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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 1 September 2019


Chinese startup unicorn, Megvii files for Hong Kong IPO

Megvii Technology, the Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup known in particular for its facial recognition brand Face++, has filed for a public listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Megvii’s investors include Alibaba, Ant Financial and the Bank of China. Its last funding round was a Series D of $750 million announced in May that reportedly brought its valuation to more than $4 billion.

Founded by three Tsinghua University graduates in 2011, Megvii is among China’s leading AI startups, with its peers (and rivals) including SenseTime and Yitu. Its clients include Alibaba, Ant Financial, Lenovo, China Mobile and Chinese government entities.

Hong Kong startup Chekk in MOX's 7th cohort

Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX) has unveiled its seventh cohort of startups in the healthtech, education, fintech, social commerce, and entertainment spaces. MOX, which is operated by Silicon Valley-based SOSV, aims to help global startups reach mobile-first, mobile-only smartphone users in Southeast Asia and India.

The 10 startups that are part of MOX Batch 7, which hail from India, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Indonesia, include profitable global teams and seed-stage firms with sizable user bases in their home countries. Each of the startups received about US$100,ooo to US$120,000 in funding, the company said.

The batch included Hong Kong’s Chekk which enables banks, insurance companies, and fintech firms onboard and manage customers through its platform.

HK's Hashkey Capital invests in Blockchain startup Terra

Singapore-based blockchain startup Terra announced that it had secured an undisclosed sum from HashKey Capital, which is an affiliate of HashKey Group. HashKey Group is a Hong Kong-based fintech company that focuses on investments in blockchain assets traded on exchanges, fundamental research, and technical analysis.

Terra stated that it plans to use the funding to expand its e-commerce and retail alliance across Asia.

Terra is cryptocurrency that is price-stable and seeks to boost payment network and grow the real GDP of the blockchain economy. It does so by partnering with e-commerce firms such as South Korea’s Ticket Monster (TMON), Singapore’s Carousell, and Vietnam’s Tiki.

Bridgefy downloaded 70,000 times during HK protests

Bridgefy, has been a star player in these recent protests in Hong Kong. This startup allows users to leverage mesh networks via smartphone’s Bluetooth and WiFi antennas to access the internet. The only difference is that users don’t need to use data or direct WiFi signals. Basically, offline internet.

Over the course of only eight days, Hong Kong activists downloaded the app around 70,000 times to communicate among one another. This was mainly due to the saturation of traditional carrier networks. Add that on top of the scarcity of products providing offline communication solutions.

HK's Integrated Capital invests in India Bike taxi app Rapido

Bengaluru-based bike taxi app Rapido has raised funding of $55.5m in a Series B funding round led by Westbridge Capital with participation from Nexus Venture Partners, Ant Financial-backed BAce Fund, Astrend India Investment Limited, and a few others.

Hong Kong-based Integrated Capital, which also participated in the funding, now holds 14.29 percent stake in the company.

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