Those who know me well knows that I am very passionate about learning, especially the intersection of technology and learning. On my endless trips throughout Asia on behalf of Ginger, I ran into Andrew Smith Lewis and Eric Young in Tokyo, the founders of Cerego, two of the smartest and [...]
Those who know me well knows that I am very passionate about learning, especially the intersection of technology and learning. On my endless trips throughout Asia on behalf of Ginger, I ran into Andrew Smith Lewis and Eric Young in Tokyo, the founders of Cerego, two of the smartest and most interesting people I have ever met. Cerego’s mission is to transform information into lasting knowledge. Its approach combines proven learning science with cloud technology to bring breakthrough learning solutions to a rapidly expanding global market for learning languages and other core domains of knowledge.
One thing that I have learned in my career is that people and relationships are everything. If you then are lucky to find great people that you can share a bottle of Sake’ or two over endless sushi servings while passionately discussing learning/cognitive sciences and technology while cracking a joke or two, without feeling awkward, that is priceless.
Andrew and Eric are two such persons, and when they asked me if I was willing to consider becoming an advisor to Cerego, my first feeling was “I’m not worthy“. However, I quickly accepted. I don’t know if it was the Sake, the Sushi or the company. Perhaps it was the combination . Anyway, I feel very honored to join them & Cerego as an advisor as they take the world by a storm
I really believe that Cerego is one of the most innovative companies in the learning/tech space. In Japan , they run the amazing language learning platform iknow, helping people to learn and master new languages.If you haven’t tried iknow yet, go ahead and check them out. It has definitely improved my Chinese/Japanese vocabulary. However, Cerego is not limited to just language learning, their adaptive learning engine and platform really can turn any content into learning material. Check out Uncharted.fm for a taste of how you can fast can learn Geography (among other things). Keep an eye on this company. It is going to be big.
Take a look at Andrew demoing the iKnow platform at AllthingsD.
I’m very excited to announce that Horizons Ventures, the venture capital fund fully owned by Mr. Li Ka-shing , together with Harbor Pacific Capital has invested $5 million dollars in Ginger! Ever since I first started to work with Horizon Ventures while still at Facebook back in 2007, I knew that I wanted to work together with them again. Horizon’s unique passion for education and artificial intelligence coupled with a unique global network (especially in Asia) and a very strong “can do” approach, was my main reason for choosing them as an investor.
I am also very excited that Frank Meehan will be joining Ginger’s board. Frank and I worked together on the partnership between Facebook and INQ Mobile which resulted in the award-winning INQ1 at the Mobile World Congress in February 2009. Beside being a VC with Horizons Ventures, Frank is also active as the CEO & founder of the exciting London-based Kuato Studios leveraging AI and gaming technology to teach children computer programming.
I am also very happy that Harbor Pacific Capital, a small venture capital firm with close connections to Li Ka-shing has invested in Ginger as well. Harbor Pacific Capital has invested in companies great companies like Evernote and Palantir just to mention a few and are very active in Asia.
With these great new partners on board and with some more fuel in the tank, it’s time to get things done!
I will be speaking at L2 ThinkTank’s China Clinic on Sept 9 in NYC in New York together with some great China hands: Christine Lu, CEO of Affinity China Sage Brennan, L2 Think Tank Rebecca Fannin and Sam Flemming founder of CIC to prestige brands about the exploding luxury market in China and the opportunity for luxury brands there. If you’re in town and want to meet up – let me know.
Last week I gave a talk at Hemisphere, a global community of executives with operating experience leading international expansion and market development for digital companies worldwide, on the challenges for foreign Internet companies to enter and do business in China. Since I ofter get questions about this I decided to share the slides here.
Here is a great interview with P1′s CEO & founder Yu Wang on building a private social network targeting the affluent market in China.
China is slated to become the world’s largest market for luxury goods by 2020 according to investment research group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. By 2020, the worldwide luxury market will be worth EUR 385 billion. This means that China will be represent almost 20% of the global total. Now wonder why [...]
China is slated to become the world’s largest market for luxury goods by 2020 according to investment research group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. By 2020, the worldwide luxury market will be worth EUR 385 billion. This means that China will be represent almost 20% of the global total. Now wonder why designers all over the world are flocking to China. Affluent Chinese consumers have a great appetite for designer handbags, watches, clothing and cars.Louis Vuitton Malletier’s biggest customers were already Chinese buyers, while Greater China represented 18 percent of sales for Gucci, 14 percent for Bulgari and 11 percent for Hermes, according to CLSA. What I find really interesting is that unlike any other luxury market is that the biggest luxury consumers in China are men.
P1 – the exclusive invitation-only social network focused China’s luxury market is in a sweet spot. The luxury market has almost totally recovered from the recession. Sales in China grew an astounding 30 percent year-over-year, reaching almost $13 billion. China is projected to become the 3rd largest consumer of luxury products and services by [...]
P1 – the exclusive invitation-only social network focused China’s luxury market is in a sweet spot. The luxury market has almost totally recovered from the recession. Sales in China grew an astounding 30 percent year-over-year, reaching almost $13 billion. China is projected to become the 3rd largest consumer of luxury products and services by the middle of the decade as reported by Luxury Daily.
In 2020 the affluent class in China will reach 120m (12% of the urban population) and the upper middle class is projected to reach 600m (60% of urban population). Other social networks like Kaixin001, Renren.com, 51.com and QQ wil only be growing the middle class, totally ignoring the affluent class. This is great news for P1 who are totally focused on this demography. A recent article in Forbes covered “Selling to China’s luxury market 101″ but if you really would like to tap into this market my recommendation is to get in touch with the fabulous crew at P1.
Disclaimer, I am a board member of P1.
The Chinese Gaming company The9 has invested in AuroraFeint – makers of the OpenFeint platform to bring OpenFeint to China & Android. Very exciting times for Jason & the team. I first got involved with OpenFeint as and advisor last year after I left Facebook & have been very impressed by the speed Jason Citron & his team have executed on their vision under the guiding star of Peter Relan, founder of YouWeb who incubated the company.
OpenFeint has over 2,200 live games for the iPhone, and will soon have publishers such as Astraware, Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile, Hudson Soft and others onboard.
With both Chinese and Japanese investors onboard (the Japanese gaming giant DeNA invested in the company last year) AuroraFeint is set up for a strong future presence in Asia.
Very excited to see how the how the story unfolds.
Disclaimer: I’m a former advisor & a small shareholder in AuroraFeint.
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