Mid Pandemic, Digital School Management Startup InfraDigital Closes Series A

InfraDigital today announced the closing of an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from investor AppWorks. The company helps schools kickstart their digital transformation by digitizing student and financial data, automating back office processes, and facilitating online tuition payments.

Rapid Expansion across 12 provinces

This funding round follows on from their seed funding last year. They are now active in 13 provinces in Indonesia, from North Sumatera to South Sulawesi, with their platform deployed in over 350 schools serving over 165,000 students.

The startup partners with a variety of stakeholders including banks, education foundations, and government bodies to help Indonesian schools upgrade their largely analog systems. InfraDigital is also the innovator behind “Jaringan IDN”, a payments processing network established in conjunction with Gojek, Tokopedia, LinkAja, Alfamart, Ayopop, Indomaret, and many more to help educational institutions seamlessly collect tuition fees both online and offline.

Why it is important for schools

Edtech has the potential to substantially elevate Indonesia’s quality of education, while improving outcomes and overall standards of living for over 50 million students. Unfortunately, the reality is that most schools struggle with tracking even basic student data and often lack the digital tools for proper financial management and planning. The high cost of existing solutions has also inhibited widespread access to digital technologies, especially for schools in more rural areas which are often strained for resources.

InfraDigital has been actively assisting schools to address these pain points, targeting two of the most impactful areas of school management, financial operations and data transparency. Through their platform, schools are able to transition to cashless tuition collection, increasing income up to 16% in some cases. With InfraDigital, school administrators are granted full visibility into the operational health of their organization, enabling them to make smarter financial decisions and create a better student experience.

Since its establishment in 2018, InfraDigital’s solutions have been widely adopted among Tier 2 and rural area schools, with many experiencing data and financial digitalization for the first time. “Our mission is to help Indonesian schools create a seamless student experience through technology. Whether it’s in terms of facilitating online payments or streamlining back office operations, we can help schools embrace digitalization with ease. We’re currently focused on building the underlying technical infrastructure so that we can eventually layer more value-added services on top for all stakeholders involved including administrators, teachers, students, and parents. This foundation is critical in bridging the growing inequality between remote schools and urban schools, and ensuring all students are afforded a quality education despite their socioeconomic status.” says Indah Maryani, co-founder of InfraDigital.

Pandemic “accelerating” digital transformation of schools

News of the funding arrives at the height of COVID-19, which shuttered countless schools across the country and forced many of them to look towards online education. InfraDigital moved quickly to assist schools at the onset of the pandemic, reducing the cost of their online payments platform and adding a PPDB/PMB (online student registration) service free of charge while schools were forced to remain closed during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has actually pushed many educational institutions to reassess their decades old manual processes and explore digital options that optimize for efficiency, costs, and insights. Since the start of the crisis, we have seen a flood of requests to assist in multiple areas of school management, including online student registration, payments, and other digital administrative functions,” says Indah.

Future roadmap

The company is currently dedicating all its resources to assisting new and existing clients and helping them meet the added demands and complexities during COVID19 closures. Especially during this period of economic uncertainty, InfraDigital’s innovative tools reduce any friction in student payments and enrollments via PPDB/PMB, ultimately helping schools secure their finances and build a solid operational foundation.

“Schools in Indonesia have long been suffering from inefficient cash flow due to the widespread use of legacy, paper-based systems. Services like Infradigital are a win-win for both parents and educational institutions, allowing them to easily manage the tuition payment process and enhance schools’ finances and overall operational capacities,“ says AppWorks partner Jessica Liu.

Moving forward, InfraDigital hopes to expand its footprint to other regions of Indonesia and eventually become a full-stack digital solution for educational institutions. ”Longer term our goal remains the same, to provide every school in Indonesia, regardless of resources, with solid digital and financial foundations. The industry is at an early stage and we have a lot of work to do, a lot of schools to reach. We are delighted to have the continued support of AppWorks and count ourselves lucky to have an investor who shares our long-term vision,” says Ian McKenna, co-founder and CEO of InfraDigital.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / Blockchain, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】

Indonesia-Based New Retail Company ‘Fabelio’ Announces US$9 Million Series C1 Funding to Take on IKEA

  • Fabelio is one of Indonesia’s top furniture brands. It has successfully raised US$9 million as part of its ongoing Series C Round, led by AppWorks and MDI Ventures and  Endeavour Catalyst.
  • Funding will be used to accelerate its domestic presence within Indonesia and Southeast Asia, as well as strengthen its technological and supply chain capabilities.
  • Since its launch in 2015, Fabelio has established three offices and 20 experience centres in Indonesia, spearheaded by 82% year-on-year growth in 2019.

