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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 12 May 2019

5 in 5 minutes

HKMA announces 4 new virtual banking licenses

On May 9th, the HKMA has announced for 4 additional banking licenses. These have been granted to:

1. Ant SME Services Limited, wholly owned by Ant Financial

2. Infinium Limited, a joint venture between Tencent, ICBC Asia, HKEX, Hillhouse Capital and Perfect Ridge.

3. Insight Fintech HK Limited, 90% held by Xiaomi and 10% by AMTD Group.

4. Ping An OneConnect, wholly owned by OneConnect, member of Ping An Insurance Group China.

Mr Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, said:” The HKMA is now working closely with the 8 virtual bank licensees to prepare for the launch of their business operations in accordance with their plans.”

Insurtech OneDegree raises US$30M Series A

Hong Kong-based Insurtech startup, OneDegree, has extended its Series A round and closed at over US$30 million. The company previously announced a US$12.7 Series A close back in September, 2018. The extended round is led by BitRock Capital, a fund manager sponsored by GLP with over US$64 billion of global assets under management. The round is joined by Cyberport Macro Fund, Cathay Venture, and previous investors from the first Series A raise.

OneDegree said it plans to use the funds to scale its end-to-end digital insurance platform, launch new product offerings in Hong Kong, and focus on more growth opportunities.

“Our strategy is not to compete for head-on with traditional insurers, but rather to work together, steering the whole industry towards a fully digital ecosystem,” said Alvin Kwock, Co-founder of OneDegree.

Beach City and WHub partner up to offer customizable end-to-end live social video packages

On-line media innovator BeachCity partners with WHub in efforts to bring new ways of customer acquisition, engagement and live content distribution to startups, companies and governments. 

The new generation demands authenticity and relevant insights, instantly and when it matters, bite sized and entertaining. Through this collaboration, BeachCity and WHub offer end-to-end live social video packages that can be branded and customized to capture new markets, customers or strengthen a certain value proposition. Become part of the #story and join the conversation with the people creating tomorrow. Email for more information.

Brinc raises US$1.5M for China focused Accelerator training Business

Brinc has raised US$1.5M in a pre-seed round for a new business spin out: Brinc Accelerator of Accelerators led by Artesian and Animoca Brands. Its focus is developing, and operating training programs around China for existing and new incubator, accelerator and investment companies. The goal in 2019 is to run 4 training programs educating over 100 accelerator programs.

Brinc’s AOA business model is to provide fee-based training to incubators, accelerators, and investment companies then tie up longer term relationships through accelerator associations and obtain equity alignment with their startups and programs. Ultimately their goal is to help improve the quality of startups in China and to generate more opportunities for follow-on investment through future funds that are brought online and through syndication through China’s venture capital ecosystem, which is one of the fastest growing/largest in the world.

Financial Supermarket, GoBear Announces US$80M in Funding till date

Asian Financial Supermarket GoBear announced on May 8 that it has raised US$80 million (RM332 million) in funding to date. This funding was furnished by Walvis Participaties, a Dutch venture capital fund, and Aegon NV, a financial services provider. Funds will go towards driving growth through product and technology enhancements, expanding its partner network, and filling key roles.

GoBear has served more than 40 million users across Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam since 2015 with a quarterly growth of over 20%. It's partners include financial institutions, banks and insurance providers, such as, Allianz Worldwide Partners, Citibank, FWD Insurance and Standard Chartered Bank.

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