Investment in artificial intelligence: Porsche has invested in start-up "Urgent.ly". The American company sees itself as the leading global platform for mobility and roadside assistance. The financing round amounted to 21 million U.S. dollars (18.5 million euros). Alongside "Porsche Ventures", other companies obtained shares in Urgent.ly, including "BMW i Ventures" and "InMotion Ventures", the venture capital division of Jaguar Land Rover.
The U.S. start-up's platform supports roadside assistance services in North America, Europe and Asia.
Using artificial intelligence and geolocation, Urgent.ly connects drivers, service providers and automotive manufacturers in real time, thus coordinating the best and fastest help in the event of a breakdown.
This means that, from the very beginning, the customer is provided with transparency regarding the location (exact to the second) and the expected arrival time of the roadside assistance provider. In the USA, more than half of all roadside assistance providers are already connected to the platform, which serves around 45,000 networked vehicles.
"Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations," says Kilian Sauerwald, Director Aftersales Region and Market Development at Porsche. "The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment."
"The support of our investors confirms our strategy and business model. We are aiming to create a range of services for the mobility and roadside assistance industry which meets the expectations and requirements of our customers," says Chris Spanos, CEO and cofounder of Urgent.ly. "We look forward to continuing to advance our connected services across the global automotive, insurance and mobility markets."
Porsche Ventures seeks strategic investments in business models relating to the customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle, as well as in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality. Through its venture capital activities, the sports car manufacturer Porsche invests in new companies that are in the early and growth phases.
Amongst the latest investments there has been the Berlin-based start-up Gapless. Their blockchain-based solution allows customers to digitally manage their vintage vehicles, including the entire history, and to share it with other users in a forgery-proof way. Porsche also holds shares in the fast-growing Swiss technology company WayRay.
This start-up develops and produces holographic augmented reality head-up display technologies and is working on the ability to seamlessly integrate virtual objects into the driving experience. Porsche also has invested in the start-ups Anagog, Miles and homeiX, as well as technology and sports car company Rimac.
China's private space launch firm, LandSpace, recently announced that it had closed the series B+ round of financing at ¥300m RMB ($43m USD), led by China Growth Capital with Zhongji Investment, 36Kr, Juzhuo Capital and others, bringing the total raised by LandSpace to over ¥800m ($115m USD). The purpose is to create a new commercial aerospace ecosystem consisting of the development, production and testing of the new liquid rockets.
Wayne Shiong, Partner of China Growth Capital (CGC), a leading investor, said, "Following the recent successful landing of the robotic spacecraft, Chang'e-4, on the far side of the moon on 3 Jan 2019, we are confident in the growth of the Chinese aerospace industry for the coming decades.
Private firms like LandSpace can add value by becoming a beneficial market supplement to traditional state-owned firms. LandSpace can greatly shorten the R&D time of small and medium-sized liquid oxygen methane engines in China and effectively reduce the cost of commercial launches in the future."
This financing round of LandSpace will be mainly for the R&D of the 80t liquid oxygen methane engine "Tianque" (TQ-12) and the medium-sized liquid launch vehicle "Zhuque 2" (ZQ2); both are flagship products of LandSpace. The trial run of short nozzle state thrust chamber for engine "Tianque" (TQ12) has been completed by the end of September 2018. It is expected that the test run of the whole system will be completed in the first half of 2019. The mediumsized liquid launch vehicle "Zhuque 2," which is developed based on the engine "Tianque" (TQ12), is planned to have its maiden voyage in 2020.
Zhang Changwu, CEO of LandSpace, believes the privately held firm's remarkable progress is attributed to a clear commercialization strategy and strong technical team. In the future, LandSpace will adhere to its true and tested technical strategy and continue to contribute to China's aerospace industry. LandSpace will focus on R&D, manufacturing and supply chain management, in order to meet the needs of the upcoming commercial launch in 2020.
About LandSpace LandSpace Technology Corporation Ltd. is a Chinese private aerospace enterprise engaged in the R&D and operations of launch vehicles. Focusing on small and medium scale commercial aerospace application market, LandSpace is devoted to the development of Liquid-fuel Rocket Engines (LREs) and low-cost commercial launch vehicles with independent intellectual property rights.