Indonesia’s leading new online furniture retailer, Fabelio, announced today that it has successfully raised US$9 million as part of its Series C round, bringing its total funding to more than US$20 million. The first close of the round was led by Taiwanese venture firm, AppWorks, Endeavour Catalyst and Telkom Group-backed MDI Ventures. Existing investor, Aavishkaar Capital also contributed to the fund. This round of financing will further accelerate the development of Fabelio’s supply chain network of logistics hubs and experience centres to support its domestic expansion into new regions and cities within Indonesia such as Java and Bali by November 2020. As part of this latest round, AppWork’s’ Partner, Jessica Liu will be joining Fabelio’s Board of Directors.

“After five years of scaling up and defining the fundamentals of our ‘new retail’ strategy, we are ready to accelerate our growth with this Series C round,” said Marshall Tegar Utoyo, CEO and Co-Founder at Fabelio. “We are grateful to our new investors from AppWorks, Endeavour Catalyst and MDI Ventures for their support and global expertise. Our main focus will be to improve our product categories and improve delivery times. On top of that, we will expand our sphere of influence across Indonesia by opening new warehouses and experience centres in new cities. Additionally, we are seeing more US and Chinese companies are setting up operations in Indonesia, opening up opportunities for global trade and manufacturing. These  market trends, combined with their efforts will enable us to win a larger market share in this exciting US$6.7 billion home furniture market in Indonesia.”

Founded in 2015, Fabelio offers well-crafted and high-quality furniture for the Indonesian market from local designers at attractive prices, offering free same-day delivery services and a 2-year warranty period for all its products. The company also positions itself as a bespoke B2B service for properties, providing a free interior design consultancy for those seeking to furnish homes, office spaces, hotels or restaurants. Since its US$6.5 million Series B fundraise in 2018, Fabelio has experienced exponential growth in Indonesia, boasting three domestic offices and

20 experience centres in strategic areas such as Jabodetabek and Bandung with a headcount of 430 staff. To date, Fabelio has experienced 82% year-on-year growth in customer acquisition, with more than 1,000 B2B projects ranging from residential properties such as houses and apartments, offices to retail brands such as Citraland, BRI and Jakarta MRT. Its product shipments have now reached more than 750 sub-districts throughout Java. Its unit economics have been positive since late 2017 and is on track to target profitability by 2022.

“Over the last couple of years, the trend has been crystal clear: the contribution of online sales in every vertical has been increasing in Indonesia: be it electronics, fashion, groceries or furniture. This trend has been massively accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, we recorded our highest online sales ever with figures surpassing those experienced during Indonesia’s #1 online shopping day Harbolnas on 12/12. The future of e-commerce is brighter than ever, and the simultaneous ramp-up in payments and infrastructure will support this development.” said Christian Sutardi, Co-Founder at Fabelio.

“Fabelio is building a locally relevant furniture brand for a generation of digitally native Indonesians,” said Jessica Liu, Partner at AppWorks. “In just five years, they’ve introduced world-class furniture products that have been adopted by a growing segment of Indonesians and businesses. Their customer-first value shapes a better shopping experience and becomes a category-transforming business. We are excited to join Fabelio on their mission to shape the future of Indonesian’s furniture industry.”

Winston Adi, Head of Investments at MDI Ventures, said, “We are delighted to be part of Fabelio and their stellar leadership team. As businesses are turning digital, it is very important to blur the lines between physical and digital, maintain efficiency with data, and tackle the relevant market with a highly scalable business model to gain the market lead. Fabelio is set in a unique position to check all the boxes as the perfect example to create a digital innovation in the retail industry. We believe with this investment, Fabelio will be able to tap on more business and consumers and have their furniture reachable to every household and business across local and regional markets. MDI will provide continuous support as they continue to bring innovative solutions to the market and execute its long term vision.”

