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Patent Wars, Nokia and Apple Agree to Truce

Tech giants Apple and Nokia have proven once again that in business, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. The two companies, known for their extended patent disputes and public mudslinging suddenly patched things up and entered into a new licensing agreement.Nokia and Apple end Patent Battle

According to reports, Apple will resume selling Nokia’s health products formerly sold under the brand Whitings. Recall that shortly after Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement in December 2016, the former took Whitings products off its virtual shelves.

The bold mobile and tech innovators have yet to disclose full details of their new licensing agreement. However, it has been reported that Nokia will be receiving hefty sums from Apple, plus additional revenue. Apart from the multi-year business collaboration agreement, the companies announced that they are “exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives”.

Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia: “It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.”

Truce Ends Patent Battle Between Apple and Nokia

The two companies started their series of patent disputes in 2009; Nokia slapped Apple technologies with lawsuits in the US and Germany over 32 patent infringement cases. The partnership paved the way for the settlement of all these cases.

It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers.

Under the new partnership, Nokia will provide network infrastructure products and services to Apple. The two have even agreed on regular summits between Nokia and Apple top executives.

“We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

The up-front cash payment from Apple will positively affect Nokia’s ledgers. The latter will provide a comprehensive update of its capital structure optimization program in time for its Q3 2017 figures.



17 Start-ups Pushing Asia’s Growth Into First Place

Asia’s growth is leading to a new standard of economic power. Over the past two decades, Asia has dominated when it comes to starting and growing businesses. From virtual reality startups to food technology startups, Asia is on the move.

BBC News has reported that by 2023 Asia’s growth may surpass Europe and North America combined in terms of global power, based upon population size, technology advancement, military spending, and GDP.

Many of the startup companies have progressed into unicorns. Unicorns are private businesses or companies assessed at $1 billion or more. Uber, a ride-sharing service, currently leads the global valuation table at around $66 billion. However, competition is never far away.

Looking for Unicorns? Asia May Be Your Best Bet

Asia hosts a number of startup companies that have reached a value of $1 billion. Following are some of the most well-funded startup companies in Asia mentioned at CB Insights:

These 17 companies are worth watching.

