Ookbee, a mobile e-book marketplace, has announced that it will launch Ookbee Live, a Flipboard-like app, either in December or January. The Thai startup made mentio of it at the Global Brain Alliance Forum in Tokyo on 7 December.
Flipboard is a popular mobile app that lets users curate their social media feeds and turns them into a readable, magazine-like format.
During its presentation, Ookbee also revealed some numbers about its publishing platform:
- 88% market share in e-books in Thailand, making it the country’s top e-book store.
- 2.55M users currently, and its apps have been downloaded 3.27M times
- A gain of 3,930 users every day for the past 30 days.
- 6M books delivered
- Top 5 grossing app on Thai App Store every day for 400 days.
Ookbee has partnered with Thailand’s largest telco AIS and the country’s leading bookstore B2S. It also received an investment of USD2M from Shin Corporation at a USD8M valuation, and was reportedly growing at 5,000 users a day.
Singapore’s YOOSE, a hyper-local mobile ad network, has today announced a sales partnership with Komli Mobile, a division of Komli Media.
The partnership, which will take effect in Southeast Asia and India, will give Komli Mobile the ability to offer location-based mobile ads to its clients, through YOOSE’s network of mobile apps and websites. Komli Mobile will have a reach of 1.44B mobile ad impressions in Southeast Asia alone. Read more
Paul Ramscar got a strange look from a sales staff when he once entered a jewelry store with his boyfriend. He could tell that the sales person behaved awkwardly — a reaction he didn’t get when he entered the same shop alone.
While Hong Kong is one of the most gay-friendly places in Asia, gay discrimination is still prevalent. That personal encounter was one of the things that prompted Paul to create Pink Dollar, a mobile app that serves as a directory of LGBT-friendly businesses. Read more
Rockmoon‘s battle against worksheets continues in Thailand. The Singapore startup, which has created a platform that lets anyone create interactive educational games for student field trips, has scored a partnership with Chiang Mai University’s Knowledge and Innovation Center to create a technology learning hub.
The new center, which is called THINK (acronym for Technology Hub for Innovation & Knowledge), aims to find ways to incorporate ICT into children’s education and assist schools in piloting these technologies.
Rockmoon kickstarted the new intiative by holding a mobile learning seminar and Chiang Mai Zoo iTrail competition on 30 November. About 100 primary school students participated in the competition, where they used the company’s Trail Shuttle iPad app to answer quizzes, take photos and videos, and explore its augmented reality features.
The company says that this is the first time mobile technology has been used on such scale in a field trip in Chiang Mai. It hopes that through this partnership, more doors will open for its platform to be adopted as a tool for education and learning among students in Thailand.
Read: Trail Shuttle lets students create their own interactive learning trails
Fun is a rather quaint way for an investment firm to differentiate itself. But Terence Tan, an investor at TNF Ventures, is pretty serious about fun — and always have been. A competitive player in golf and tennis, he once overextended himself over a tennis game, fell and suffered a concussion, then lost his sense of smell.
This paradox of having serious fun permeates TNF’s culture. They’re managing money on behalf of NRF, a government body in charge of scientific research, yet they organized a poker tournament at their launch event. They wore gaudy red and white polo tees that made the event look more Resorts World than Marina Bay Sands, yet gave a Powerpoint presentation to introduce the firm.
It’s a signal that they don’t take themselves too seriously, but are hungry about making the right investment bets. It image seems befitting for a team of successful corporate and entrepreneurial types who’ve got it made. They don’t really need to start another fund, but for one reason or another, decided to. Read more
As an application developer, whether you have decided to invest time and effort on the BlackBerry 10 operating system or still considering, these are the key information you need to know (and maybe it will convince you the BlackBerry 10 is worth your attention).
1. Built for BlackBerry program
The Built for BlackBerry program subjects your application to additional testing and evaluation beyond the standard BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) Vetting criteria.
One key benefit of getting Built for BlackBerry approval is that applications will appear in BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) with the Built for BlackBerry logo, increasing their visibility to users and signifying a higher level of quality.
Another key benefit is eligibility for the 10k Developer Commitment.
2. 10k Developer Commitment
The 10k Developer Commitment is RIM’s display of confidence in the ecosystem to benefit application developers. If an application has attained Built for BlackBerry status, RIM will, under certain conditions, pay the developer the difference between the application’s earnings and $10,000 USD.
- Vendors must read and agree to the 10k Developer Commitment Terms and Conditions.
- Vendors are invited to submit multiple apps for the Built for BlackBerry designation but there is a limit of one (1) payout per Vendor.
- Apps must remain available for sale on BlackBerry App World with the Built for BlackBerry.
- For vendors with multiple Built for BlackBerry apps, the app that becomes eligible for the 10k Developer Commitment is the one that earns $1,000 USD first.
- Apps must have at least 100 unique downloads over the 12 month period.
- The 10k Developer Commitment is a limited-funds offer and will continue only until the $10 million fund pool is exhausted. Funds will be distributed in order of priority based on the date upon which they reached $1,000 USD in earnings.
- Apps funded by RIM are not eligible for the 10k Developer Commitment.
