Liftoff appoints Kota Amano as country manager for its Japan operations

California-based mobile app marketing and retargetting platform Liftoff announced its official launch to the Japanese market today with the appointment of Country Manager Kota Amano, former Senior Director of Partner Development, APAC at Criteo.

In a press statement, Liftoff said that it has opened a data centre in Tokyo and is hiring a team of Sales and Customer Success Managers. It also said to have “kicked off business” with local customers and is in the process of closing deals with local suppliers.

The expansion to Japan marks Liftoff’s third global presence following recent expansion to the UK and Singapore.

US government officials confirmed no permit for New York-Washington, D.C. hyperloop

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on his personal Twitter account earlier today that The Boring Company has received a “verbal government approval” to build underground hyperloop connecting four American cities from New York City to Washington, D.C.

But several city, state, and federal government officials later denied that a permission has been given, according to a Guardian report. Some spokesmen of local transportation agencies even said that they have never been contacted by either Musk or his company.

Musk has since added a new tweet saying that “a lot of work” is still needed until a formal approval is given, but he remains optimistic that it will occur “rapidly.”

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Google Lounge opens in Indonesia

Google for Entrepreneurs has teamed up with Indonesian startup ecosystem builder Kibar to launch Google Lounge in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.

The lounge will be a platform to “build communities and strengthen the startup ecosystem in Indonesia.” Through the Google for Entrepreneurs Passport, members of the lounge will also have access to 20 places that are available for Google Partners around the world, from Seoul to San Francisco.

Google for Entrepreneurs and Kibar are also set to create several programmes for their members.

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Left to right: Neil El Himam (ICT Infrastructure Director, BEKRAF), Tony Keusgen (Managing Director, Google Indonesia), Rudiantara (Minister of Communications and Informatics), Yansen Kamto (Chief Executive, Kibar), Michael Kim (Google for Entrepreneur). Image Credit: Google for Entrepreneurs

Tonggak.id is launched to help Indonesian startups find problems to fix

The Indonesian presidential office’s initiative for data-based policy-making (Satu Data Indonesia Kantor Staf Presiden, SDIKSP), Gadjah Mada University, and Kibar (through the 1000 Startup programme) have launched Tonggak, a knowledge-sharing platform for academician, researchers, and communities.

The platform will provide “curated, actual, and validated” data that is believed to be beneficial for startup founders.

The initiative was founded based on a survey result from participants of the 1000 Startup programme. The participants claimed that they have been struggling in determining the right business idea for their own hometown, particularly due limited resources and access to information, which led to their inability to build an innovative business.

In its early stage, Tonggak will focus on six categories of problems that have been set as priorities by the government: Food security, maritime, education, health, culture, and logistics.

Modalku launches new mobile app

Indonesian P2P lending platform Modalku has launched a new mobile app to help investors register and start investing on small and medium enterprises.

The mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Prior to this app, Modalku has launched a mobile app named Modalku Dana Usaha, which is meant for SME owners looking for investment through the platform.

Left to right: Dr. Hendrikus Passagi (Financial Services Authority, OJK), Reynold Wijaya (Modalku), David Ng (Modalku user). Image Credit: Modalku

Image Credit: torsakarin / 123RF Stock Photo