  • Didi Chuxing – A powerful ride-sharing company, providing transportation services across 400 cities in China. Cheng Wei is the Co-Founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing. The company is located in Beijing. The ride-sharing company was formed from the merger of rival firms Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. Didi Chuxing has a total disclosed funding of $14 billion.
  • Flipkart – India’s biggest online store for mobiles, fashion, electronics, appliances, books, jewelry, and more. Flipkart is located in Bangalore. The electronic commerce company was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Kalyan Krishnamurthy has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer. Flipkart has a total disclosed funding of $4.6 billion.
  • GO-JEK – A hyper-local transport, logistics, and payments startup in Indonesia. Founded in 2010, GO-JEK aims to enhance the welfare of workers in the country’s vast informal sector. Nadiem Makarim is the CEO of GO-JEK and is said to be the man who turned the company into Indonesia’s hottest startup. Its total disclosed funding is $1.7 billion.
  • Coupang – One of the largest and fastest growing e-commerce platforms on the planet. The company is based in South Korea. Coupang has offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Silicon Valley, which makes it a global company. The company began by offering daily deals on services but has now expanded to partnering with merchants and selling physical goods. Bom Kim is the Founder and CEO of Coupang. The company has a total disclosed funding of $1.4 billion.
  • Grab – A technology company that provides a wide range of logistics and ride-hailing services. Grab’s headquarters is located in Singapore but offers service in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Anthony Tan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Grab, formerly known as GrabTaxi. Its total disclosed funding is $1.4 billion.
  • Campaign Monitor – A heavy weight in Asia’s growth streak, this online email marketing application lets designers create, send, manage, and track branded emails for themselves and their clients. Alex Bard is the Chief Executive Officer of Campaign Monitor, located in Australia. He previously served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Salesforce Service Cloud. Campaign Monitor’s total disclosed funding is $251 million.
  • WeLab – A financial technology company located in Hong Kong. The company provides financing products through its online lending platforms – WeLend and Wolaidai in Hong Kong and China respectively. Simon Loong is the Founder and CEO of WeLab. WeLab’s total disclosed funding is $205 million.
  • iFlix – A subscription video-on-demand service focused on emerging markets. In Asia, its regional headquarters are based in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Currently, iFlix is available in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Maldives, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, and Sudan. The video-on-demand service has more than 5 million subscribers. Azran Osman Rani is the COO and CEO of iFlix Malaysia. He was previously the CEO of AirAsia X. Its total disclosed funding is $165 million.
  • Mercari – The biggest community-powered shopping application in Japan. Based in Tokyo, Mercari lets people easily purchase and sell second-hand items in a mobile marketplace using their smartphones. Shintaro Yamada is the President and CEO of Mercari in Tokyo, while Ryo Ishizuka is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mercari in San Francisco, USA. Its total disclosed funding is $115 million.
  • Appier – A technology company that offers next generation cross-screen solutions to advertisers around the world. Appier was launched in 2012 in Taipei, with offices in San Francisco and Singapore. Chih-Han Yu is the Founder and CEO of Appier. Before Appier, Yu founded and ran Plaxie, an independent game studio focused on creating intelligent mobile and social games. Appier’s total disclosed funding is $49 million.
  • Vend – A retail management and a cloud-based point-of-scale software platform that lets retailers run their business in-store, on-the-go, or online. Vend was developed by Vaughan Rowsell in August 2010. Alexander Fala is the CEO of Vend. It is located in New Zealand. Vala was a Trustee at Alliance Health Plus before he joined Vend. Its total disclosed funding is $48 million.
  • Zameen – The leading online real estate database that connects real estate agencies, dealers, and developers with buyers, renters, and sellers in Pakistan. The company has offices in 11 cities across Pakistan. Zameen was launched in 2006 by two brothers, Zeeshan and Imran Ali Khan. Back then, Zameen was a free-for all-website but eventually altered to a paid model. Its total disclosed funding is $31 million.
  • aCommerce – The leading eCommerce solutions provider in Southeast Asia. Located in Thailand, aCommerce helps businesses adopt a local online strategy in order to win local markets and cater to the needs of customers. Paul Srivorakul is the Group Chief Executive Officer. He is also currently the Co-Founder and Chairman of Ardent Capital, a private capital fund, accelerator, and incubator in SE Asia. aCommerce has a total disclosed funding of $29 million.
  • Tiki – The fastest-growing retail company in Vietnam. Tiki is also well-positioned to be an industry winner. It was founded in 2010, featuring more than 300,000 products in 12 categories of lifestyle, books, and electronics. Son Tron is the Founder and CEO of Tiki. Its total disclosed funding is $20 million.
  • ABC360 – ABC360 aims to become the best and largest leading professional online English lesson provider to young professionals in China. The company is located in Baguio City, Philippines. Li Jing is the Founder and CEO of ABC360. Its total disclosed funding is $15 million.
  • CloudWell – An Application Service Provider working for many verticals with a special concentration in the payments sector. CloudWell wants to bring consistent standards and interoperable regulations to payment systems. Founded in 2012 and located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Anisul Islam is the Founder and CEO of CloudWell. Its total disclosed funding is $2 million.
  • Khmerload – One of the leading online media sites in Southeast Asia. Khmerload has a current footprint in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. The online site has 4.2 million unique visitors a month. Vichet In is the Co-Founder and CEO of Khmerload. Its total disclosed funding is $200,000.

Asia has gained muscle when it comes to business, and companies are vying to stake their claim to this huge market. With the advancements and innovations that China and other neighboring countries offer, Asia’s growth might be claiming the number one spot.


