

Chester Szeen | chesterszeen@mellowapp.io | https://www.mellowapp.io/

4. Matters 

Shared Infrastructure for content creators on blockchain.

Annie Zhang | az@matters.news | https://matters.news/

5. Beseye 雲守護

AI Video analysis platform for security cameras.

Shaq Tu | shaq.tu@beseye.com | https://www.beseye.com/tw/home

6. Blyng

Conversational AI chatbot for real estate.

Julien Priour | jp@blyng.io | https://blyng.io/

7. SELF TOKEN

Integrating entertainment and Blockchain technology.

Jack Hsu | jack@selfpick.cc | https://selftoken.co

8. Fluv 毛小愛

Pet care platform for local sitters and pet parents.

Candace Chen | candace.chen@ifluvyou.com | https://www.ifluvyou.com

9. WeavAir

Smart sensor and predictive analytics that helps building owners and service providers save energy, improve indoor air quality & prevent equipment failure. 

Natalia Mykhaylova | natalia@weavair.com | http://weavair.com

10. portto

Make blockchain simple and accessible for everyone.

Hsuan Lee | hlee@portto.io | https://portto.io/ 

11. KaChick

An AI-powered platform that connects travelers with local photographers and experiences through business partnerships in Asia.

Peggy Cheung | larrylam@kachick.com | https://www.kachick.com/

12. Arical

AI real estate investment predictive analytics platform.

San Wong | contact@arical.ai | https://www.arical.ai/

13. Dapp Pocket

Crypto wallet app for Dapp lovers.

Anderson Chen | anderson@dapppocket.io | https://www.dapppocket.io/

14. FourCons

One-stop solution for heavy equipment needs.

Felix Hartantio | felix@fourcons.com | https://www.fourcons.com/

15. Gigvvy Science

AI platform for science research publishing.

Lisa Hsu | lisa@gigvvy.com | http://www.gigvvy.com/

16. OnMyGrad

AI career learning platform.

Anthony So | anthonyso@ongrad.com | https://www.ongrad.com/ 

17. SparkAmplify

AI-powered PR service.

Chien Lee | chien@sparkamplify.com | https://www.sparkamplify.com

18. Whoopee Robot 

AIoT controller for robot arm in the service industry, like a turn-key robot arm solution for Cafe Shops.

Morris Lu | yesinlu@gmail.com | http://bit.ly/whoopeeRobot-Video