The very important fine print:
- A maximum of USD10,000,000will be distributed under this Offer. Limit one (1) payout per Vendor. Twelve month period to be determined by RIM.
- “Earns” refers to the amount that consumers pay for both paid downloads and in-app payments using BlackBerry Payment Service less any refunds and less applicable taxes included in the amount consumers pay, multiplied by the proportion of sales owing to the Vendor as defined by the Vendor Agreement. “Earns” does not include any advertising revenue.
- Any Apps submitted for BlackBerry App World Approval after January 11th 2013 may not be approved in time to meet the Built for BlackBerry Submission Deadline. In such a case, RIM will not be responsible if a Participant is not eligible to participate in the Offer.
If in any doubt, see the Terms and Conditions for complete details.
Remember, your application needs to be approved for the BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) before submission for the Built for BlackBerry program and the 10k Developer Commitment.
3. BlackBerry Got Game Port-a-Thon live events.
BlackBerry is making a strong push to get the most number of applications for a first generation OS into the BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) storefront before the global launch of BlackBerry 10 on 30th January 2013.
A key part of that push are events like the Got Game Port-a-thons.
These are the reasons why you should take part:
Get onsite rewards when you port and build on BlackBerry 10:
• Successfully port a game app onsite, and receive a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
(limit to one per vendor ID)
• Top Arcade, Puzzle and Action games ported onsite receive one BlackBerry® DevAlpha™ device each
Get rewards with submission of App World approved game apps:
• Get a game app approved on App World, and receive USD$100 for every eligible app for up to 20 apps
• Be the first ten for your city to get at least 5 and up to 10 game apps approved on App World, and receive a BlackBerry 10 Developer Alpha device
• Be the first for your city to get >10 game apps approved on App World, and get a paid trip to BlackBerry Jam Europe on top of the above rewards!
Get featured on BlackBerry App World:
• All successfully ported and approved games will get one (1) week of App World Marketing across APAC, Middle East and Africa, where applicable.
• All vendors who submit more than 5 games will get an exclusive marketing feature where games would be showcased under a partner branded or co branded banner on App World for 1 week across APAC, Middle East and Africa, where applicable.
Refer to the event’s page for further details.
Got Game Port-a-thons will be held on the following dates:
5 Dec – Sydney, Australia
6 Dec – Singapore
10 Dec – Bandung, Indonesia
12 Dec – Hyderabad, India
14 Dec – Mumbai, India
22 Dec – Hong Kong
Here’s a story line so often repeated it gets nauseating: It’s boom time in Asia. But of course, we should all be thankful that the region’s economies are being propped up by countries like Philippines and Indonesia, which are experiencing a wave of optimism that makes them attractive to investors.
Tech companies too are moving into Asia in droves, attracted by long-term opportunities despite the precariousness of the banking sectors in Vietnam and China, which could drag the world into another recession.
Lotaris, a Swiss company that specializes in helping app developers monetize, fits into this larger narrative. It sees Asia as a big growth market, and as such, has shifted its project management, quality assurance, and strategic elements into the Singapore office. Read more
Platformed creativity is on the rise, as elaborated by SGE’s assistant editor Terence Lee. Such platforms provide avenues for self-expression and creativity, relying on their creators to offer a value proposition to their consumers.
A platform without creators is a ghost town and there is little incentive for consumers to use it. Replicating the technology of YouTube is a considerably smaller challenge compared to replicating its community of video creators.
The creators are active partners in creating (and delivering) the value proposition of the platform. Hence, any startup building a creativity platform should:
1. Understand the motivations of the creators
2. Create enabling technology that caters to those motivations
3. Have a clear strategy to maximize the number of creators on the platforms.
The following 6 questions can help a platform think through these issues and enable it to successfully create a platform that finds traction. Read more
Graymatics can sense which part of a video is attractive for ads.
Imagine yourself at lunch hour in a hawker center, sometime in the near future. You see a diner with an appetizing food item. Rather than ask the diner about it, you decide to use your Google Glasses to take a snapshot of the food item, and then send it over to Graymatics’ cloud based cognitive media processing servers.
In a few milliseconds, Graymatics comes back to you and shows the results on the heads-up display of your Google Glasses. The food item is a new variety of Pineapple Chicken rice mixed with coriander sauce. Combined with data from HungryGoWhere, you find that it can be bought at Lian’s Food Stall located a just few meters away. You also see the latest reviews from past diners about the chicken rice.
The hawker center scenario above is but one of the promising use cases that Graymatics cognitive media processing can bring to life. The technology consists of algorithms that can instantly recognize and categorize image and video content that is fed to it. It can then tell users what the contents are about and who or what is in them. Read more
Exploit Technologies (ETPL), the technology transfer arm of Singapore’s A*STAR, a government R&D agency, has yesterday unveiled five hotspots it intends to focus on to drive the country’s economy to the bleeding edge and create the jobs of tomorrow. The five are: printed electronics, business analytics, bio-imaging, medical diagnostics, and anti-microbials.
These focus areas were picked based on A*STAR’s research strengths, market potential, and its portfolio of patents. Of the five, printed electronics and business analytics could have widespread applications in the web and mobile space. Read more