EN Venkat, Partner at Aavishkaar Capital said, “Fabelio has deep networks with artisans and manufacturers from local furniture-making centres in Indonesia. Their tremendous effort in empowering Indonesian Micro-Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the inspiration behind our involvement in their exciting omnichannel furniture business, we look forward to our continued involvement with Fabelio.”

Fabelio’s primary focus for 2020 will be increasing market share through the hiring of key engineering talent, continued online marketing efforts, product development and operational improvements. It is actively seeking regional investors in Southeast Asia and China to conclude its Series C round by end-2020, enabling Fabelio to deliver on its mission of offering high-quality furniture and outstanding customer service, and in doing so, winning the trust of Indonesian customers. “Our end-goal was always to provide a better customer experience. In the two years, we see ourselves as a home & living destination that can provide our customers with all products and services related to their furnishing and interior needs. A significant portion of the funding will be invested in technology, which includes scaling up our current team of 40 engineers.” added Sutardi.

About Fabelio

Fabelio is an Indonesian-based company engaged in furniture and interior design. Founded on June 1, 2015, it provides a wide variety of furniture for living rooms, dining areas, workspaces and bedrooms. Fabelio also offers interior design services for offices and homes, as well as customised kitchen sets and wardrobe services through Fabelio Projects. Aside from selling their products online, Fabelio has 20 experience centres in the Greater Jakarta and Bandung areas, as well as service coverage to almost all areas of Java, Indonesia.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / Blockchain, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】

2020 上半年台灣 Blockchain 生態系地圖,靜待下一個風口

Ching Tseng, Associate (曾意晴 / 投資經理)

負責區塊鏈投資,尤其專注東南亞市場。學生時期曾於 AppWorks 實習一年半,2015 年政大企管系畢業後正式加入擔任分析師,主要參與投資案相關業務,最得意的案例是協助 CHOCO TV 從 A 輪一路到被 LINE 併入。是我們的年輕人趨勢專家,2019 正式升任經理。平常熱愛嚐鮮、美食以及旅遊。

對多數人來說,2020 上半年,過得並不輕鬆。由於 COVID-19 在全球爆發,改變了人們許多的工作與思考方式。對尚屬於發展初期、還仰賴很多實體活動來獲取用戶、投資人的 Blockchain 產業來說,不少新創因此面臨生存危機,更有不少服務的推進計畫,也因疫情延宕了,募資過程受到干擾的團隊更不在少數。

AppWorks Accelerator 每半年更新一次「2020 H1 台灣 Blockchain 生態系地圖」(Taiwan’s Blockchain Ecosystem Map First Half 2020) 的過程中,就可清楚感受到大環境帶來的衝擊。在這一版的更新中,總計納入 112 家相關的新創、機構與單位,第一次列入的共 16 家,是過去三次以來新納入數量最少的一次,而半年前還在地圖上的,則有 21 家已從這一版移出,也是歷來數量最多的一次,兩個數字此消彼長之間,代表過去半年間,在台灣 Blockchain 生態系中新生的新創變少、折損的新創變多。

然而,歷史上亂世時,卻也是英雄出世的時刻。即便有不少 Blockchain 創業者暫時退出賽道,卻也有許多的團隊,在這樣的情況下,繳出傲人的成績單。

(原始檔案下載:Taiwan’s Blockchain Ecosystem Map First Half 2020)

機構用戶導入加速,創業技術 Support 

Blockchain 發展至今,不時會有大企業高呼要揮軍 Blockchain 領域的消息,近半年來,過去累積的底蘊發酵,大型企業與機構導入 Blockchain 技術的增速比過去更快;乘著 2019 年下半年,以輸出技術成為服務的趨勢,許多 Blockchain 創業團隊,也抓緊了這波機會,與各種機構用戶結盟。

例如,國泰金控數位數據科技研發中心近期發佈,將在 2020 年底推出「電動車車聯網區塊鏈金融平台」,除了能將數據透過加密存證上鏈外,還結合國泰產險、國泰世華銀行,提供從汽車融資、保險理賠到商品推薦等服務。在這背後,國泰也與 AppWorks Accelerator #16 (AW#16)、充電站服務平台 ChargeSmith 宅電以及 Blockchain 新創團隊 BSOS 共同合作,透過電動車的行車資料上鏈,來協助國泰金控提供更豐富的銀行及保險業務場景。

