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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 16 February 2020


Hong Kong now has it’s first Licensed Crypto Lender

Hong Kong now has it’s first Licensed Crypto Lender! Hong Kong-based crypto lending firm PawnHub.io is the first company of its type to obtain a license from the Government of Hong Kong. The firm will partner with a leading US-based cryptocurrency custodian, to provide insurance coverage for clients' Bitcoin assets of up to $100 million USD anywhere in the world.

Crypto lending is fast becoming an integral part of the crypto ecosystem with PawnHub being the first regulated crypto lending firm to be based in Asia; home to some of the world's biggest cryptocurrency nations, such as South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Congratulations to the Winners of Jumpstarter Global Pitch Competition!

Last week, the World’s Largest Online Pitch Contest, Jumpstarter, took place. Organized by ALIBABA ENTREPRENEURS FUND and HSBC, Forty finalists participated online from their respective locations and competed for up to a total of US$5 million in investment commitments and a total of US$100,000 cash prizes. A huge congratulations to the top 5 winners: Asia Regenerative Medicine, Ecoinno (H.K.) Limited, Fano Labs Limited, Snipfeed, The Block Ledger.

Not only that, there were many other awards, and other startups that were recognized: 

Audience Favourite Startup Award: Prive Technologies

Top Innovative Startup Award: Prive Technologies

The Environmental Champion Award: Agora Energy Technologies

Ideapop! 2020 Winner: Clearbot

Hong Kong’s Horizons Ventures leads $40 million investment in Kneron

A San Diego startup developing AI-powered computer chips has attracted the interest of some of the most high-profile technology investors in the world, adding $40 million to its coffers and expanding its local team.

The startup, founded in 2015 by ex-Qualcomm staffer Albert Liu, is called Kneron (pronounced “neuron”). Its fresh $40 million investment was led by Hong Kong’s Horizons Ventures, which was an early backer in major AI tech such as Siri (acquired by Apple) and DeepMind (acquired by Google).

Kneron has been fundraising for a few years now, getting money in waves since 2017. In total, the startup has raised $73 million in its Series A round, which included high-profile backers like Alibaba’s venture capital arm, Sequoia Capital and Qualcomm itself.

Although Kneron was founded in San Diego, its 150-person staff is dispersed between three offices: one in the UTC neighborhood near Qualcomm, along with offices in Taiwan and China.

A booklet by MindHK: Mental Health Tips: Managing our Mental Health & Staying Well during a Virus Outbreak

There is no doubt there is a lot of uncertainty around the current Coronavirus outbreak, particularly given that the situation is constantly developing and the information about the virus remains incomplete.It is important to not only consider our physical health during such challenging times, but also to pay attention to our mental health. It is normal to feel worried, stressed and anxious when we are faced with uncertain situations, but the sooner we acknowledge and learn to take care of our mental health, the healthier and better equipped we’ll be to cope with the situation we’re having to face.

Taking care of your mental health and checking in on others can be something that we can all do, and there are many ways in which we can protect our own and others’ mental health. To help encourage this, Mind HK has developed a booklet with tips on managing your mental health and stay well during this time. Please find our downloadable booklet (available in English and Traditional Chinese) below.

Please share this resource with friends, families, and colleagues, to help us best ensure everyone is making their mental well-being a priority at this time. 

Brinc is opening in Australia! Brinc and Artesian partner to launch Clean Energy Accelerator Program in Australia

Brinc is launching an Australia Clean Energy Accelerator Program in Sydney. Partnering with Artesian, Brinc is looking to invest in the next generation of Australian Clean Energy startups who are building technology solutions to address Australia’s pressing energy efficiency, optimisation, and emission challenges for industrial applications.

The program will offer $260,000 AUD in exchange for equity. The offer is a combination of cash ($150,000) and support through the program and post-program ($110,000). The program will focus on facilitating commercial agreements with Australian Energy companies to help scope and secure pilots/POCs, while also opening up growth opportunities locally and internationally for companies. Upon completion of the program, Brinc will continue to support company growth through business development, provide capital raising guidance, and ensure a deep connection to the growing Brinc family of founders globally. Artesian will also provide follow on capital to companies that demonstrate traction. Beyond this, companies can benefit from Brinc’s Services division in China to source components, identify relevant factories, and set up robust supply chains required to fulfil orders to their customers.

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