Daily Archives: January 17, 2018

Colliers Launches Real Estate Technology Accelerator With Techstars

Partnership with Global Technology Investor and Accelerator Leader Highlights Commitment to Real Estate Industry Innovation

TORONTO, Jan. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Colliers International Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGI) and (TSX:CIGI), a global leader in commercial real estate services, today announced the launch of the Colliers Proptech Accelerator powered by Techstars.

“Disruptive changes in technology, evolving demographics, fierce global competition and increased connectivity are factors impacting all industries,” said Dylan Taylor, Colliers President & COO. “And the commercial real estate industry is no exception. Colliers sees this as an opportunity and is committed to being the most enterprising company in our industry by developing innovative and value enhancing services for our clients and professionals. Partnering with Techstars allows us to harness the best and brightest in operating technology accelerators and selectively evaluate and invest in new technologies. The new Colliers Proptech Accelerator powered by Techstars enhances our unique culture of innovation while developing differentiated solutions for our clients.”

“The Colliers Proptech Accelerator powered by Techstars will provide us with early insight into companies and technologies that have the potential to deliver value enhancing strategies to our clients and better arming our professionals to execute,” said Jay Hennick, Colliers Chairman & CEO. “Combining Techstars’ record of success with new technologies and Colliers’ leading market knowledge and global platform in real estate ensures we remain at the forefront of innovation. Colliers Proptech Accelerator will enable us to source, shape and invest in new solutions and opportunities across the real estate value chain, providing a competitive advantage for our clients, employees and shareholders.”

The Colliers Proptech Accelerator powered by Techstars is a first-of-its-kind program that identifies and mentors startups around the globe that are developing industry-disrupting technologies in the property and real estate industry. Startups selected will be hosted in Toronto, Canada, Colliers global headquarters, for an intensive 13-week program focused on the development and acceleration of technology driven solutions. Applications will be open for the first Colliers Proptech Accelerator class in February 2018. Startups may apply at Techstars.com/apply.

“Techstars is the worldwide platform that exists to help entrepreneurs succeed. Our cultural alignment with Colliers and ability to leverage its expertise and global platform creates a one-of-a-kind partnership in the real estate services industry,” said David Brown, founder and co-CEO of Techstars. “The Proptech startups selected for this program will create deep connections with Colliers’ industry experts worldwide while allowing them to accelerate their growth and business success in the future.”

About Colliers International Group

Colliers International Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGI) and (TSX:CIGI) is an industry leading global real estate services company with 15,000 skilled professionals operating in 68 countries. With an enterprising culture and significant employee ownership, Colliers professionals provide a full range of services to real estate occupiers, owners and investors worldwide. Services include strategic advice and execution for property sales, leasing and finance; global corporate solutions; property, facility and project management; workplace solutions; appraisal, valuation and tax consulting; customized research; and thought leadership consulting.

Colliers professionals think differently, share great ideas and offer thoughtful and innovative advice that helps clients accelerate their success. Colliers has been ranked among the top 100 global outsourcing firms by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals for 12 consecutive years, more than any other real estate services firm. Colliers also has been ranked the top property manager in the world by Commercial Property Executive for two years in a row.

For the latest news from Colliers, visit Colliers.com or follow us on Twitter (@Colliers) and LinkedIn.

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. www.techstars.com.

COMPANY CONTACTS:
Dylan Taylor
President & COO
Phone: (416) 324-4390

John B. Friedrichsen
Chief Financial Officer | Global
Phone: (416) 960-9500

TECHSTARS CONTACT:
Joanie Kindblade
Phone: (303) 562-6230

Copyright © 2018 GlobeNewswire, Inc.

BnkToTheFuture Raises Initial $30 Million for Tokenized Securities Market and Due Diligence Platform

Largest Online Investment Platform for Fintech, Bitcoin, and Blockchain Ventures to Distribute BnkToTheFuture Token (BFT) for Equity-Backed Token Deals to Accredited Investors

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Jan. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Financial technology investment platform BnkToTheFuture (www.bnktothefuture.com) has raised an initial $30 million for its tokenized equity market and due diligence platform within the first 24 hours of of its token pre-sale open solely to institutional investors and members of its platform. BnkToTheFuture offers the largest online investment platform for investing in the equity of FinTech, Bitcoin, and Blockchain companies as well as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that have passed a stringent due-diligence and compliance process.

