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5 in 5 minutes - May 26th

Hong Kong Startup News Round Up

22 Uber drivers arrested in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong police force has undergone a three-week undercover police operation, the biggest operation of its kind, and arrested  22 Uber drivers on suspicion of illegally driving a car for hire and without third-party insurance.

Police said that more arrests were expected with the operation continuing. Under the law, using a car for hire without a permit is illegal under the Road Traffic Ordinance. The offender will be fined for HK$5,000 and three months' imprisonment on first conviction.

China's URWork raises US$58 million to compete with WeWork

The China-based shared workspace operator URWork raised US$58 million in a funding round, bring URWork's valuation to at $1.3 billion.

With plans to operate 150 venurs in 35 cities worldwide within the next three years, URWork Singapore, its first co-working space outside of China, is scheduled to launch in July.  The company currently has 78 offices across 20 cities in China, while its big competitor WeWork has six locations in Shanghai and Beijing.

Singapore government to invest US$1.7B in contracts for Smart Nation apps

The Government Technology Agency announced that the Singapore government plans to dedicate $1.7 billion to working with industry vendors, including small businesses and startups, to develop technologies in data analytics and sensors as well as communications infrastructure.

Gree Ventures closes $67M fund

Gree Ventures, a Japanese VC firm has closed a new fund at US$67 million. The fund, AT-II, plans to support startups in Japan, Southeast Asia and India, providing US$500,000 to US$3 million for seed to Series A stage startups.

Founded in 2011, Gree Ventures has made over 40 investments, including Singapore's chat app Pie which was acquired by Google.

Kickstarter to launch in Japan

After Kickstarter's first launch in Singapore and Hong Kong, its first two Asian territories, the crowdfunding platform sets eye in entering the Japan market.

Over the past few years, Japanese startups have been launching crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter, including Fove with its eye-tracking VR headset. The launch of Kickstarter in Japan will allow hardware startups in Japan to raising money easier.

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