About China Growth Capital China Growth Capital is a leading early-stage venture capital firm in China with an extended interest in Silicon Valley. The firm funds seed to Series B in fintech, enterprise tech and Internet consumer sectors. Since its founding in 2006, China Growth Capital has grown to manage 8 Billion RMB (approximately 1.2 Billion USD) in asset under management across its different RMB and USD funds, with close to 300 portfolio companies. In addition to spaces technology, China Growth Capital has also recently invested in industries such as enterprise software, fintech, medtech, argritech, e-commerce and artificial intelligence etc.
For more information please visit: www.landspace.com www.chinagrowthcapital.com
Largest investment in the European chemical industry in 20 years
INEOS, one of the largest chemical concerns in the world, has chosen the port of Antwerp as the location for a megainvestment of 3 billion euros representing 400 new jobs.
The capital outlay is the largest in the European chemical industry in the past two decades. With the securing of this large-scale investment project Antwerp further reinforces its role as the largest chemical cluster in Europe.
INEOS plans to build a brand-new propane dehydrogenisation (PDH) plant and an ethane cracker unit in Antwerp. These will respectively convert propane into propylene and ethylene as the raw materials for chemical products. These products find their way into many industries including car manufacturing, building construction, clothing, cosmetics and personal grooming products, pharmaceuticals, electronics and packaging materials.
The investment by INEOS confirms and strengthens the competitiveness of Antwerp’s chemical cluster in Europe.
Antwerp as a most attractive location Earlier last year INEOS announced that it planned a large-scale investment for further expansion of its chemical production facilities. Various European locations were considered, but ultimately the British chemical group opted for Antwerp.
INEOS CEO and chairman Jim Ratcliffe: “There are three reasons why we have chosen for Antwerp. We started here in 1998. We know the people here and have nine plants in Belgium and 2,500 employees, and Antwerp is highly competitive regarding connectivity with the European chemical cluster”. Of crucial importance is the fact that INEOS’ products will be destined for the many companies in the Antwerp chemical cluster.
Port of Antwerp: Most competitive chemical cluster in Europe The investment by INEOS confirms and strengthens the competitiveness of Antwerp’s chemical cluster in Europe. Earlier in 2018 also the Austrian chemical concern Borealis announced it would invest 1 billion euros in the port of Antwerp.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Antwerp Port Authority comments: “It is naturally very good news that INEOS has selected our port for this major new investment. It once more demonstrates that we as the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe are very attractive to international investors. This mega-investment brings the total amount of new capital expenditure that we have attracted to Antwerp over the past year to more than 5 billion euros. This will undoubtedly help to secure the presence of industry here in Antwerp.”
New plants operational by 2024 The new production plants of INEOS are expected to be operational by 2024. Once the plants are up and running they will provide 400 full-time jobs directly and five times that number indirectly. Some 3,000 people will be employed during the construction phase.
For more information about the investment by INEOS visit: www.ineos.com | www.portofantwerp.com
For more information about Antwerp’s chemical cluster visit: www.businessinantwerp.eu
JLL's City Momentum Index reveals where in the world to find highest levels of socio-economic and commercial real estate dynamism.
Asia Pacific is home to 19 of the top 20 cities, highlighting the continuing shift of fast urban growth from the West to the East, according to the sixth City Momentum Index published by JLL. The absence of European and American cities demonstrates a marked East-West growth divide, reflecting Asia's continued rapid urbanization and economic growth, driven by globalization, innovation and demographic factors. Overall, Indian and Chinese cities dominate the rankings, accounting for three quarters of the top 20. Leading the pack are Indian cities Bengaluru and Hyderabad, followed by Vietnam's Hanoi in third place. The only non Asian city on the list is Nairobi, in sixth place, which is heavily influenced by significant amounts of infrastructure-focused investment from China.
Jeremy Kelly, Director of Global Research at JLL says: "Asia continues to show strong momentum, with cities that are successfully expanding their innovation economy punching above their weight in terms of attracting capital, companies and people. "It's clear that the tech sector is a key driver of both real estate and economic momentum–driven by large technology firms as well as dynamic start-ups in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ho Chi Minh City and Shenzhen."