Already popular as an online investment platform with almost 50,000 professional and accredited investors with over $260 million invested in the funding rounds of FinTech, Bitcoin, and blockchain deals listed on its platform including Kraken, BitFinex, BitStamp, and Shape Shift, BnkToTheFuture will now incorporate blockchain technology with the aim of allowing for the trading of security tokens in 2018 and will issue its BnkToTheFuture token to support deal flow analysis, due diligence, and investor relations on the platform.

BnkToTheFuture’s public token sale, capped at $3 million, will launch on February 6, 2018, limited to those that wish to purchase $1,000 worth of tokens to utilise its membership. Each person pays the same price for the BnkToTheFuture token in all three phases of the token sale: private pre-sale for institutional investors, pre-sale for qualified investors from the BnkToTheFuture platform, and the public sale.

In today’s booming global ICO sector, investors are increasingly demanding a more transparent marketplace that allows flexibility in trading existing investments and gaining early access to new deals, all while maintaining many of the protections provided by traditional equity investments. The recent uptick in international regulator scrutiny and SEC rulings will inevitably lead to the majority of offerings being viewed as securities. BnktotheFuture solves such issues for both issuers and investors alike due to a combination of having attained a suite of securities business registrations and building a compliance-driven platform.  In addition, the platform aims to offer real-time access, pricing, liquidity, and a transparent marketplace for trading private equity.

“The ICO boom has proved that there is a huge appetite to allocate funds to Blockchain technology when a liquid secondary market exists,” said Simon Dixon, CEO of BnkToTheFuture. “If they had the choice I think most would have preferred to trade shares in the company rather than tokens with no shareholder rights. With the current regulatory landscape, we feel the time is right to bring ICO style trading and liquidity to the private equity markets all through a compliance-driven platform.”

Among other features, BnkToTheFuture’s token will grant existing users access to the platform’s multi-tiered membership for qualifying investors to access priority deals and also will act as a reward to other token holders who conduct, on behalf of the platform and community, due diligence on prospective deals, such as sourcing prospects or managing investor relations by giving status updates on a listed company’s progress.

ABOUT BNK TO THE FUTURE

BnkToTheFuture is the largest global online investment platform focused exclusively on FinTech, bitcoin, and blockchain ventures. The platform is compliance-driven with international financial regulations and over $260 million has been invested in deals listed on its platform including BitFinex, BitStamp, Kraken, ShapeShift and over 100 others. For more information, visit https://bnktothefuture.com/.

MEDIA CONTACT: Transform Group, bnktothefuture@transform.pr

DISCLAIMER
Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any tokens. You should read carefully and understand fully the BnkToTheFuture White Paper, including any updates. Every potential token purchaser will be required to undergo an on-boarding process that includes identity verification and certain other documentation, which you should read carefully and understand fully because you will be legally bound. Please make sure to consult with appropriate advisors and others.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

A Year of Incredible Growth for the Global Business Aviation Unicorn

VistaJet ideally positioned to seize even larger market share in 2018

  • Flew over 50,000 passengers in one year for the first time
  • Investment from Rhône Capital values company’s equity at over $2.5bn – making VistaJet one of the only companies in the business aviation market to be valued in excess of $1bn and one of Europe’s most valuable “Unicorns”
  • Double digit growth in flight hours in the US and Asia
  • Market outperformance in the Middle East – number of new Program customers grew by 50% year-on-year in the region
  • 45% of US Program customers who joined in 2017 have booked additional hours
  • Increased market share in all markets, including the US and the Middle East
  • Now have 72 long range aircraft, making its fleet one of the largest in the private aviation sector
  • Average flight times increasing, and expected to rise still further in 2018
  • Focused on taking advantage of sector leading position in Middle East and building market share in North America and Asia

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, today announced that it had its strongest ever year in 2017, with flight hours up markedly year-on-year. It also made significant progress on its core strategic priorities, increasing market share across the globe, and recording double digit growth in flight hours in both the US and Asia. Also, following investment from funds affiliated with Rhône Capital, the company’s equity is valued well in excess of $2.5bn, cementing VistaJet’s position as one of the top five European unicorns by funding.1

If current trends continue, 2018 is expected to be another momentous year for the company. The upper-end of the sector historically tracks the global economy, and with Europe, the US and the Middle East seeing growth once more, demand is only set to build in 2018. While the more budget end of the sector is struggling, trading for premium brands such as VistaJet is strong, as business leaders, corporations and UHNWIs are becoming ever more selective in their booking choices.12829225_199430307084727_4532089345837303576_o

Where previously customers were most interested in speed and efficiency, in 2018 the key will be attention to detail, additional services, and a personalized experience. Generations that have grown up with having the world at their fingertips are increasingly searching for travel options that match their lifestyles, preferences, and attitudes. On top of that, the options created by exciting new long-range aircraft models such as the Global 7000 will only add to the positive momentum in the sector. Customers are also choosing to fly ever more globally, meaning that average flight times are rising. As a result, demand for larger aircraft is building; in the private aviation market, only VistaJet is able to meet this need all over the world.

