Chih-Han Yu, CEO of Taiwanese Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Appier, Xiaohua Ji of Chinese edtech startup Guokr.com and Tokopedia Co-Founder William Tanuwijaya represented the Asian tech community on the World Economic Forum’s 2016 list of Young Global Leaders announced this week.
“I’m honoured and humbled to be included in this year’s class of Young Global Leaders among such notable industry names. From medicine to business strategy and advertising, technology and Artificial Intelligence have the potential to change the way we live and do business,” said Chih-Han about the award.
Both Tanuwijaya and Chih-Han were the sole representatives from their country on the list which includes 121 business leaders, government workers, scientists and social activists under the age of 40. Chih-Han is from Taiwan and Tanuwijaya is Indonesian.
According to the website, the World Economic Forum aims to “Select the most innovative, enterprising and socially minded men and women under the age of 40 who are pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them.”
Appier is an AI company that provides companies insights on cross-screen behaviour. So, imagine an e-commerce company trying to figure out when it should target an ad to somebody’s tablet vs. their desktop. Do they use tablets at work? Or maybe only on weekends? Appier provides marketers with that kind of data so they can get more bang for their buck.
On November 3 2015, the company raised a US$23 million Series B funding from UOB Venture Management Pte Ltd (UOBVM), Sequoia India, JAFCO Asia, TransLink Capital, and MediaTek Ventures.
Tanuwijaya started Tokopedia in 2009 and has grown the company into Indonesia’s first unicorn with a business model that allows Indonesians to to open and maintain online stores for free. Earlier this week the company signed an agreement with major Indonesian telco Telkomsel to allow people to buy credit online.
Despite the company’s success, Tanuwijaya told e27 in an interview that it has no interest to expand overseas and would rather focus on untapped market locally.
Finally, Xiaohua’s company Guokr.com is a popular app in China for people to learn science and technology. In October he said he was inspired to create a Discovery or National Geographic for the modern age.
He also recommended that a person who wants to start a company should work in a startup for two or three years before venturing out into entrepreneurship.
In December 2014, Goukr raised a US$20 million Series C.
Other notable people included on this year’s list were Airbnb Co-Founder Joe Gebbia, Sam Altman, Head of Y Combinator and even celebrity turned tech investor Ashton Kutcher.
In the past, the list has included Larry Page and Marissa Meyer.
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