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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 19 July 2020



Startup Impact Summit 2020 lends insight to break into Hong Kong startup industry in 2-day virtual conference


Startup Impact Summit 2020 (#SIS20), hosted by WHub as part of StartmeupHK Festival 2020 organised by Invest Hong Kong, featured a series of keynote sessions, panel discussions, fireside chats, and workshops with speakers from some of the biggest players in the startup scene, including Ester Wong from Sensetime, Alex Zaccaria from Linktree, Nick Halla from Impossible Foods, Satya Tammareddy from Stripe, Yat Siu from Animoca Brands, Tim Draper and Jason Calacanis

“This is the first year we’ve held the Startup Impact Summit online and we are beyond thrilled by the level of attendance, the quality of speakers and the tremendous feedback from our attendees, supporters, partners and participants. Technology is changing the way we live and work and also the way we conference,” says Karena Belin, Co-Founder and CEO of WHub and AngelHub.

“This is a testament to the true potential of the startup and tech scene in Hong Kong and the power it has for doing business on an international level,” Belin added.


HSBC backs Hong Kong open banking initiative

HSBC has teamed up with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) to help startups drive open banking innovation on the island. The API EcoBooster programme will help start-ups and technology ventures build APIs and develop services for the banking industry.

Participants will get to work with HSBC as their lead partner in co-creating services in areas such as loans, transactions and operations, credit cards, digital payments and customer records management.

The bank's digital specialists will act as mentors, guiding developers and helping them to understand what banking customers need.

Developers have until 14 August to register for the program, after which 30 proposals will be picked for inclusion.


Hong Kong Passes Limited Partnership Fund Bill

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed the new Limited Partnership Fund Bill on the 9th of July, establishing a new regime for investment funds to be registered in Hong Kong in the form of limited partnerships.

The limited partnership fund regime is aimed at attracting private equity, real estate, and venture capital funds to set up and operate in Hong Kong.

In a limited partnership fund, the general partner (i.e. operating person with unlimited liability) and the limited partner(s) (i.e. investors with limited liability) have freedom of contract in respect of the operation of the partnership, including in matters relating to the admission and withdrawal of partners, the investment scope and strategy of the fund, the life of the fund, the frequency of financial reporting, and verifications of net asset value. Under the new regime, investment managers must be licensed by the SFC (Securities and Futures Commission).

Hong Kong’s Animoca Brands raises $4.1m ahead of another IPO

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands, an entertainment company specializing in blockchain and gaming, has secured US$4.1 million in strategic investments via convertible notes from investors including M7 Asia and Mind Fund.

Part of the new funds will be spent to support its new attempt to go public on Euronext or another public exchange by spinning off the assets of its subsidiaries Pixowl, TSB Gaming, nWay, and Quidd, Animoca Brands said in a statement.

Animoca Brands has a couple of major launches coming up later this year, including The Sandbox and F1 Delta Time. Yat Siu said both games represent innovation in the areas of true digital ownership and play-to-earn, a model adopted by blockchain games to create digital collectibles with real-world value.

Animoca Brands has also announced a global licensing agreement with US entertainment giant WWE (NYSE: WWE) to develop and publish a new mobile game on Apple iOS and Android operating systems (more under: Animoca Brands to move from lockdown to smackdown via game deal with WWE)

Singapore plant-based meat startup Karana closes US$1.7m seed funding - participation from Hong Kong investors

KARANA, which is set to launch "pork" made from organic jackfruit this year, has closed its seed funding round with US$1.7 million, the Singapore-based startup announced on Thursday.  

Investors include chief executive officer of Monde Nissin Corp, Henry Soesanto, who acquired Quorn Foods for US$831 million in 2015; Big Idea Ventures, a Temasek and Tyson Foods-backed fund dedicated to plant-based foods; and Germi8, a venture capital firm which invests in agri-food startups. 

Also participating in the funding round were angel investors including Hong Kong-based food and beverage entrepreneurs, Kevin Poon and Gerald Li. 

Karana plans to use the funds to launch its first range of plant-based meats and dim sum products in Singapore, as well as to accelerate its research and development (R&D) capabilities. The funds will also be used to build a regional food-tech team. 


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