With the growth of the tech sector on the West Coast of the US and a growing body of entrepreneurs in key global financial hubs such as Dubai, the audience for private aviation will get even younger in 2018. After many years of stability, the private aviation industry is finally beginning to innovate to meet this burgeoning demand. VistaJet is at the forefront of these steps; it’s On Demand solutions and Direct app give entrepreneurs transparency over pricing, and its business model is based on access over ownership, an approach users of Uber and Airbnb are familiar with.

Other 2017 highlights include:

  • VistaJet performed strongly in the Middle East, with the number of new Program customers growing by 50% year on year. The company recorded a particularly robust performance in the UAE, and the growing markets of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. The UAE accounted for the majority of flights in the region (at 28%), and the number of flight hours (37%).
  • Heading into 2018, VistaJet is seeing very positive trends in the Middle East, with both flight hours and flight numbers increasing significantly. In the fourth quarter of last year, the number of flights to the UAE grew by 44%, and to Oman by 300%.
  • VistaJet continued to grow its market share in the key markets of the US and Asia. While the market as a whole in the US grew by low single digits, VistaJet saw its flight hours increase by 38% year-on-year, and the number of flights by 49%. One of the main drivers of this growth was the sustained demand on the West Coast of the US, particularly from the Tech sector.
  • Strong growth in Asia, with flight hours increasing by 16%. The fastest growing countries in the region were China and India. With its growing economy and increasing number of global entrepreneurs, India is set to be one of the most exciting markets for the private aviation sector in the world over the next 5 years. In addition, the economy in China is proving more resilient than many expected, meaning that the private aviation sector is likely to flourish in the country throughout 2018.
  • VistaJet cemented its position as one of the leading operators in Europe in 2017. Europe accounted for 41% of the total hours flown by the company in the period, with the UK making up 26%, France 19% and Italy 11% of regional flights.
  • VistaJet continued to lead the market in 2017 in terms of innovation and technology. Over the last twelve months, the company launched VistaJet Direct, its new digital membership which offers priority access to VistaJet’s one-way and empty leg flights at preferential rates. The new offer is expected to be a key driver of the business’ growth over the coming years.

Thomas Flohr, VistaJet’s Founder and Chairman, said:

“Last year was undoubtedly a transformational year for VistaJet, and a turning point in its history. With the investment from Rhône Capital, we are now firmly established as one of Europe’s leading and most exciting unicorns, and one of the only companies in the business aviation market to be valued in excess of $1bn. 

We had our strongest ever year in 2017. Along with seizing market share from our rivals in all of our core markets, including the largest market in the world – the US, we reinforced our position as the brand of choice for the world’s leading business leaders and entrepreneurs. In the last twelve months, we have flown more Chief Executives and Chairmen to more destinations than we ever have before.

We head into 2018 in a fantastic position. While some of our smaller competitors are finding trading challenging, with our unicorn status and robust operational foundations we are ideally placed to lead the market and seize any new opportunities that arise. We are committed to becoming the No.1 player in every market in which we operate, and we are on course to make great strides towards that goal over the next twelve months.”

Looking ahead to 2018, the company remains focused on building its share in the largest markets in the world, namely North America and Asia, while also taking advantage of its sector leading position in the rapidly growing markets in the Middle East. VistaJet’s subscription business model will continue to be a central pillar in its business, and with more customers than ever before expected to choose to increase their hours in 2018, the global trend away from full and fractional ownership is set to continue.

Information

Jennifer Farquhar
VistaJet International
T: +44 (0) 203 617 3077
M: +44 (0) 7834 335505
jennifer.farquhar@vistajet.com

James Leviton
Finsbury
+44 207 251 3851
VistaJet@finsbury.com

About VistaJet

VistaJet is the first and only global aviation company. On its fleet of silver and red business jets, VistaJet has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries worldwide. Founded in 2004 by Thomas Flohr, the company pioneered an innovative business model where customers pay only for the hours they fly, free of the responsibilities and asset risks linked to aircraft ownership. VistaJet’s signature Program service offers customers a bespoke subscription of flight hours on its fleet of mid and long-range jets, to fly them anywhere and at any time.