其他大型企業與 Blockchain 新創合作的案例,還包括樂天市場與 Bincentive 合作,讓會員能將樂天購物點數轉為加密貨幣投資。OpenFind 網擎資訊則與 BlockChain Security 區塊科技合作,結合區塊鏈存證應用,協助企業在處理機密資訊時能夠更安全的儲存與傳輸。另一較親民的例子,是全家便利商店與 AW#6 BitoEX 幣託合作的會員回饋系統,民眾在全家進行消費並累積會員點數,就可以免費兌換成比特幣。此外,台灣企銀也推出金融區塊鏈函證,減低函證作業流程中,容易發生資料遺失或者遭竄改的風險。

大企業加速導入 Blockchain 技術顯然是一樁好事。但也因為大企業的管理型態,在考量 Blockchain 技術時,還是會偏向較中心化的商業模式,結合 Blockchain 技術去中心化的本質,未來將帶來哪些新發展、新演化,值得持續關注。

炒作行情結束,發展各憑真本事

Blockchain 發展至今已有一段時間,投資加密貨幣也經歷過幾次上沖下洗的行情。在這過程中,投資人的型態與工具也逐步調整、日趨成熟,已很少追捧熱門的短線議題,而受到這一波疫情影響,投資步調甚至有些放緩。

在這樣的外在環境下,使得新創發展呈現兩極化,由市場啟動了淘汰機制。新創的商業模式,若偏重靠接專案帶來營收,隨著經濟前景保守,開發新客戶與專案的難度提高,直接造成現金流面臨斷炊的問題;另一方面,持續累積自有客戶、挖掘商業護城河的新創團隊,則能靠著業績持續成長、逐步累積 Traction 向投資人募資。

儘管時局艱困,但過去半年也不乏體質健全、前景展望佳的 Blockchain 新創,獲得投資人青睞。例如,CoolBitx 庫幣科技在持續推廣旗下產品 Sygna 的過程中,也完成由日本 SBI 集團領投的 B 輪募資,金額高達 1,675 萬美元。除此之外,BSOS 也在這段期間,完成百萬美金的種子輪募資,其中包含國發基金挹注的 2,000 萬新台幣

數位化優先於去中心化

回顧 2020 上半年全球的 Blockchain 發展,無論是三月主流加密貨幣閃崩,24 小時內多數跌幅超過 40%;又或者是五月 Telegram 因不敵政府監管的壓力,宣佈暫停旗下區塊鏈項目 TON 的開發。

此時,探討 Blockchain 下一個成長機會是什麼?每人各有不同解讀與期待。然而,在疫情盛行的當下,許多人詬病中心化組織,在傳遞正確訊息的速度及可靠性,紛紛討論起去中心化的優點,提出不少想法。但回頭反觀現實世界的發展,最多數人的痛點,都是圍繞在遠端工作情境,對網路創業者來說,數位化早已如空氣一樣存在已久,而對多數大眾的需求與使用情境而言,數位化的優先順序,還是遠高於去中心化。

整體觀察下來,Blockchain 產業依舊在等待下一個浪潮,而這道浪,得為產業注入下一群從未使用過 Blockchain 的新用戶。根據過往多次數位典範轉移的經驗,遊戲、娛樂相關的服務,最有可能帶來大量願意嘗試新技術的用戶,想要加入的創業者,若有這方面的優勢,不妨從中思考可以立足的機會。

已經在耕耘的創業者,在此逆風時刻在確保資金不斷鏈的前提下,不妨趁此練兵、多探索各種可能性,持續建立自己的獨特性,等下一波浪潮席捲而來時,抓準時機獲取有質量的用戶。

造浪者、衝浪者,只要還在海上,永遠都有下一波乘風破浪的機會。

Taiwan’s Blockchain Ecosystem Map First Half 2020 由 AppWorks,以及 Blockchain 媒體 Blockcast 區塊客 (AW#14)、BlockTempo 動區 (AW#16) 聯合製作,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 與佈局東南亞的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator

Photo by Robert Pastryk on Pixabay

2020 上半年台灣 AI 生態系地圖,後疫情時代浮現的新機會

Norman Chi, Analyst (紀泳瑜 / 分析師)

