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Hong Kong Startup News Round Up - December 29

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24 Startups From Across the Globe are Selected to Compete at FinTech Finals 2018 

24 startups from around the world will be competing for the chance to win a cash prize of US$10,000 at Fintech Finals 2018 in Hong Kong on 30-31 January, 2018. Fintech Finals 2018 is held as part of the StartmeupHK Festival, organised by InvestHK to celebrate and showcase the startup ecosystem. Selected startups include Ablepay, AgUnity, BluePool, Xencio, etc. 

Each startup will have just four minutes to pitch their business in front of a live audience to a panel of judges drawn from across the fintech community. As well as the Best in Show prize, awards will be made for the best performer in the following categories: Best Early Stage Startup, Best Growth Stage Startup and Best Mature Stage Startup.

In addition to the cash prize, the Best in Show winner will receive an exclusive invitation to Visa’s Innovation Center in Singapore where they will get to explore and create ideas and opportunities with a team of Visa subject matter experts.


Midex IT Collaborates with Russian and Estonian Developers to Launch a Blockchain-based Finance Platform

An international technology company Midex IT headquartered in Hong Kong in collaboration with Russian and Estonian developers are launching blockchain based finance platform.

The cryptocurrency stock exchange already provides round-the-clock trading in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations. Midex Exchange provides services in support of individual exchange deals with other platform users, develops and maintains a range of efficient tools for trade analytics, has trade robots, and distributes notifications from experienced traders.

To build the platform, the company has already invested $ 4.9 million of its own funds and investors’ investments.


Korea’s Security Platform & HK-based Brinc Raises Funding
Korean IOT startup Security Platform has raised a $2.78 million funding round from SoftBank Ventures Korea and Premiere Partners.

Su-ik Hwang, CEO, Security Platform, says the company has unicorn ambitions. He says, “We have prepared for a period of time in order to dominate the IoT security markets and technologies in advance. I am confident that we are definitely ahead of the ultra-light IoT security market in the ARM Cortex M0 class while others are still in R&D stage.”

As for Brinc, the Hong Kong-based hardware accelerator startup accelerator has secured funding from Artesian Venture Partners to fund two programmes, provide startups with seed financing and potentially participate in follow-on investment.

The new initiative, Brinc Capital, will invest in IOT and drone programmes. Brinc has invested in 31 companies to date with portfolio firms such as Soundbrenner, Scorpiox and EyeRov. The accelerator takes pro-rata rights to participate in follow-on rounds for portfolio companies.


Hong Kong Malls Use Experimental Consumption to Battle Against E-commerce

Hong Kong’s mall operators are going out of their way – from assisting start-ups in effectively executing their plans to offering them vast amounts of space – to accommodate and cultivate tenants that offer experimental consumption opportunities amid changing consumer tastes. Hang Lung is an example. 

One tenant benefiting from the Hang Lung’s efforts is Strokes, which claims to be the first restaurant in Hong Kong with a mini-golf course. The 9,000 square feet concept in Fashion Walk on Kingston Street in Causeway Bay also includes a cocktail bar and a multi-purpose room.

Edwin Chan, co-founder of the start-up and formerly an actuary at Bank of England, noted the effect of e-commerce in the rise of experiential consumption. “Mall operators are trying to use experiential consumption to attract customers since shoppers can buy anything online.”


Smart Mirrors: Competitive Advantage for Offline Retailers to Compete with the Shift to E-commerce

To make the offline shopping experience more interactive at a time when “showrooming” – where shoppers browse offline but purchase online – is prevalent, companies like Shanghai-based Haomaiyi and Hong Kong start-up Actimirror are developing mirrors that double as hi-tech displays with touch screens and even augmented reality features to provide personalised recommendations to shoppers, and in return helping stores increase sales.

Actimirror’s product automatically detects and analyses 70 data points to determine the approximate age, ethnicity and expressions on a customer’s face when they are standing in front of the mirror. Based on the data, the mirror can then make smart recommendations such as make-up or clothing preferred by the customer’s age group, for example.

Shanghai’s Haomaiyi produces a similar product, but unlike Actimirror, the Chinese company’s main focus is around becoming a virtual dressing room. Since its founding four years ago, the company has raised close to US$19 million in funding and is seeking raise a new round of capital.

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