1 https://www.nanalyze.com/2017/10/8-biggest-startups-europe/

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a1dc8290-4e50-47fa-9609-d53531e5fa2a

Vietnam as Next Global Blockchain Hub – Vietnam Blockchain Week

HO CHI MINH, Vietnam, Jan. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vietnam will host Vietnam Blockchain Week – its first global conference dedicated to blockchain technology and development.

Blockchain’s Explosive Growth in Southeast Asia

Malaysian banks piloting blockchain payment systems, Singaporean incubators investing heavily in 4.0 technology startups, India putting land rights on blockchain and Indonesian regulators developing technology sandboxes – Southeast Asia is quickly establishing itself as a region eager to adopt, explore and innovate blockchain technologies. Vietnam is the latest country to gain attention for its potential as a major hub.

Why Vietnam?

Vietnam’s potential as a blockchain leader will be highlighted at the nation’s first major blockchain conference. The nation is one of the world’s fastest growing economies (6-7% growth per annum) with a young population (over 40% of the 95 million population are under the age of 24) that is hungry for blockchain and other 4.0 technologies. In 2017, universities across the country began offering exclusive blockchain courses and the motivated graduates along with Vietnam’s forward-looking and robust tech talents are exploring blockchain-driven innovations for the nation’s rapidly expanding technology and service sectors. Vietnam Blockchain Week will discuss impacts to these fields inside and outside the region.

Why Vietnam Blockchain Week?

Vietnam Blockchain Week will showcase the significant growth of blockchain in the country as well as the many involved companies, institutions and organizations. Two uniquely curated panel and presentation tracks will be available – one for business/regulators and one for developers. Key topics will include incubation efforts, how blockchain can impact the unbanked, global supply chains, digital payment systems and IoT. Blockchain’s role in Regtech will be highlighted, including discussions about blockchain regulations, government partnerships and compliance services. Special attention will also be paid to examining Vietnam’s blockchain landscape.

Technology, regulation and development experts from blockchain startups and major corporations from Vietnam and around the world will share their experiences, insights, and knowledge with more than 1,500+ attending professionals. Speakers include executives at Hong Kong Fintech Association, NEO, Hyperledger and National Payment Corporation of Vietnam.

Vietnam is in a rare position to leapfrog to the front of the global blockchain community and this conference will provide a revealing survey of its future impacts.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/deac5fd7-8b50-450b-a7b7-917c5bfb4a99

For collaboration/sponsorship opportunities please contact  events@blockchainlabs.asia

EU leaders: The UK can still change mind on Brexit

Before the European parliament on Tuesday, both European Council President Donald Tusk and his European Commission counterpart, Jean-Claude Juncker, said the door remains open to the UK remaining in the EU.

Their comments refer to talk of a second referendum that has arisen recently. Tusk said that if the UK sticks by its decision to leave, then Brexit will become a reality in 2019 with all the negative consequences that will bring.

Source: VOV5

Top Vietnamese athletes, teams of 2017 honored

Outstanding individual athletes and teams were honored at the 2017 Victory Cup awards ceremony in Hanoi on Tuesday.

Nguyen Hong Minh, former Director of the High-Performance Sports Department, said: The Victory Cup is in recognition of those who contribute most to national sports. The award is of great value in boosting athletic efforts.

With a gold medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup, one Asian tournament gold medal, and three more at the SEA Games, gymnast Le Thanh Tung won the trophy for Male Athlete of the year.

Long jumper Bui Thi Thu Thao was honoured as Female Athlete of the Year, thanks to her achievements of one gold at the Asian championship, two more at the Asian Grand Prix, and one title at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Swimmer Nguyen Huu Kim Son became the Young Athlete of the Year. Football trainer Mai Duc Chung was voted Coach of the Year. The women’s team Chung coached was the Team of the Year. Chess master Pham Tran Gia Phuc was the popular favourite for sport person of the year. World champion Le Van Cong won the Athlete with Disabilities class.

The event, jointly organised by the Vietnam Cable Television Corporation, the Sport 24h Company, and the Vietnam Administration of Sports, was first held in 2015.

Source: VOV5

Iran calls for Islamic unity

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday urged Islamic countries to unite to ensure development congruent with each country’s capacity.

This does not means pursuing isolation, he said, but supporting constructive and fair development. His words came after the US threatened to withdraw from the nuclear deal Iran signed in 2015 with the P5+1, consisting of the UK, the US, Russia, France, China, and Germany.

Source: VOV5