Although the global economic cycle is in its late stages, there are still many cities in the world where real estate and economic growth continue to be robust. But while strong growth brings opportunities for economic and social development, it also brings challenges that cities must address to ensure short-term growth transitions into long-term momentum. Investing in infrastructure and greater transparency is essential to facilitate this transition.
Kelly adds: "These cities need to address the environmental and social impacts of rapid growth such as social inequality, congestion and environmental degradation. The provision of smart, efficient and productive real estate and increased transparency are key factors in driving long-term, sustainable growth."
Investment in transformative real estate drives growth Thoughtful and innovative development–such as regeneration projects with a long-term vision that nurture new businesses and improve lives–is essential, as are largescale infrastructure projects that help combat problems around congestion and improve accessibility, according to Kelly. Manila (ranked 12 in this year's Index), for example, is one of the densest cities in the world, with an expanding population. The government has committed to an extensive infrastructure building program, 'Build Build Build', which includes more than 2,000 projects. These are expected to improve congestion, increase power reliability, reduce the impact of climate change, and redevelop urban areas.
Smart infrastructure and technology create liveable cities Technological innovation in the form of greener and smarter buildings also plays an important role in answering the environmental challenges brought about by rapid growth. The Chinese city of Xi'an, ranked ninth in this year's Index, has installed an innovative 100-metre-tall air purifying tower to reduce smog and improve air quality.
FDI crucial for long-term momentum Sustainable long-term momentum and a maturing economy are often supported by long-term foreign direct investment (FDI) and transparent governance. India's fastest growing cities have been successful over recent years, attracting high levels of FDI, with structural reforms (including the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act), encouraging more real estate investment from foreign buyers. A similar story is playing out in Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, which are both on the cusp of joining the ranks of the world's transparent real estate markets. "Transparency is vital in securing the long-term investment that leads to sustainable growth. With strong governance and planning, the private sector can work with city governments to drive change and bring benefits to the real estate market and wider commerciality of a city," concludes Kelly.
Methodology: JLL's City Momentum Index measures momentum for 131 of the world's most commercially active cities by tracking a range of socio-economic and commercial real estate indicators over a three-year period to identify the urban economies and real estate markets undergoing the most rapid expansion. The City Momentum Index presents a weighted overall score for the sub-scores of 20 variables. For each variable the model calculates a score based on the city's performance relative to the distribution of all 131 city regions, scaled from zero to one. The top-scoring city for each variable has a value of one, while the lowest-scoring city receives a value of zero. Variables focus on indicators of socioeconomic momentum and commercial real estate momentum. All real-estate data is sourced to JLL. Non-real estate data is drawn from a wide range of sources that includes Oxford Economics, United Nations, ACI, GaWC and fDI Markets. The Index also sources data from many national statistical offices.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 88,000.
For further information, visit www.jll.com
Korea is at the heart of Northeast Asia, one of the world’s top three economic regions.
Here are some of the reasons that make Korea one of the most attractive destinations for international investors.
Strategic Location: As of 2017, the population of the Northeast Asia is 1.6 billion generating about 25% of the global GDP. Within 2,000 km distance from Korea, a global market with 61 cities and 498 million consumers is located. China, Japan and Korea are the important business hub in Asia for the expansion of business. Located between China and Japan, the world’s second and third-largest economies, respectively, Korea is within a 3-hour flight distance from 147 cities with a population of more than 1 million. At Incheon International Airport, 98 airlines operate flights to 196 cities in 54 countries, including direct flights to 41 cities in China and 24 cities in Japan. As the port of Busan, a hub port in Korea, is located at the center of major sea routes, a total of 455 regular routes for container vessels pass through Busan, with 62.5 to China, 79 to Japan, 105 to Southeast Asia, and 111 to North Ameria (*Source: Busan Port Authority). Through its ports in Incheon, Gwangyangman, and Saemanguem, Korea will emerge as the center of logistics for Northeast Asia as its logistics network is connected with that of Japan and the volume of Milk run (a round trip logistics that facilitates distribution or collection) with China increases.
