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Hong Kong Startup News Round Up - 10 Mar 2019

5 in 5 Minutes

Mind Fund, Hedera Hashgraph & Animoca Brands introduce Helix Accelerator

Hong Kong-based venture capital company, Mind Fund teams up with Hedera Hashgraph and Animoca Brands to introduce Helix Accelerator, the first global accelerator to incubate projects building applications exclusively on the Hedera Hashgraph platform. Hedera is an enterprise-grade public network for decentralized applications. 

The 10-week hashgraph-based accelerator brings together 12 startups from around the globe, including five regional winners from the Hedera18 Hackathon, and offers mentorship, networking opportunities, MBA student interns from two of the top universities in Hong Kong and US$100,000 in funding upon graduation. 

Ping An Tech Now Promotes CareVoice SaaS for Health Insurance Players Across Greater China 

The CareVoice, a Shanghai-based health insurtech driven by the mission to make healthcare more consumer-centric, announced its distribution partnership with Ping An Technology. The tech arm of the China leading insurer, in charge of developing and distributing innovative technologies (facial recognition, character recognition, etc.), has started distributing CareVoice SaaS (software-as-a-service) nationwide to banks and insurance companies.

Ping An Technology helps the Shanghai start-up to strengthen its distribution in key cities of Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as combines it with its own in-house technologies, all of them being hosted in Ping An Cloud. Indeed, as the insurance and finance industries face the urging need for digitalization, The CareVoice addresses the yet unsolved issue of providing a customer-centric healthcare and insurance journey for Chinese customers. By working closely with medical providers, employers and insurers, it has become a comprehensive platform that helps stakeholders’ effort to meet the growing demand for better and more affordable healthcare.

FTAHK releases HK Blockchain Ecosystem survey results and map

The FinTech Association of Hong Kong released its latest survey, based on interviews with 160+ companies from across the Hong Kong blockchain ecosystem. The majority of respondents were open to more regulations around blockchain in order for the technology to achieve its full potential and go mainstream in the coming years.

The survey also revealed optimism for the sector’s future in general and for digital assets in particular.  

Highlights from the survey include: 

  • Despite bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies experiencing a turbulent year, 80% stated that they would be willing to invest in crypto in 2019

  • The top three mandates for the blockchain community in 2019 are blockchain adoption, technological development and public awareness

  • More than one third of respondents would like to see more events organised and more varied blockchain applications developed in 2019 

  • Financial institutions make up the majority of companies actively developing blockchain projects at 35%, while technology firms account for 28%

As part of the survey, the FTAHK released a map that details all the firms involved in building Hong Kong’s blockchain ecosystem, find it here.  

Neat & Railsbank partner to unlock international financial services for startups & SMEs.

Neat, an award-winning Hong Kong-based FinTech that provides alternatives to traditional banks, has partnered with Railsbank, a leading UK-based global open-banking platform, to make international current accounts available to small businesses.

Both FinTechs share a common vision that international banking should be accessible to everyone and that the current situation of global banks exiting international banking for SMEs should not impact the international aspirations of entrepreneurs and SMEs.  

This vision is realised through this new partnership, by enabling access to the financial services all startups and SMEs need for cross-border business.  The partnership starts with global access to local banking services (including debit cards) and will be expanded into other financial services including credit and insurance.

HK$5.5 bn allocated for development of Cyberport 5

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po has earmarked HK$5.5 billion for the development of the fifth phase of Cyberport, a government-owned complex in Telegraph Bay with a cluster of technology and digital content tenants.

The amount, combined with HK$36 billion set aside for universities to conduct research and development, and add additional facilities essential for such activities, is aimed at boosting innovation and technology development in Hong Kong, after the government allocated HK$50 billion last year for the purpose, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

According to a government source, Cyberport 5 is expected to attract 100 tech companies and 700 startups.The HK$5.5 billion allocation for Cyberport 5 will serve to attract more quality technology companies and startups to set up their offices in Cyberport and provide a pathway for young people to pursue a career in I&T, Chan said.

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