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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 19 April 2020


Airwallex gets $160 million Series D to launch more cross-border financial products

Hong Kong unicorn Airwallex announced that it has raised a $160 million Series D. The round included ANZi Ventures, the investment arm of ANZ Bank, the Salesforce Ventures, along with returning investors DST Global, Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital and Horizon Ventures. The fresh round from ANZ’s venture unit and Salesforce Ventures gives Airwallex a valuation of $1.8 billion, co-founder Lucy Liu said.

The new funding is the largest amount of capital it has raised so far and will be used to expand its global footprint (America, Europe, Middle East) and product offerings including payment acceptance tools as it seeks acquisition opportunities in the payments sector. 

Founder in 2015, the company’s financial services include foreign currency accounts that let businesses receive money from around the world. 

OneDegree obtains virtual insurance license to become the first TechInsurer in Hong Kong

OneDegree Hong Kong Limited ("OneDegree” or “Company”) announces today that it has been granted a virtual insurance license by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (“IA”), becoming the first independent technology company in Hong Kong to offer non-life insurance directly to customers through an entirely digital platform. This virtual insurance license is granted under the IA’s “Fast Track” scheme that was launched in 2017 to promote the development of InsurTech in Hong Kong.

OneDegree is a full-stack TechInsurer that has built its own digital platform from scratch to support the entire insurance process. The Company leverages its proprietary technology to drive product innovation and increase the efficiency of insurance operations, delivering enhanced digital experience and value that match today’s customer needs and expectations. OneDegree takes an ecosystem approach to its business and works with partners including veterinary clinics, hospitals and other service providers across the value chain in offering the best services to our customers. The Company will soon be launching a range of products – its first product will be pet insurance, followed by health and cyber insurance products and more.

Hong Kong consortium rolls out US$126 home coronavirus test

A consortium bringing together insurer Prudential PLC with several Hong Kong startups and health care providers has started selling home coronavirus testing kits in Hong Kong.

The kits will be sold at a cost price of 985 Hong Kong dollars ($126) each and users are expected to cough and spit into test tubes. Their samples then will be picked up by specially trained staff within 24 hours. Medics will contact those who test positive for COVID-19.

"Some people might be reluctant to get tested in high-risk places such as clinics and hospitals, especially those with no or mild symptoms," said Danny Yeung, chief executive and co-founder of Prenetics, a genetic testing company leading the effort. "The home test kit can provide a convenient alternative that relieves these worries and get more people tested as a result."

The nonprofit initiative, named "Project Screen," is also backed by logistics startup Pickupp, the school of biomedical sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Supreme Mason Healthcare.

HKSAR Government’s package of measures to support individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19

The Hong Kong Government has released it’s package of measures to support individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. These measures have been distributed into multiple sectors including: Retain Jobs, Support Enterprises and Protect Livelihoods.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has taken some exceptional measures to deal with this unprecedented situation. Costing a total of HK$287.5 billion, these measures are:

  • Simple to understand
  • Easy to access
  • Quick to disburse funds
  • Sufficiently broad-based benefiting large numbers of individuals and businesses while also focused on the especially hard-hit sectors
  • Paving the way for economic recovery

5 Fastest Growing Fintechs in Hong Kong According to IDC

5 Fast Growing FinTechs in Hong Kong according to IDC are: Airwallex, CompareAsia Group, Prive Technologies, Quantifeed and WeLab. 

DC Financial Insights released the 2020 update of its FinTech Fast 101 research which details a list of fast-growing FinTechs in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) from 11 key markets.

IDC’s FinTech Fast 101 research refers to fast-growing fintech players based on extensive on-ground analysis of fintech players from China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, and Australia. 

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