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Hong Kong Startup News Round Up - 15 July 2018

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HONG KONG : RISE 2018 Highlight

Hong Kong’s RISE is a vibrant tech conference that left attendees and journalists buzzing with awe-inspiring takeaways. Billed as Asia’s largest startup conference, RISE opened its doors to 15,000 people Tuesday with attendees tempted by a strong line up of speakers and the potential offered by some 750 startups. Headline acts include Microsoft President Brad Smith, who endorsed globally recognized laws to regulate and protect us in an AI-powered future, NBA All Star Metta World Peace on how he created a legacy after the end of his sports career, and Amazon CTO Wener Vogels, who maintains that it is fundamental to protect both ourselves and our customers in the cyberspace.

With the number of amazing speakers and momentous events, WHub co-founders - Karena Belin, CEO, and Chief Hustler, Karen Farzam, conducted more than 30 interviews with some of the biggest names and winners at RISE. Stay tuned to hear interviews with:

David Hanson, the Founder of Hanson Robotics, which develops the world's most human-like robots including Sophia, the first robot citizen
-  Mark Birch, Enterprise Developer Strategist at Stack Overflow, the world's largest developer survey 
-  Cameron Adams, Co-Founder & CEO of Canva, the unicorn startup which makes graphic design simple for everybody
-  Mike Massimino, the NASA astronaut that sent the first tweet from space and spend more than 550 hours in space

Read About the highlights & key events from RISE at WHub’s Blog!
Get Ready for RISE! Day 1 Must-See Events
Stay on the RISE! Day 2 Must-See Events & Day 1 Recap
RISE & SHINE! Day 3 Must-See Events & Day 2 Specials

Missed out on RISE? Check out & follow WHub’s Twitter with 200+ live tweets of key quotes & takeaways!

Want to know more about the startups in Hong Kong, how to give a good pitch, as well as where to eat, sight-see and have a good time here, download the special HK VIBES MAGAZINE by WHub

GoGoVan secures US$250 million fundraising after merger

GoGoVan, know for being one of HK's “unicorn” start-up, said it has raised US$250 million in the first phase of its new round of funding, led by InnoVision Capital. Other investors include Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao, Russia-China Investment Fund, Hongrun Capital, Qianhai Fund of Funds, and 58 Daojia Group. The fundraising follows GoGoVan’s merger last August with 58 Suyun, the largest intra-city logistics platform in China.

“Since the merger, our business has been advancing rapidly. With the number of powerful investors on board in this round of funding, it shows that the market approves of our strategy,” said Steven Lam Hoi-yuen, chief executive officer and co-founder of GoGoVan. “We strive to simplify logistics and delivery services.”

HK Unicorn fintech WeLab files for IPO

HK-based WeLab, a HK unicorn mobile lending platform operator backed by billionaire Li Ka-shing, has filed for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as it actively seeks to expand in Southeast Asia. Its filing did not disclose the number of shares it plans to offer and the total amount it intends to raise but earlier reports hinted that WeLab, founded in 2013, seeks to raise $500 million through an IPO.

The company said it intends to use the net proceeds of its listing to fund business development initiatives, enhance research and technology capabilities, and for other working capital and general corporate purposes. “We create game-changing technology for consumers and financial institutions that make financial services more convenient and inclusive,” the company said in its filing.

Hong Kong bike-sharing start-up Gobee.bike goes bust from losses and high maintenance costs

Hong Kong’s first bike-sharing service, Gobee.bike, has gone bust due to losses and high maintenance costs, according to Founder & Chief Executive Rafael Cohen. The start-up promised to refund HK$399 (US$51) in deposits to each user. Existing users could continue to use the service until July 17, but the company would stop accepting new payments on Tuesday, bringing an end to the firm’s 15 months of operation in the city.

“After a year in service, we, unfortunately, have not been able to make the service profitable, and the financial costs of maintaining the bikes in their best condition have proven to be too high for us to sustain the business.”

Hong Kong was the last market Gobee.bike was operating in after shutting down its business in Europe in February.

Hong Kong’s new IPO listing rules working for innovation startups

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has recently reformed its listing regime to welcome companies from emerging and innovative sectors. Last Friday, it issued a guidance letter to address the characteristics of internet-related companies, clearing doubts for tech firms that intend to seek listing in the city and making the listing rules better suit the needs of these companies.

“Over the last few years internet technology firms have become dominant players in many industries. The guidance we are publishing today reflects these changes and provides the flexibility these companies need to list whilst still providing the necessary protections for investors,” says David Graham, HKEX’s Head of Listing.

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