負責投資與基金管理。在加入 AppWorks 之前,曾於勤業眾信審計部門服務近兩年,參與過的財務報表查核案件橫跨多個產業。畢業於台大會計系,學生時期曾擔任台大學生會活動部部長與會計系系學會公關長。喜愛品嚐美食、棒球與推理懸疑類影集。期許自己成為理性,但不失熱血與溫度的創投分析師。

AI 在台灣不管是業界還是政府,都已是重點發展的項目。甫連任的總統蔡英文在就職演說中,談及未來台灣六大核心戰略產業,第一項就是資訊及數位相關產業,並宣示將全力促進 AI 與 IoT 的發展。

在政策支持、民間企業響應下,AI 的發展,正在台灣快速開花結果。例如,2019 年十月,由國研院國網中心攜手廣達、華碩、台灣大哥大共同打造的人工智慧超級電腦「台灣杉二號」與「台灣 AI 雲」( Taiwan Computing Cloud,簡稱 TWCC ) 正式商轉後,迄今已協助約 300 組產學研界專案計畫, 提供了上千萬的 GPU 運算小時使用量,協助縮短 AI 訓練時間達 90%,並提高深度學習效率 498 倍 ,大大滿足了產業界的 AI 運算需求,也是政府前瞻計畫中非常重要的一環。

當台灣逐漸成為大東南亞 (東協+台灣) 發展的 AI 重鎮之時,科技巨擘 Microsoft 除早已大舉來台徵才、設立研發中心外,更推動台灣的 AI Infinity 計畫,除網羅各業界經由 Microsoft AI 技術驅動的商用 AI 解決方案,以此建立台灣 AI 智庫外,也攜手政治大學,為企業開設 AI 商學院,協助企業整體升級,運用 AI 加速轉型。

2020 年上半年爆發的新冠肺炎,雖然使部分商業活動停滯,甚至顛覆了不少既有產業,但疫情並沒有使台灣 AI 生態系的發展停下腳步。在 AppWorks Accelerator 每半年更新一次「2020 H1 台灣 AI 生態系地圖」(Taiwan’s AI Ecosystem Map First Half 2020) 的過程中,我們發現在過去半年中,出現了幾個值得注意的重要趨勢:


(原始檔案下載:Taiwan’s AI Ecosystem Map First Half 2020)

零售業重新佈局邁向全通路經營,給了 Digital Marketing 最好的年代

在後疫情時代,當消費者購物行為從實體商店加速轉往線上通路,企業要如何讓自家品牌在網路世界脫穎而出,成了新零售顯學。這次的疫情,不僅將促使傳統零售業數位轉型速度加快,也讓線上線下融合體驗的智慧零售成為焦點。

在過去幾年,我們可以發覺,專注於數位行銷領域營運的 AI 新創,如雨後春筍般冒出。透過將 AI 的技術,運用在精準投放數位廣告、追蹤用戶旅程 (User Journey),並分析蒐集來的數據,讓企業更容易描繪出消費者輪廓,進而更準確地預測消費者的購物偏好與價格取向,並為每一位造訪的消費者打造個人化、客製化的購物體驗。

此外,那些雖然沒下單就離站的用戶數據,也成為數據分析的瑰寶。企業可透過 AI 與大數據的應用,針對這群尚未成交的潛在消費者,進行精準的再行銷推廣,進而提升轉換率與行銷績效。

在這個趨勢下,可看到許多潛力新創。例如,剛於 2020 年二月獲得 7,000 萬新台幣 Pre-A 輪募資的 MarTech 新創 Accuhit 愛酷智能,即是提供科技行銷系統,來協助企業客戶掌握用戶旅程,並提供行銷的數據整合,解決方案可運用的範圍之一,就是協助藥局整合線上會員的資料;此外,AppWorks Accelerator #16 (AW#16) 校友、專攻行銷機器人訂閱服務的 Omnichat,提供的全通路對話式商務,可協助電商客戶進行跨通訊平台的行銷方案,轉換率比電商整體平均高 3 到 7 倍,也在 2020 年三月完成 2,400 萬新台幣的種子輪募資。

