Today’s top tech news, August 24: AirBnB appointed first female board, Google’s Waymo set up Shanghai subsidiary

Prisca Akhaya
Today’s top tech news, August 24: AirBnB appointed first female board, Google’s Waymo set up Shanghai subsidiary

A food blockchain alliance is on the way, and Indonesia’s portable Wi-Fi rental is getting ready for IPO

A former Pixar CFO bercomes the first woman appointed as Airbnb’s board member – Bloomberg

Airbnb announced today that it has appointed Ann Mather as its first woman to serve on its board member. Besides Airbnb, Mather is known for her board membership in Netflix and Google’s Alphabet.

The reason for Mather’s appointment is because the company believes in her capability to maintain profits in the US$31 billion worth-company and to pave ways for the company to go public. Of course, another trendy reason would include the effort of the company to diversify by adding women in its previously all-male board.

“Ann brings to Airbnb’s board of directors deep experience in financial and risks oversight from her roles,” co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said a statement on Thursday, as reported by Bloomberg.

Currently, the 10-year-old company is waiting for an IPO to happen sometime before 2020.

Y3 Technologies, veriTAG, Sakae Fintech, NULS, Reefic Protocol and Morpheus Labs to launch food blockchain alliance – Press Release

Y3 Technologies, a supply chain and logistics software solutions provider, just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a cross-border cloud-tagging specialists veriTAG; SGX-listed Sakae Holdings’ technology development arm Sakae Fintech; blockchain infrastructure developer NULS; customer loyalty programmes provider Reefic Protocol; and full-stack blockchain platform-as-a-service (BPaaS) provider Morpheus Labs on Wednesday, August 22, at the Smart China Expo 2018.

The MoU is an agreement to jointly launch Food Blockchain Alliance or “Foodchain”, in which all parties will maximize the use of blockchain technology for establishing an international food industry blockchain ecosystem, serving international food and upstream and downstream industries, promoting international cooperation among food-related enterprises, and providing safer, more reliable, rich and high-quality food for Chinese and international end consumers.

The companies plan to link up the food supply chain on a singular platform to facilitate a blockchain technology and concepts that will enable international F&B enterprises to share resources.

“A robust supply chain ecosystem is critical to ensuring that food safety is maintained across the value chain. Y3 looks forward to offering our innovative solutions and technical capabilities to the alliance, and in so doing, build future-ready solutions for the industry,” said Y3 Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Tho.

Google isn’t backing down from China with Waymo’s subsidiary set up in Shanghai – Reuters

Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car company Waymo has set up a subsidiary in Shanghai, China, as reported by Reuters.

Google’s representative has just confirmed today about a wholly-owned company called Huimo Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co on May 22 in Shanghai’s free trade zone with registered capital of RMB3.5 million (US$509,165), as shown in China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System.

It follows a few hints dropped earlier by Google that showcased its plan to go back to China since its exit in 2010. Waymo coming to China is timely with China’s shift into autonomous smart vehicles to stay on a same pace with the US in a race to develop self-driving vehicles.

Also Read: Airbnb’s latest challenge is coming from Taiwan

Indonesia’s Passpod is getting ready for IPO – Press Release

Having been IDX Incubator’s mentee since February this year, Indonesian portable Wi-Fi rental service Passpod is getting itself ready for an initial public offering on Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).

With IDX Incubator behind the company, the plan to go public has always been part of the agenda. The end goal for every startup under the incubator is to monetise their business and fulfill the requirements to go public.

“With the trend of traveling abroad became more common than ever, there are too many players in the tourism industry targeting transportation packages and accommodation. The forgotten niche is the need of the travelers that now has become a basic one: connectivity,” said CEO of Passpod Hiro Whardana.

The requirement of a company to go public in Indonesia is the fulfillment of net tangible asset (NTA), and Passpod’s financial statement has reflected an increase for about 700 per cent since its official launch. The company provides access to 4G internet and available to be a travelling companion to over 68 countries worldwide.

Singapore’s Sim Lim Square partners with Shopee to provide O2O retail experience – Press Release

Electronic retail complex Sim Lim Square in Singapore announced a partnership with Southeast Asian e-commerce giant Shopee.

The companies will create an omnichannel retail experience for consumers with access to gadgets, electronics, and other IT needs both online on Shopee and offline at Sim Lim Square.

“We see tremendous opportunities in this collaboration and believe that our brick-and-mortar stores will be able to leverage Shopee’s user base, extensive operational support and other value-added services to grow their businesses through e-commerce,” said a Sim Lim Square spokesperson.

Shopee released a survey detailing that more than 70 per cent of consumers are comfortable shopping for electronic products online today through mobile phones and by considering online reviews.

Sim Lim Square and Shopee currently are holding a 10-day launch campaign from August 17 to 31.

Image Credit: Airbnb

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