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Former Microsoft CTO sets up shop in Hengqin

Photo app aims to break into China market after US$25 mln cash injection through joint venture

A company started by the former Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Microsoft is setting up shop in Hengqin, according to a press release by the group. Mylio, brainchild of David Vaskevitch, the founder who also serves as CEO of the company, recently underwent a joint venture with Hong Kong-listed China Everbright, Ltd. The Mainland-based company is involved in industrial investment and is a self-proclaimed ‘leading player in China’s environmental protection industry’.
The agreement between the two companies allows for a US$25 million cash infusion from China Everbright that will ‘fuel the development of new products’, according to the release.
China Everbright will ‘also serve as a distribution partner, opening the door for Mylio to use the large, engaged, mobile-centric Chinese market as a test bed for continued innovation’.
Mylio is most recognised for its development of a photo-organising app that reduces the file size of each image through compression, saving space while not altering the aspect of the images, as well as resulting in quicker loading time.
The app runs on the company’s platform, a self-defined ‘first Internet file system over a personal mesh network platform in the world’. The system can work standalone, or integrate with editing applications including Aperture and Lightroom, use the Internet or a cloud, and generate its own local network, allowing access across devices, syncing automatically.
Images are uploaded to a file structure, searchable by keyword, date, location or other methods, with all metadata stored in an XML file – making the info easily shareable with organising software, ideal for travelling photographers – as noted in publication Outdoor Photographer.
“The infrastructure we’ve built for mesh network syncing includes multi-device replication, communication, and facial recognition. It also includes an artificial intelligence (AI) system that will be foundational to a multitude of new apps,” notes Vaskevitch.
“We’re excited to explore these ideas with strategic, well positioned partners like China Everbright, who can provide Mylio with the market scale to rapidly acid-test new ideas,” he notes. “The size of the Chinese Mainland market, we believe, will add rocket fuel to our innovations,” states the founder and avid photographer.

New digs
The new facilities in Hengqin will ‘be used to develop new AI and machine learning products specific to Hengqin, as well as extend the Mylio platform and app to the Chinese Mainland market’ notes the report.
The group notes that it was ‘selected’ as the ‘first development partner’ – in what it opines will be the next software and AI hub: ‘a Sino-version of Silicon Valley,’ according to the release – due to it concentrating on ‘distributed computing – the opposite of centralised, cloud computing’.
The company is ‘betting that the next chapter in computing will include simple, powerful productivity tools that work equally well on desktops and mobile devices, without the need for cloud storage’, meaning that the Mylio photo app will ‘run on the device – instead of the cloud’, purportedly resulting in ‘increased convenience, speed and efficiency’.
The company’s founder joined Microsoft in 1986, serving for 23 years, assuming the role of Chief Technical Officer from 2002 to 2010, and reporting directly to Bill Gates until his 2008 retirement. Vaskevitch founded Mylio in 2012.
China Everbright registered profit amounting to HK$2.78 billion last year, with revenue amounting to HK$13.97 billion.
No timeline was provided for the opening of the facility in Hengqin.
Business Daily contacted both Mylio and China Everbright for comment but had not received any response to enquiries by the time this story went to print.