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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 5 April 2020


Lalamove backs logistics startup Inteluck in $5m round led by MindWorks

Inteluck, a logistics company focused on first- and second-mile delivery, announced that it has secured more than US$5 million in a pre-series B funding round led by Hong Kong-based venture capital firm MindWorks Capital.

Infinity Venture Partners and on-demand logistics startup Lalamove, which does last-mile delivery, also participated in the round.

The deal marks the first strategic investment of Lalamove, which itself counts MindWorks as an early investor, board member, and shareholder.

Inteluck started in 2014 as a software-as-a-service platform that monitors and manages shipments and drivers for trucking companies in the Philippines. After realizing that existing logistics providers were not able to fulfill the standards required by clients, it later transformed into a business-to-business logistics service provider.

Inteluck said it will use the new funds to launch an intelligent dispatch system and further expand its customer base in the Philippines. 

Science Park partners with J.P. Morgan and HKIHRM to build a diverse talent pipeline for Hong Kong’s tech start-ups

From a flight simulator developer to a STEM learning platform, Science Park start-ups offered a wide range of internship opportunities under NxTEC 2.0, a programme held in partnership with J.P. Morgan and Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (“HKIHRM”) to empower students with practical work experience and prepare them for future career. The collaboration matches sub-degree or vocational school students with Science Park start-ups seeking to hire and mentor interns in the summer break. 

“We are delighted to see the huge success of NxTEC 2.0, our joint programme with J.P. Morgan and the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM). With J.P. Morgan’s generous support and HKIHRM’s provision of HR knowledge and training for our park companies, it has created a plethora of internship opportunities for students from different disciplines to learn and thrive at Science Park,” said Dr Claudia Xu, Chief Commercial Officer, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP).

HKSTP and J.P. Morgan will step up the efforts in extending continued support to sub-degree students with more internship opportunities offered in the I&T sector. NxTEC 3.0, to be launched in the coming summer, highlights a new theme of Service Learning. Students are encouraged to make use of their knowledge and experience acquired from the programme, and to provide more social services for the community in Kwun Tong. 

Tencent-backed WeDoctor said to pick banks for Hong Kong IPO

WeDoctor, one of China’s biggest online health-care startups, has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International to lead a Hong Kong initial public offering, people familiar with the deal said. 

The startup could become one of the largest technology companies to brave volatile public markets in 2020. WeDoctor envisions raising at least $500 million and as much as $1 billion, one of the people said, asking to remain anonymous discussing a private deal. The details could change given that deliberations are ongoing, the people said. More banks may be invited to join the deal in future, one person said.

WeDoctor, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., joins a growing contingent of tech giants hoping to revolutionize a traditional health-care industry after the coronavirus pandemic underscored its shortcomings. The company is on the prowl for expansion capital and last month laid the foundation for a public debut by hiring finance overseer John Cai, formerly chief executive for AIA Group Ltd.’s operations in markets including China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The startup, whose business spans insurance policies and medical supplies to online appointment-booking and clinics, was last valued at around $5.5 billion. It’s said to be targeting a float in late 2020 or 2021.

FinTech trading platform TradeUP introduces Hong Kong stock trading

TradeUP, an online trading platform that offers commission-free trading of U.S. stocks and ETFs, introduced Hong Kong stock trading to its mobile platform today. The unique offering of Hong Kong stock trading gives U.S. investors a distinctive opportunity to access one of the most liquid markets in the world and expand their portfolios to include international stocks.

With a history of high trading volumes, as well as a continued effort to list new companies and startups, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) attracts investors from all over the world who are interested in Asia's steady economic growth. SEHK topped global ranking for IPO markets in 2019 -- the seventh time in 11 years -- with several of 2019's biggest listings, including Alibaba and Budweiser APAC.

In addition to having strong financial infrastructure and a reputation for high regulatory standard, one of the key attractions of the Hong Kong market is its location. Viewed as the financial gateway to China, SEHK is the listing destination for international firms who seek to expand into the Chinese and Asian markets. Many Chinese companies are listed on SEHK, making up a substantial proportion of the Exchange's market capitalization.

To facilitate a seamless user experience, TradeUP offers an all-in-one account, allowing users to trade U.S. stocks during the day and Hong Kong equities during the night without having to switch between accounts.

Shanghai Surpasses Hong Kong as World's Number One IPO Destination

Hong Kong is no longer the world's leading destination for IPOs, as the Shanghai Stock Exchange has overtaken it in the first quarter.

In the three months through March, companies have raised $7.27 billion in Shanghai, thanks to technology startups listing in the city, as the South China Morning Post reported today. Leading the way in the city was Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co., Ltd., (SS: 601816) raising $4.5 billion in its IPO in January. 

For the past two years, Hong Kong has been the world's largest market for IPOs. It held the top spots in 2015 and 2016 as well but fell to sixth place in the first quarter. The good news for Hong Kong is that many giants have expressed interest in seeking IPOs on the exchange this year, encouraged by a loosening of its listing rules.

That includes fast-food chain operator Yum China Holdings Inc., (NYSE: YUMC), search engine Baidu Inc.(Nasdaq: BIDU), and online retailer JD.com Inc.(Nasdaq: JD) In the coming weeks, the health supplements and skincare products provider, Tycoon Group Holdings will look to list its shares in Hong Kong in the coming weeks, as the company announced its pricing on Monday.

It's been a crazy year for Hong Kong and the rest of the world with the outbreak of the pandemic, but the top destination for IPOs in the past two years will look to take up the mantle by the end of the year as big companies are making efforts to list in the city.

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