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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 15 March 2020


Klook and Lalamove announce partnership to provide express food delivery service - A guide to the best meal

To face the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, two local unicorns Lalamove and Klook have teamed up to offer express food deliveries across Hong Kong. Klook, as a travel activities booking platform, has a great network of restaurants while Lalamove, an on-demand delivery startup, offers with same-day delivery service. The new combined service is called “A Guide to the Best Meal”, and it helps food establishments open up new sales and promotional channels even amid the ongoing outbreak. From today until March 31 this year, customers will be able to use the new offering through Klook’s website or mobile app, then arrange a delivery time on Lalamove’s app or web platform. There are currently six restaurants participating in the collaboration, offering special discounts and designated food packages.

In April last year, Klook raised US$225 million in a series D+ round led by Softbank, bumping up its total Series D round to US$425 million. It also announced late in 2019 that it aimed to grow its then 1,200-person workforce to over 2,500 in more than 30 offices by 2020. Lalamove also made bank last year, raking in US$300 million in a series D round led by Sequoia China and Hillhouse Capital.

Ecommerce chatbot startup Omnichat raises $800k in AppWorks-led round

A Hong Kong-based ecommerce messaging platform Omnichat, has raised US$800,000 in a seed round led by AppWorks Ventures and backed by other investors such as Aria Group. It was founded in 2018, specializes in cross-platform marketing, including tracking customer browsing behavior, providing automatic shopping guides, and retargeting, among others. It also offers a customer service system that integrates with ecommerce websites, Line, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. 

Omnnichat said it expects to integrate new communication platforms such as WeChat and Telegram this year. It looks to use the new funds to bankroll its customer acquisition efforts in Taiwan this year and expansion into Singapore and Malaysia in 2021. Also, expects to launch an affiliate program this year, inviting digital marketing-related companies, agencies, and consultants to collaborate on developing more ecommerce solutions.

Standard Chartered Bank Unveils its Virtual Bank MOX

MOX Bank Limited (“Mox”) unveiled today its brand name, brand identity and website. Mox is the new virtual bank in Hong Kong by Standard Chartered in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com. It is among the eight entities that were granted a virtual banking license last year by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Among the 8 licensees ZA was the first to soft-launch its services in December 2019

Mox is currently in beta testing by its internal staff, the new virtual bank is said to be launching its services later this year. CEO of Mox, Deniz Güven said that Mox operates in a whole new way by listening to customers and focusing on heart share. We aim to empower Hong Kong customers to grow and unlock more possibilities by providing a truly digital and personalised banking experience.

Hong Kong startup Miro AI moves to the US

Miro AI was founded by Taylor Host and Jamie Wilde in 2017, who have been in Hong Kong for years. They used AI versions to analyze bodies in motion, focusing on sports technology applications, and successfully attract many local talents to join. However, they got a double hit this year, such as the U.S.-China trade war, and especially the social movement nowadays in Hong Kong. The instability of the society brought much pressure to the Miro’s team and they decided to move to the US finally. 

Miro AI just moved to the US in January this year as the US more suited their needs of raising venture capital. Founder of Miro AI, Host said that their target market is not in China, so they make decisions clearly.

BitMEX keeps hoarding Bitcoin, revenues keep peaking

BitMEX remains an unstoppable force in the Bitcoin and crypto space, a top choice amongst traders looking for futures market operators. The exchange, which faced competition from various futures markets such as CME, Bakkt, and the Hong Kong-based OKEx, remains the top driver of BTC price action and discovery. Starting from 2020, more than 30,000 BTC have flowed into the BitMEX wallet. Recent reports show interest in the exchange is not waning, despite massive liquidations during unexpected Bitcoin price moves. The result is an estimated $1.25 million in revenues per day.

BitMEX remains the most dynamic market, where Bitcoin price moves worth a few hundred dollars can close positions worth hundreds of millions. Still, the BitMEX influence does not wane and the market keeps competing with OKEx in terms of futures volumes.

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