Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai Gains Solid Ground Amid Shanghai City 2020 Plan

Fifteen startups tripled value to RMB 21.2 billion in six months

SHANGHAI, Jan. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai today hosted a graduation and demo day for its most recent batch of startups. The cohort is the second to graduate since the Accelerator launched in January 2017. Following an intensive 4-6 month period of acceleration, the 15 startups have received new rounds of funding totaling 900 million RMB.

The graduation and demo day is a fitting contribution to Shanghai's 2035 urban plan announced at the end of 2017. The plan aims to transform Shanghai into an innovative, people-centered, and eco-friendly metropolis by 2035 with a resident population cap of 25 million. The most populous city proper in the world, Shanghai aims to approach such ambitious goals through technological innovation, an essential factor to transforming the city's economy.

Shanghai has also initiated a plan to develop itself into a global innovation center in science and technology by 2020, to which Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai is an active contributor. As of today, the Accelerator has graduated 29 startups in the coastal metropolis. These burgeoning companies are pushing the edge of technologies like cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. Their solutions are built for industry applications in fintech, smart retail, autonomous cars, and other industries in need of digital transformation for Shanghai to drive its rapid development.

As of today, the total market valuation for Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai's 29 alumni has reached RMB 28.8 billion, with post-incubation growth at over 290%. The graduates have each been valued at more than 100 million RMB, with 19 valued between 100 million and 1 billion RMB, nine valued between 1 and 5 billion RMB and one valued between 5 and 10 billion RMB. All have received Microsoft Azure resources and technology support.

Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai works with ecosystem partners to connect startups with industry resources, including direct access to enterprise customers. Data Grand, a company from the second cohort, has won several international data mining championships hosted by the Association of Computing Machinery. Data Grand, owner of over 30 patents, also works with Fudan University Text Mining Lab on fundamental research. During their time with Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai, Data Grand developed a Microsoft Office plug-in to provide text mining capabilities for general productivity. Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai also worked with PwC China to connect Data Grand with large enterprises and successfully land a partnership with the HR department of Budweiser China.

Fellow graduate Black Lake provides cloud-based solutions for data-driven smart factories. By bringing internet technology to traditional manufacturers, Black Lake lowers the IT and data analytics threshold for factories. Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai successfully bridged Black Lake with Li & Fung, a global supply chain operator with more than 250 locations in over 40 markets, and the Wujiang District of Suzhou, which has a target of growing its local smart manufacturing sector to over 100 billion RMB by 2020.

NextTao and YIMIAN are both data service technology startups. NextTao provides tailor-made big data solutions to retailers to enhance data management. YIMIAN utilizes natural language processing, machine learning and data science to enable real-time business decisions with data-driven insights. The two startups have connected with some of the world's top retailers, including Starbucks, Nike, Walmart and L'Oréal Paris through referrals and retail matchmaking events by Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai.

DataVisor creates solutions for the financial services sector. As the world leading innovator in fraud detection utilizing unsupervised machine learning technology, DataVisor's solution detects attackers without needing training data, and often before damage is done. Microsoft Shanghai Accelerator worked with PwC China to connect DataVisor with local finance service providers, accelerating DataVisor's solution landing in China.

PingCAP is a NewSQL database provider. Inspired by Google Spanner/F1, PingCAP develops TiDB, a popular open source distributed Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing (HTAP) database. The goal of TiDB is to serve as a one-stop solution for online transactions and analysis. Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai connected PingCAP with Microsoft's cloud database R&D team and helped them optimize the architecture for large scale TiDB deployments on the cloud. Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai also helped PingCAP add their TiDB solution to Microsoft Azure Marketplace. With the support of Microsoft Accelerator, TiDB is becoming a formidable competitor for large-scale cloud database solutions for enterprises.

"If you look at the United Nations' World Economic Situation & Prospects for 2018, you'll see that ICT innovation will play a vital role in deepening the influence of technology for productivity growth around the world," said Hsiao-Wuen Hon, CVP of Microsoft and Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group. "China is a key driving force leading the global economy's structural transformation, with startups at the core. Microsoft is building a global network of startups that can also contribute to China's long-term sustainable growth."

"Microsoft Accelerator features integrated resources, global operations and professional services," said James Chou, CEO In-Residence of Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai. "We provide comprehensive innovation and startup services to contribute to Shanghai's supply-side structural transformation. With help from Shanghai and partners, we are able to attract more top technology startups and link their technologies with Shanghai's 2020 target."

Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai also announced new milestones for its finance-focused program Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai FinTech Camp Powered by PwC. "After half a year's operation, our partnership with Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai for the FinTech Camp offers a full suite training comprised of theory, strategy and real world scenarios," said Andrew Li, PwC Central China Advisory Service Partner. "PwC will continue to work with Microsoft Accelerator and extend cooperation into fintech, manufacturing and retail to generate a real impact for the economy."

With its global Microsoft Accelerator program, Microsoft works with later-stage startups to provide the tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise they need to become successful companies, backed by the immense computing power of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Accelerator is a global initiative to accelerate the success of innovative, B2B, enterprise-ready companies by providing unprecedented access to top Microsoft partners and customers, powerful business connections, and technical knowledge. Microsoft Accelerator globally has successfully accelerated 764 startups and with 83% having received next round funding of a total over USD 3.6 billion. China is the only country in the world with two Microsoft Accelerators, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai. The total market valuation for Microsoft Accelerator's China graduates has reached RMB 85.4 billion with post-incubation growth of more than 400%. Four companies are now listed on China National Equites and Exchange Quotations (NEEQ) - also known as the New Third Board Market - while 13 have been acquired to date.

Microsoft Accelerator was founded in 2012 and has been named "The Best Accelerator/Incubator in China" for five consecutive years by ChinaVenture Group, China's leading venture capital and private equity data service company. The products and services owned by Microsoft Accelerator China alumni boast a global reach of more than 700 million consumers and 10 million enterprise customers.

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