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Hong Kong Startup News Round Up - 3 Feb 2019

5 in 5 Minutes

Sandbox VR raises $68 Million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz

VR startup Sandbox VR raised a $68 million Series A round of investment led by Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew commented “after our initial meeting with the team, the entire investment partnership at Andreessen Horowitz went to try out the experience together, and after nearly an hour of shooting zombies, dodging lasers, and solving puzzles, we were blown away by the experience!”

The pitch is that Sandbox VR is developing a “triumvirate of distribution, technology, and content starting with a network of high-end retail locations that combines premium hardware, motion capture technology, and a low-latency software stack to deliver a social multiplayer experience.” The company is planning to launch in more than half a dozen locations including Los Angeles and New York.


Bitspark launches World's First Stablecoin Pegged to the Hong Kong Dollar

HK Bitcoin remittance startup Bitspark announced that it has launched the world’s first stablecoin pegged to the Hong Kong dollar. Bitspark was created to enable the process of sending money across borders without the use of banks. 

Now, Bitspark has launched Sparkdex.HKD, which is tied to Bitspark’s reserves of physical cash in Hong Kong dollars. In an announcement, it was noted that it will be regularly audited by a local audit firm in a quarterly report made available for the public.

Speaking of the announcement, Maxine Ryan, co-founder and COO of Bitspark, said that the launch of Sparkdex.HKD was a “clear opportunity for Bitspark to bring the benefits of this technology to Asia.” 

Tencent signs MoU with HKSTP to power Hong Kong Startups

Chinese tech giant Tencent signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to share its technological capabilities with startups in the tech hub. The agreement gives tenants in the science park access to Tencent’s AI, blockchain, data security, payment, and cloud computing technologies in their development and application of fintech, AI, healthcare, and smart city services.

In addition to funding, the current partnership underlines that the tech giant is adopting a more open attitude in sharing its tech capabilities in powering startups. The move comes as Tencent is shifting focus to enterprise-faced services. The company restructured to focus on enterprise services and cloud last year.

Prenetics Group Expands Its Digital Health Solutions with Acquisition of Kelaa App / Soma Analytics

Prenetics, a leading global genetics and digital health startup based in Hong Kong, has acquired Kelaa App, the core product of Soma Analytics and associated assets. Operating as a ˜Psychologist in a Pocket for users, the Kelaa app delivers a holistic approach to wellness by connecting the physical, mental, and emotional health of its users. 

According to Avi Lasarow, CEO of Prenetics International, “we are delighted to welcome the Soma Analytics brand into the Prenetics family. Soma brings with them a depth of world-class research into the impact of workplace preventative health, allied to a truly impactful and measurable mobile app Kelaa, that is already having a demonstrative effect in the workplace. This move perfectly complements our existing genetics offerings, meaning we can provide corporates, enterprises and insurers a suite of solutions that give their staff the most personalized wellness programmes possible.”

Brinc COO selected to beta test PUMA’s most advanced technology platform for performance fit

Sports company PUMA has introduced its new state-of-the-art technology platform Fit Intelligence (Fi) that is designed to automate and finetune performance fit for PUMA footwear. The first Fi footwear style to be launched is a training shoe that is made for workouts and light running. It employs a micromotor to power a uniquely configured cable system that “laces” the shoe, either through simply swiping on the Fi module up or down.

The reveal event took place in Hong Kong, the global hub that connects beta technology with mass production. Attendees saw a video testimonial of Fi put to the test by global technology investment icon Bay McLaughlin. Technology professionals and fans got a real-world view on how Fi delivers to unmet needs of connected entrepreneurs.

“As a global investor in wearable technologies, I know how hard it is to get a product like Fi right and after my first week with the shoes, it’s clear that PUMA is taking this platform very seriously and I’m impressed”, said Bay McLaughlin.

To view a replay of the event, click here:
To view the tech video, click here:

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