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Taiwan startup ReCactus crowned at 2018 IVS LaunchPad contest
Judy Lin, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

The 2018 Infinity Ventures Summit (IVS), hosted by Japan's Infinity Ventures (IVP) as an annual gathering for global tech startups, has recently wrapped up its three-day run in Taipei, with Taiwan-based startup team ReCactus winning the championship at the IVS LaunchPad contest.

This is the first time that the IVS has been held in Taipei since its inception in 2007 in Japan, attracting the participation of some 1,000 experts, CEOs, angel investors and startup players from Taiwan, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, the USA and Europe, according to IVP.

IVP said that this year, many experts were invited to deliver keynote speeches on latest developments in angel investment, cryptocurrencies, taxation challenges, startup development advantages in Taiwan, and the latest tech trends in Japan. Among the speakers were SEA chief strategy officer Alan Hellawell, iQIYI co-president Xu Weifeng, and chief technology officer Eric Ye.

Championship winner ReCactus is a reaction video social platform, allowing users to make, watch, connect and share reaction videos on YouTube, Facebook or Istagram. Since the app was launched in October 2017, it has become popular with users around the world while also having attracted investors from the US and Southeast Asia.

This year, 14 out of a total of 150 startups registering their presence in the contest had the chance to pitch at the LaunchPad stage, but only five winners were selected. Besides ReCactus, three of the other top four winners are also based in Taiwan, namely TWO, Xpression and SkyRec, with the fifth place taken by ORII from Hong Kong.

IVP said that IVS LaunchPad has been one of the most closely watched startup contest in Japan, as contestants can compete for the attention from media and angel investors by winning a slot to pitch at the activity. Over the past 10 years, around 300 startup teams have got on the IVS LaunchPad stage, having solicited combined investments of over US$600 million. In addition, 11 of them have launched IPO and another 16 startups have been acquired by large-size businesses.

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