Updated whub blog banner visual  600 200

Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 29 December 2019


Why Hong Kong remains attractive to tech start-ups – despite challenges

Hong Kong’s challenging times have plunged it into a technical recession, with the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracting 3.2 per cent in the third quarter. However, reasons for optimism remain. Recent activities suggest that the city’s fundamentals are still solid and it still has a lot to offer to new businesses. Joseph Fung, managing partner of an early-stage venture capital firm, says he believes the local tech ecosystem is resilient as the world-class universities have provided much-needed talent for researching advanced technologies. Furthermore, a number of schemes have continued to provide support for start-ups seeking new opportunities, highlighting the city’s characteristic resilience as a regional hub for innovation.

Hong Kong-based Horizon Ventures leads Series C round of funding for Levelset

New Orleans’ Levelset, a platform that helps contractors get paid faster and more efficiently, has raised a $30 million Series C round of funding led by Hong Kong-based Horizon Ventures. For Horizon Ventures’ Bart Swanson, the appeal of Levelset goes beyond helping contractors get paid quicker. The company, he said, has built an interesting and “unique” dataset about construction payment behaviors. S3 Ventures, Altos Ventures, Operating Venture Capital, and Darren Bechtel of Brick & Mortar Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings the New Orleans-based company’s total raised since it was founded in 2008 to $47 million. The company plans to use the new capital to further develop its platform, and also to hire more employees.

Maintaining a unicorn: how to not crash and burn your startup

Having persevered through tough times to eventually succeed with her geographic information system (GIS) startup, Dr. Winnie Tang, professor at the University of Hong Kong weighs in on the dos and don’ts of avoiding failure in your entrepreneurial ventures. Startups of innovative technologies are seen as drivers to the new economy. However, Hong Kong’s Tink Labs’ (valued at over HK$ 7.8 billion) failure contains a number of lessons we can learn from. Tang talks about the need for a solid understanding of the market and their potential customers before chasing the maximum possible valuation. Most importantly, they have to be sure that their products and services can solve customers’ problems. If an entrepreneur thinks they are headed in the right direction, persistence is key no matter how hard it gets.

Hong Kong unicorn Airwallex has US$18 million frozen by Hong Kong police as part of a fraud probe

Hong Kong unicorn, Airwallex, a global payments provider is touted as a critical disruptor in the financial industry and has reached a $US1 billion valuation in March. Airwallex says it is cooperating with Hong Kong police after the authorities froze $US18 million ($26 million) of its funds over suspected fraudulent transactions. In a statement on Tuesday, the company stated it was an innocent third party in the proceedings after two former clients allegedly defrauded a Uruguayan company. “These two former clients used their Airwallex accounts to receive and pay out the funds from Ciklus,” Airwallex said. “[Airwallex was] not involved in nor aware of the fraud.”

Winners of the Global Startup Competition - Berlin and Paris Roadshow announced

The Global Startup Competition by WHub and AngelHub hosted the first two of the twelve global roadshows in Berlin and Paris. The Berlin roadshow took place on the 17th of December at Betahaus. The event saw 10 German semi-finalists pitch for their opportunity to be a part of the finals at the Startup Impact Summit. Fundament securities wowed the judges and the crowd with their vision of creating similar opportunities on the capital market without compromising on investor protection. 

The Paris roadshow took place on the 19th of December at Le Loft 50Partners. With 8 French semi-finalists, a reputed panel of judges and a full-house, the event was a huge hit. Spotr bagged their chance to be a part of finals at SIS 2020 in Hong Kong with their goal to be the number one app you open when you travel to a new place. 

Updated whub blog thumbnail  940 788

Recommend to a friend

Next on your reading list