Korea to Eurasia
As Arctic shipping routes open up, Korea is poised to become a logistics hub for the greater Eurasia region. The polar route running from Busan through Vladivostok and on to Rotterdam is expected to reduce the travel distance by 7,000 km, shipping time by more than 10 days, and shipping rates by more than 15%.
Number One in the World
Korea is a global leader in a wide range of industrial sectors. Already, 223 Fortune 500 companies have entered Korea, and are working with local businesses to increase their global market share. Traditionally, Korea is a powerhouse in the manufacturing industry, with exceptional technological ability and production capacity. It maintains the world’s largest market share in high-tech manufacturing for semiconductors, smartphones and displays, and prides itself in being a top 10 nation in terms of manufacturing competitiveness. (Source: Deloitte, global manufacturing competitiveness index 2016)
Korea is preparing for the industrial era of the future on a foundation of strong competitiveness in manufacturing and technological capabilities that meet or exceed global standards. It is to take pre-emptive response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and take active measures to the paradigm shift of the industry. It continues to make bold investments and support in a long-term perspective. In 2018, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy designated future vehicles, new businesses of energy industry, IoT-based home appliances, bio/healthcare and semi-conductors/displays as projects for innovation and growth, and is preparing and pursuing a variety of promotional policies.
Global FTA Platform: Korea is the only Asian economy that has signed FTAs with all three of the world’s largest markets - the European Union, United States and China. Korea’s global FTA network with 52 partner countries forms the third largest market in the world. Companies from Korea can enter the markets of developed countries by capitalizing on Asia’s strengths.
Korea is a global innovation leader in a broad range of fields, including ICT platforms and process innovation. Korea has ranked 1st on the Bloomberg Global Innovation Index 2018 for five years in a row, a ranking of the world’s 50 most innovative countries carried out by Bloomberg. Korea ranked especially high for R&D spending, education and patents. This culture of innovation is another reason so many companies have invested in Korea.
Korea is a pioneer in the information and communications and technology sector. According to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Measuring the Information Society Report 2017, Korea ranked the second among 176 countries in the annual ICT Development Index (IDI). Korea’s ICT innovation extends beyond information and communications technology, enabling ICT convergence across a broad spectrum of fields, including bio, finance, logistics, tourism and culture. Competitiveness of global Korean companies like Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Hyundai Motor is built on their ability to maintain and improve their manufacturing processes in a timely and precise manner. The manufacturing capability based on Korea’s process innovation will provide opportunities for domestic and foreign companies that wish to capitalize on process innovation capability.
Affordable, reliable utilities
Korea’s power, water, and telecommunications infrastructures are among the best in the world. Electricity is reasonably priced and reliable, while industrial-use water is also readily available from regional sources in most cases. Mobile broadband service is available nationwide, as is sameday wired or wireless service provisioning.
Korea’s IPR protection efforts
Korea’s advances in the protection of intellectual property rights are the result of aggressive, concerted efforts by the Korean government over many years. The patent examination process has been streamlined, resulting in examination periods that are significantly shorter than those of other developed nations, such as the United States and Japan. This combination of robust IPR protection and speedy patent-related services is another reason Korea is a safe and secure investment environment for foreign investors.
Business-friendly investment environment
Korea provides an ideal environment for business success: world-class infrastructure, intellectual property rights protection, high quality of life, FDI-friendly government policies, one-stop investment services and more. In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report, Korea was ranked the 4th easiest place in the world to do business.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Korea
The recent rise in foreign direct investment is attributed to growing capital inflow from investors in emerging countries including China and Middle Eastern nations through the Korea-China FTA, summit diplomacy, and other policy Around 16,000 foreign companies are doing businesses in Korea in a variety of fields including finance, technology, motor vehicles and automotive parts, and medical service. Among them, 223 companies are Fortune 500 Global Enterprises.
Invest Korea: Invest KOREA has 36 overseas offices and 64 investment-promotion specialists around the world to attract more investment. The overseas offices provide information on Korea’s investment environment to potential foreign investors and carry out various investment promotion activities, including investor relations sessions.
Visit the Invest Korea Marketplace: www.investkorea.org