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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 14 June 2020


Arrow Electronics to boost IoT engineering skills of HK startups

With millions of AI-powered IoT edge and endpoint devices being deployed on 5G networks, Arrow Electronics is reaching out to local technology startups in Hong Kong to help them in the development of 5G-ready and AI-powered IoT devices  for either commercialisation or R&D development.

The company announced yesterday it will be offering free engineering consultations to Hong Kong-based startups at its Arrow Open Lab at the Hong Kong Science Park to registered members  until the end of the year.

Arrow Open Lab has assisted hundreds of technology companies and startups across Asia Pacific in their idea-to-prototype-to-product innovation journey.

The free engineering consultations aim to help technology companies configure the electronic system architecture design of their edge endpoints/devices for delivering optimal results across 5G networks and AI technology.  Arrow's engineers and technical experts will provide insights and recommendations across the development roadmap. 

Blockchain was Ranked Largest Fintech Sector in Hong Kong Last Year: Report

Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) firms have been dominating Hong Kong’s startup sector.

Last year, enterprise DLT and crypto-assets exchanges were ranked the most popular sectors in Hong Kong’s Fintech industry. This, according to a report from the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau which revealed that blockchain startups accounted for nearly 40% of the 57 Fintech firms that established operations in Hong Kong in 2019.

The rise in DLT-focused companies has come after the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR) decided to introduce new policies that aim to make blockchain tech development a key focus area or priority.

The report confirmed that enterprise blockchain firms were the most popular, as 45% of new companies are focused on developing applications for large businesses. Digital currency trading platforms accounted for 27% of all blockchain-related firms in Hong Kong.

Cryptocurrency custodians and trade finance firms accounted for 14% and 9% of the region’s blockchain startups, respectively. Only 5% of the firms are considering launching security tokens, the report revealed.


SOSV names the 14 startups in latest Chinaccelerator cohort

Shanghai-based Chinaccelerator, an accelerator program operated by global VC firm SOSV, has revealed the 14 startups that form its biggest batch yet.

As part of the six-month program, startups will receive up to US$150,000 in investment from SOSV and its syndicate partner. The companies will also be connected to over 300 mentors worldwide.

Here are the 2 Hong Kong startups in Chinaccelerator’s latest cohort:

Xixilab (Hong Kong) offers invisible braces in China, providing a more convenient and reliable solution for a third of the market price.

Covario (Switzerland and Hong Kong) is a full-service digital asset prime brokerage that provides financing, trading, clearing, and custody services, with the needs of institutional clients in mind.

Biopharma startup Everest Medicines closes $300m Series C round led by Hillhouse, others

Biopharmaceutical startup Everest Medicines on Friday announced it has raised $310 million in a Series C funding round to finance the clinical development and commercialisation of its drug candidates. 

The Series C round consists of two preferred equity financing tranches, including a $260-million Series C2 round and a $50-million Series C1 round, according to a statement. The Series C2 round was jointly led by Hong Kong-based Janchor Partners, US multi-stage investment manager RA Capital Management and Asia-focused private equity firm Hillhouse Capital. 

New investors in the round included Decheng Capital, GT Fund, Janus Henderson Investors, Rock Springs Capital and Octagon Investments. Return backers CBC Group, Cormorant, Pavilion Capital and HBM Healthcare Investments also participated in the tranche. The Series C1 round was backed by China’s state-owned Jiashan SDIC as part of a broader strategic partnership Everest Medicines forged with Jiashan National Economic and Technological Development Zone and Jiashan SDIC earlier this year.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the clinical development of Everest Medicines’s pipeline of novel therapeutic candidates and to build out the commercial infrastructure to support its next phase of growth.

Chinese tech giant Tencent forms alliance to promote blockchain development

Chinese tech giant Tencent’s cloud service, Tencent Cloud, has launched an alliance to promote the development of the blockchain industry.

The alliance aims to attract 100 members this year, including tech companies, industry associations, universities and think tanks, local outlet Securities Times reported last week. Members plan to establish blockchain industry standards and research potential blockchain applications.

To that end, the alliance will form three committees — standards, technical and business ecosystem committee. The standards committee will cooperate with government agencies and other relevant parties to develop national blockchain standards.

The technical committee will plan and build blockchain applications, while the business ecosystem committee will drive sales of prod­ucts de­vel­oped by alliance members. Tencent estimates that members will increase their business con­ver­sion rates by 30%.

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