Privatize Air Traffic Control for Safer, Better Air Travel

During a recent event in the White House, President Donald Trump signed a letter of initiative for the air traffic control privatization to privatize America’s air traffic control system. The bold idea is not new. In 1987, the Commission on Privatization of President Ronald Reagan identified air-traffic control as ready for outsourcing, but the said idea failed. Now, the Trump Administration is hoping that its proposal would be passed in Congress.

Broken. Horrible. Antiquated. These are some of the words that President Trump used to outline the present air-traffic control system of America. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration, a government agency that takes over all features of commercial aviation, is running the system.PPP for the FAA

The idea is to transfer some responsibilities of the FAA to a private nonprofit organization. The President’s plan, however, is not a complete air traffic control privatization because it would only take about two-thirds of the workforce. The FAA would still continue to oversee the air-traffic control system, but the newly formed organization will be accountable for directing planes both in the air and on the ground.

Increasing Efficiency with Air Traffic Control Privatization

President Donald Trump has argued that his idea of air traffic control privatization of the air traffic control system will make flying safer. The administration believes that refurbishing air traffic control would lessen delays and increase efficiency. He has also guaranteed that taxpayers would not spend a dime for this move.

The plan is said to be necessary because efforts to modernize the system have been interrupted. It happened despite the number of American travelers have increased to 700 million a year.

The FAA has been trying to work on a $35-billion upgrade for nearly 15 years. The Next Generation Air Transportation System also known as NextGen, is a new National Airspace System that is due for implementation around America in stages between 2012 and 2025.

50 other nations have privatized or partially privatized their air traffic control systems.

The system is going to scrap the radar-based aircraft tracking in favor of GPS, the controllers’ voice commands for digital ones, and it will phase in many advanced flight planning software. The upgrades will let airlines to make more direct and faster routes.

Despite all the preparations for the upgrade, the NextGen program has missed a lot of its key deadlines over the years.

Trump said “our plan will get you where you need to go more quickly, more reliably, more affordably and, yes – for the first time in a long time – on time. We will launch this air travel revolution by modernizing the outdated system of air traffic control. It’s about time”.

Air Traffic Control Privatization: Not the First Attempt

There were also previous attempts at privatizing the United States’ air traffic control system in the past. Back in 1970s, the idea was proposed but didn’t go anywhere. Last year, Representative Bill Shuster, the Republican Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, brought the idea back. But unfortunately, the legislation got scrapped in the Senate.

Not everyone is a fan of the move. Rural airports, small airlines, communities, and general aviation enthusiasts are nervous about the move. They are worried that new user fees could create a bigger burden on smaller operators.air traffic control privatization makes for better travel.

Congressional Democrats are not too crazy about the idea, either. Nancy Pelosi said, “Selling off our air traffic control system threatens passenger safety, undermines the FAA’s ongoing modernization, jeopardizes access to rural airports, and adds to the deficit.”

Countries that have a Private Air Traffic Control System

Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany have already separated their air traffic control functions from their safety oversight and regulatory functions. Each country has commercialized its air traffic control function into an Air Navigation Service Provider using different organizational structures.

The Washington Post says Canada is the only country that has developed a private nonprofit air-traffic corporation called NavCanada. It can create long-term financial commitments, lower the fees it charges airlines, and raise private capital.

National Air Traffic Services or NATS is the main Air Navigation Service Provider in the United Kingdom. It provides en-route air traffic control services to flights within the Shanwick Oceanic Control Area and the UK Flight Information Regions. It also provides air traffic control services to 14 airports in the UK.

Deutsche Flugsicherung is Germany’s private air traffic control organization. DFS provides a safe and fast flow of air traffic over Germany. It operates control centers in Langen, Karlsruhe, Bremen, and Munich.

At least 50 other nations have privatized or partially privatized their air traffic control systems.

The Trump Administration’s move to privatize air traffic control system will not only see innovation but growth as well. Growth, which is going to be beneficial for all people. Private businesses can provide better, more efficient, cheaper, and safer air travel.