醫療領域導入 AI 應用蓬勃發展

除了數位行銷,醫療領域是台灣在 AI 運用上另一個重要領域。依據 Global Market Insights 的預測,至 2025 年,全球 AI 醫療應用市場規模,將達 130 億美元,2019 至 2025 年的平均年複合成長率 (CAGR) 達 40.6%。過去半年,特別是疫情影響之下,如何利用 AI 提升看診與疾病篩檢效率,更是把這股 AI 應用於醫療產業的浪潮推向了高峰。

事實上,台灣在 AI 醫療的發展已累積多年經驗。由於開發醫療 AI 演算法,需要大量疾病標註數據,以此來訓練 AI Model,因此,早在 2018 年底,科技部就與台灣大學、台北榮民總醫院、台北醫學大學合作,建置了台灣首座本土化跨醫療院所的「AI 醫療影像資料庫」,並將成果與其他研究團隊及資料建置團隊合作,進行醫療衛生目的相關的學術研究,以提升台灣醫療技術。透過 AI 辨識的技術,不僅可以協助醫師加速醫療影像判讀及提高診斷的一致性與精準度,也可以縮短病人的就醫時間及減少侵入式檢查,降低醫療支出。

在新創圈,也可看到越來越多團隊加速開發 AI 在醫療上的應用。例如,開發即時 10 億級像素影像分析高效能運算 (AI HPC) 平台的 Ai Explore 影豹科技 ;提供醫療影像 AI 開發平台服務的 aetherAI 雲象科技;協助醫療人員判讀電腦斷層掃描(Computer Tomography,CT)並獲得台灣與美國 FDA 認證、提供腦出血 AI 影像判讀系統的 Deep01 ;以及在此次疫情下,開發出智慧呼吸監測系統的 Heroic-Faith 聿信醫療等等,展現出台灣 AI 應用在醫療領域上呈現欣欣向榮之姿。

AI Startup Friendly 的生態系逐漸成型

隨著越來越多 AI 新創冒出頭並打算出海,台灣在創業加速器、教育、研究等面向,也依舊蓬勃發展。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 / IoT 與 Blockchain 新創的 AppWorks Accelerator,目前為止已經招收四期 AI / Blockchain 共 89 組新創,其中有  44 組 AI、16 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)Sparklabs TaipeiTaiwan 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。而在 AI 浪潮下,其他非限定召募 AI 新創的加速器,包括 TAcc+BE Accelerator,也吸引不少 AI 新創團隊進駐。

在創投領域,AI 新創的投資案也逐年增加,提供新創擴張甚至出海的資金協助。例如,AppWorks Funds 為專注於 AI、Blockchain、Southeast Asia 這三個主題的創投基金,此外,包括 ACE CapitalCherubic VenturesTransLink Capital 等國內外知名創投,也都在近兩年投資不少 AI 相關的台灣新創,例如 CloudMile 萬里雲Umbo CV 盾心科技 (AW#9)、Cubo AI (AW#16)、MoBagel 行動貝果 (AW#16) 等。

隨著台灣 AI 生態系蓬勃發展,在各個知名的科技展覽與論壇中,也可看到不少 AI 新創的身影。例如,歷史悠久的 COMPUTEX,旗下以新創為主題的特展 InnoVEX 即吸引不少 AI 團隊報名參展,並為台灣 AI 創業者搭橋,有機會與來自全世界的新創圈人士與投資人進行深度交流 (受疫情影響,2020 年 COMPUTEX 確定取消,InnoVEX 則改為線上 #InnoVEXOnlineDemo);NVIDIA 2019 年也在台北舉辦了 AI 盛會 NVDIA GTC (GPU Technology Conference) 全球巡迴海外首站,提供各界互相交流的契機,而 2020 年的 GTC Taiwan 2020,預計也將回到台灣舉辦,屆時又將是一場 AI 的饗宴。

台灣人工智慧學校、台灣人工智慧實驗室,則分別仍是台灣在 AI 教育與研究領域的代表性機構,持續為台灣 AI 發展挹注人才與創新技術的能量中。對台灣 AI 生態系來說,2020 上半年最令人遺憾的,莫過於台灣人工智慧學校執行長陳昇瑋的英年早逝,他與台灣人工智慧學校,在二年內,為台灣培育超過 6,000 位 AI 人才,全力達成產業 AI 化及轉型升級的使命,充滿熱情、實踐理想的典範,不僅讓人無限懷念,更為台灣 AI 發展留下不可抹滅的貢獻。

Taiwan’s AI Ecosystem Map First Half 2020 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、佈局東南亞的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator

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WeMo Scooter Closes Multi-million Dollar Series A Round Led by AppWorks

Taiwan’s leading e-scooter sharing startup WeMo Scooter announced that it has successfully closed a multi-million dollar Series A funding round led by AppWorks, its first investment into Taiwan’s burgeoning smart mobility sector.

