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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 8 March 2021


Ready Meals, Dim Sum & Snacks: 7-Eleven Expands Plant-Based Range Across 700 Stores In Hong Kong With Green Monday

7-Eleven has just expanded its plant-based range, after initially rolling out vegan ready meals across for the first time in Hong Kong in October last year with Green Monday, the chain revealed on Wednesday (February 24). Working with Green Monday again this time, Hong Kong’s largest convenience chain says that there will be new vegan ready meals on offer, which will be exclusively available in its over 700 brick-and-mortar locations as well as on food delivery giant Deliveroo. 

7-Eleven has revealed that these include Omnipork Strip Spaghetti in Black Pepper Sauce and OmniPork Strip Rice Vermicelli with Sesame in Teriyaki Sauce, both retailing at HK$28 (US$3.61) – at price parity with the chain’s stock of meat-laden ready meal options. Packaged in biodegradable and certified home compostable containers made with bagasse pulp material, these meals can be reheated within minutes in the microwave in the convenience store, a go-to budget-friendly option for many of Hong Kong’s time-pressed workers. 

Hong Kong-based resale platform, Retykle, raises seed capital to fuel growth & international expansion

Children’s designer fashion resale platform Retykle has just closed its latest round of seed funding led by a “consortium of high profile angel investors”, the firm announced today (February 19). The Hong Kong-based platform says the investment will enable growth within its domestic market, as well as fuel its international expansion plans for Australia and Singapore. 

It will also enable the company to develop its technology, grow its team of engineers to build out personalisation and peer-to-peer marketplace services to make it “even easier” for brands to directly join the platform. Notable investors joining the round include Lazada co-founder Tim Rath and author and investor and Room To Read founder John Wood, who was is also a backer of social venture movement and plant-based leader Green Monday. The amount of funding was undisclosed. 

SOSV names the 7 startups that make up MOX’s 10th cohort

US-based VC firm SOSV has named the seven startups that are set to receive US$150,000 in funding as part of the 10th cohort of its global Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX) program.

According to a statement, the companies in the program hail from Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and India, operating in the social commerce, live video, and financial structure spaces.

In addition to receiving funding, they are set to go through a six-month accelerator program that would cover cross-border market entry. They will also be given perpetual support through growth, business development, and fundraising modules.

The startups in the latest cohort are the following:

  1. Wallet Engine (Singapore), an embedded finance platform for cross-border apps.
  2. Betagged (Singapore), an influencer marketing platform with deep analytics that deliver higher returns on investment for brands in Indonesia.
  3. BistroChat (Hong Kong), a restaurant management software for the chat age, with superior NLP capabilities.
  4. Dastgyr (Pakistan), a B2B marketplace that connects small-scale retailers with manufacturers and suppliers.
  5. 24Seven.pk (Pakistan), a grocery ecommerce platform serving 200 million Pakistanis.
  6. Stack Finance (India), a smart app that tracks and manages its users’ money.

Taiwan's AppWorks raises $114m to expand investment in ASEAN

AppWorks, a venture capital (VC) company that invests in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, has raised $114 million for its third fund that is expected to have a total corpus of $150 million.

The company is on track to close its new vehicle by the end of the month, AppWorks partners told DealStreetAsia in an interview.

Taipei-headquartered AppWorks, an investor behind online classified ad platform Carousell and Hong Kong-based logistics company Lalamove, is stocking up more dry powder to raise its stakes in startups in the artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors.

Sea Group's venture fund to invest US$1B in tech startups

Singapore-based global consumer internet honcho, Sea Group, has launched a venture fund to invest in tech startups. The group has also allocated an initial amount of US$1 billion for the fund, called Sea Capital, to be invested over the next few years.The announcement was made during a conference call on Tuesday.

As per a press statement, Sea Capital is a new platform launched to manage the group’s investment efforts, and further strengthen its investment and capital allocation capability. It will help accelerate the growth of the overall digital economy and create real and lasting value for our users, business partners and communities.

The corporate venture capital fund will be headed by Chief Investment Officer David Ma, who will report directly to Sea Group founder Forrest Li. Ma is founder of Composite Capital Management, a Hong Kong-based global investment management firm which has recently been fully acquired by Sea Group.


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