Alibaba Group is investing on research, Oto.com has new CEO, and VentureStart launches in Singapore
Alibaba Group to spend over US$15 Billion in research and development
Alibaba Group is planning to invest more than US$15B into a global research and development initiative over the next 3 years. The programme, called Alibaba DAMO Academy, will be led by Alibaba Group chief technology officer Jeff Zhang and will focus on exploring next-generation technology.
The DAMO (discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook) Academy plans to set up research labs in seven cities around the world -Beijing and Hangzhou in China, San Mateo and Bellevue in the United States, Moscow in Russia, Tel Aviv in Israel, and Singapore – to where they will collaborate closely with universities on research that covers a wide array of areas, with specific focus onmachine learning, network security, visual computing and natural language processing.
“Over the past 18 years, we have developed a robust technology infrastructure that supports the rapid growth of our business. With our global expansion, we have grown and refined our technology manifold. We are now looking for talented and driven researchers to join us in the quest for new disruptive technologies that would advance our every-day lives, benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap to make our world a more inclusive place,” said Jeff Zhang in a press statement.
The DAMO Academy will enable Alibaba to fulfill its commitment to serve 2 billion customers and create 100 million job opportunities in by 2036. Alibaba now has around 25,000 engineers and scientists on its staff.
Oto.com has announced new CEO
Indonesia-based automotive portal Oto.com has announced Brata Rafly as its new CEO. Rafly is the former CEO of fintech startup DimoPay, who left his position in June.
Claiming 3.4 million users since its launch in the Indonesian market two years ago, Oto.com is run by India-based Girnar Software. The platform is an online marketplace for new and used cars.
In a press statement, Rafly said that he aims to “replicate” Girnar Software’s success for the platform.
BEAM launches VentureStart programme in Singapore
Business social networking company BEAM, in partnership with early-stage VC TRi5 Ventures, has announced the launch of VentureStart. VentureStart is an entrepreneurial development program that aims to brings more support to budding entrepreneurs building startups in Singapore.
The programme is focussed on providing early-stage financing to entrepreneurs and building a support system for new startups that covers business/technical support, mentoring, community events, financing, market access, customer acquisition, media coverage. TRi5 Ventures’ pool of over 60 industry experts will provide mentorship.
BEAM will also facilitate the SG Startup Co-Investment Grant (SG Founders Grant) of up to $50,000 to first-time Singaporean founders starting out on their ventures. This co-investment grant is a combination of a $30,000 grant from SPRING Singapore and up to $20,000 equity investment from Tri5 Ventures.
“We hope that this raise the overall calibre of entrepreneurs and bring forth a new generation of innovative and transformational companies”, said BEAM CEO Kenneth Ho in a press statement.
VentureStart will be conducted on a rolling basis and aims to produce 20 new Singapore-based startups aligned with Singapore’s thrust of deep technologies and Smart Nation initiatives in the next 12 months.
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