WeMo Scooter will use this round of financing to continue growing its service coverage for riders in key cities across Taiwan, while also laying the seeds for Southeast Asia expansion. Having now recorded millions of successful rides in Taiwan with its proprietary electric vehicle fleet management system, the company is uniquely positioned to help countries across the region accelerate the transition to smart cities.

In support of its international ambitions, the company plans to use the recently raised funds to further grow its “Internet of Vehicles” (IoV) R&D center in Taiwan, which will look to recruit up to 100 hardware and software engineers over the next 3 years. The company will be looking to substantially enhance its R&D capabilities, recruiting talents with experience in not only front-end/back-end development, but also self-driving technology, vehicle telematics, or machine learning—all dedicated to cultivating the latest advancements in connected mobility from the ground up.

Jeffrey Wu, the founder and CEO of WeMo Scooter says “WeMo has the potential to completely revolutionize transportation. At our core, we’re a technology-driven company, with a strong and open engineering culture offering competitive salaries. Our vision is to become the leading Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider in Asia, enabling countries across the region to create cleaner, smarter, and more tech-enabled transportation ecosystems of their own. We’re now actively searching for capable talents that can help us achieve that goal.”

WeMo Scooter’s existing IoV technology and experience in big data analytics has been instrumental in creating the most comprehensive and seamless e-scooter sharing network in Taiwan. The company has deployed more than 7,000 e-scooters across Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Kaohsiung City. Its user-friendly app offers convenient features such as digital ID verification and a “quick ride” function, allowing WeMo to quickly scale its operations nationwide, now facilitating roughly 1 million trips per month to both local commuters and international tourists. It’s also the first to introduce various pricing methods to meet rider needs, encompassing per minute and hourly rates, as well as monthly rental plans.

The IoT smart black box integrated in each of its e-scooters was fully developed in-house, and not only helps the company effectively manage its extensive fleet, but also provides valuable operating and environmental data to drive transportation policies and improve rider safety. It can also be embedded into different vehicle types and repurposed for alternative applications such as smart parking or battery management solutions for enterprises.

WeMo Scooter joined AppWorks Accelerator #12 (AW#12) in 2016 in an effort to jumpstart early traction. The company continued to grow and now has additional investments from AppWorks’ funds. Chairman and partner of AppWorks, Jamie Lin says “when the 5G era comes, it will inevitably bring a huge shift to global IoV technologies and industrial development. Since their time in AppWorks Accelerator, WeMo Scooter has demonstrated their strength in R&D technology and smart transportation operations. With our participation in this round, we look forward to not only helping the company solidify its leading position in Taiwan, but also lay the building blocks that will transform WeMo Scooter into a regional and international success story.”

About WeMo Scooter

WeMo Scooter launched in 2016, providing a smarter travel option with an easy to use vehicle sharing service. With the freedom to ride anywhere, anytime, WeMo Scooter’s smart vehicle rental service is the largest and most established in Taiwan. Open around the clock, WeMo’s services can be accessed through the app and rented at multiple public and cooperating parking lots. With live tracking features, 24/7 customer service, and insurance for all users, WeMo takes care of the small things to provide a safe and hassle-free experience for riders.

WeMo Scooter initially established itself in Greater Taipei and later expanded to Kaohsiung in 2019. Each scooter is equipped with an IoT smart black box and multiple data sensors. The data collected can be used in urban transportation reforms such as the road-smoothing project. Smart electric vehicles are able to automatically optimize their services. WeMo is determined to create an innovative rental transportation experience and is committed to leading the industry in Taiwan’s evolution to smart green travel. In 2019, WeMo Scooter launched its IoT smart parking solution, enabling users to enter designated parking lots without the need for cards, cash, or any parking fees. WeMo Scooter also launched the official LINE account service in 2020. Allowing members to register and rent scooters through the LINE app, user experience and day-to-day communications are even more unified.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / Blockchain, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】