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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 16 August 2021


Forbes Asia 100 To Watch

From underwater drones to satellite propulsion systems and everything in between, the inaugural Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list spotlights notable small companies and startups on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region. At a time when economies worldwide are struggling from the pandemic, these agile companies are on a growth path. Their inclusion in the list comes in part from addressing problems such as improving transportation in congested cities, expanding affordable connectivity in remote regions and preventing food waste. Seventeen countries and territories are represented. Top categories include biotechnology & healthcare, e-commerce & retail, food & hospitality and education & recruitment. The lively startup communities in India and Singapore produced 22 and 19 companies, respectively. Hong Kong has 10 and Indonesia eight. Mainland China has just four, as many candidates were above the required maximums for revenues or funding.


Enterprise focused NFT Solution Provider Sweet Announces Strategic Investment from Animoca Brands

 Animoca recently raised over $130 million in capital valued at over $1 billion while offering a portion of the securities offering on Asian investment crowdfunding platform  AngelHub.

Animoca Brands will reportedly be an investor in the firm’s A-2 round, which is valued at $110M pre-money. Animoca Brands’ investment enables Sweet to scale strategic partnership opportunities across Asian markets, add more staff to their US-headquartered corporate offices as well as manage enterprise partnerships with properties and teams across the NBA, NHL, F1 racing, Fortune 500 retail brands, various restaurants, and other types of businesses.


Hong Kong’s Currenxie Begins $10M Series A

Hong Kong-based cross-border payments startup Currenxie says it’s ready to take on its first outside investors, starting with a $10 million Series A funding round. According to the South China Morning Post, the funding round — led by BF Belmont — will allow Currenxie to expand its product offering, add to its 35-member team and reach new markets in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Capelvenere founded the company in 2014 with his wife Alison, Currenxie’s CFO. The two are Goldman Sachs alumni. The firm offers digital wallets for multiple currencies, currency exchange services, payments and virtual banking, operating in 30 countries and 18 currencies. Licensed as a money lender/money services operator in Hong Kong, the company is hoping to gain an e-money license in Ireland and to add staff in Dublin next year.


Vietnam delivery startup Loship strives for rare US IPO

Delivery startup Loship aims to become the first Vietnamese company to list on a U.S. stock exchange in more than a decade, its CEO told Nikkei Asia, demonstrating the kind of ambition that international investors are stoking as they scour the region for deals.

Fresh off a $12 million funding round co-led by Ant Group-backed BAce Capital, Loship said it hopes to debut on the New York Stock Exchange by 2024, after reaching profitability in 18 to 24 months.


Chinese AI drug discovery startup XtaIPi secures $400m co-led by OrbiMed, HOPU

Shenzhen-based Chinese AI drug discovery platform XtalPi has raked in $400 million in a Series D round of financing, per a company statement on Thursday. The fresh corpus raised by XtalPi brings its market valuation to over 13 billion yuan ($2 billion). 

This also marks the second round of financing in a year. In September last year, XtalPi had secured $319 million in a Series C round co-led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, PICC Capital, and Morningside Venture Capital with participation from CICC Capital, CMB International, Sequoia Capital China, and 5Y Capital, among others.

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