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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 10 May 2021


P&G to wand medium enterprises and startups.

AMERICAN consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) will collaborate with 27 Asia-based startups to explore how technology can solve challenges in the areas of advertising, retail and supply chain.
Selected startups with promising approaches will work with P&G to roll out pilots across the company's markets in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
The judging will take place during a virtual innovation festival running from May 4 to 6. Called iLab, the festival was launched by P&G in partnership with Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB).
The participants were shortlisted from 100 startups assessed by P&G. The iLab challenge was issued on Singapore's Open Innovation Network, which was set up to crowdsource new ideas and encourage partnerships between large companies, small and medium enterprises and startups.
At the festival's launch ceremony on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said P&G has been a part of the Singapore growth story and innovation journey over the last 35 years.ork with 27 Asia startups on industry challenges.


FPT acquires Alpha JWC-backed Vietnamese SaaS startup Base.vn

FPT Corporation, Vietnam’s largest technology and IT services group, has acquired software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup Base.vn for an undisclosed sum. The deal was announced at an event held in Ho Chi Minh City today.

FPT’s offer came at a time that Base.vn was trying to raise a new funding round, Tech in Asia has learned.

Established in 2016 by Stanford University alumnus Pham Kim Hung, Base.vn helps enterprises streamline management and operation activities such as hiring, payroll, and team collaboration as well as task and approval management.

It previously raised about US$1.7 million from 500 Startups Vietnam, Alpha JWC Ventures, Beenext, Nextrans, and Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator, which was established in January 2017 by FPT Ventures and Dragon Capital.


Hong Kong Tech Startup yyResearch Launches Privacy-focused Instant Messaging App Called OpusChat

yyResearch, a Hong Kong tech startup that specialise in software and app development, today launches OpusChat, a privacy-focused and safe communication system that models how we manage relationships and interact with each other in real-life. With its multi-layer privacy options, multiple personas, secure multi-media messaging features and high-quality voice calls, OpusChat is an instant messaging app like no other and is now available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store.

"Privacy is not a luxury, it is a necessity. People should have the ability to protect themselves from scammers, spammers, stalkers, cyberbullies and doxing," said Edmund Hor, co-founder and CEO of yyResearch. "Personal information is not only being misused for monetisation but also provides material for fraudsters and identity thieves, making data privacy a growing concern for everyone. This is the very reason we decided to develop OpusChat, an ethical communication system that gives users control over how their relationships are established and managed, and eliminates any unsolicited contact. More importantly, OpusChat does not require users to share their personal information and minimises data storage to protect their privacy."

He continued, "With OpusChat, we've developed a fun and safer way for everyone to connect and communicate, and we are extremely excited to introduce this product to the world."

OpusChat is a privacy-focused and safe mobile communication tool with all the features users look for in an instant messaging app and more.


StartmeupHK Festival 2021 To Show HK Startup Ecosystem Is Alive and Well

StartmeupHK Festival will put the power of partnerships and Hong Kong’s startup ecosystems in the spotlight.

The annual startup event, which will continue using the virtual format and run May 24 to 28, 2021, will feature 14 main events spread across the week. Organized by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), it aims to put Hong Kong’s startups on the world’s stage while unearthing the latest ideas, trends, and innovations worldwide.  

Under the theme “Welcome to a Future Unlimited,” the Festival’s schedule is fully packed with exciting and insightful events, with 14 main events throughout the week that will unlock business opportunities for startups on an international level and discuss the latest ideas, trends, and innovation with an audience from around the world.

“The StartmeupHK Festival 2021 will be a fantastic showcase of the many opportunities that Hong Kong offers to startups both locally and internationally,” says Stephen Phillips, director-general of investment promotion at InvestHK.

There will be keynotes, panel discussions, exhibitions, investor matching, hackathons, and job fairs throughout the week. Events are open to attendees worldwide for free, with additional paid premium sessions for ShaperZ by Finnovasia, GBA Innovation Summit by TusPark Hong Kong, and Scaleup Impact Summit by WHub. Key topics up for discussion include AI, fintech, ESG, smart cities, healthcare, proptech, and the impact of the Greater Bay Area development initiative.

“Collaborating with our strong partners, participants will benefit from the insights of leaders in their fields from around the world and demonstrate Hong Kong’s leading position as an incubator and test-bed for what’s new and what’s next that will impact how we live and do business in the future,” added Phillips.


Billionaire Li Ka-shing Bets on Southeast Asia’s Tech Startups

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s private investment firm Horizons Ventures Ltd. will make Southeast Asia a priority, with the region’s digital economy booming as the pandemic drives more people to use the internet.

Horizons Ventures will focus in particular on Southeast Asia’s biggest market, Indonesia, co-founder Solina Chau, Li’s long-time confidante, told Bloomberg News in a statement sent by text message.

The firm, whose early bet on Zoom Video Communications Inc. contributed to a surge in Li’s wealth during the pandemic, has over the past year invested in three Indonesia-based startupsin funding rounds that have raised more than $210 million. Partnering up with Jakarta’s Alpha JWC Ventures, one of Southeast Asia’s largest venture capitalists, Horizons seeks to identify young companies that could be the region’s next most popular.

The investment firm is pivoting into developing economies after previously focusing on North America, Europe and Israel. Covid-19 is fueling a rapid digital transformation and burgeoning startup scene in Southeast Asia as more people use digital services, generating some of the region’s largest listings. New internet users quadrupled year-on-year in 2020 to 40 million in its six largest economies -- bringing 70% of their total population online -- according to an annual study by Google, Bain & Co. and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte.



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