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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 2 November 2020


Toasty completed new round of funding for expansion of its virtual collaboration services

Toasty announced the successful completion of a new round of seed funding, that brings its cumulative funding to over USD 3 million, to support the immediate growth needs of its virtual collaboration platform. This new funding is led by a leading private equity investor that can deliver substantial strategic value for the next stage of development.

Since the launch of its virtual collaboration platform in late March 2020, Toasty has seen exponential growth in usage - now with over 1,600 hosts using Toasty in over 30 countries globally. With this new funding, Toasty will focus on deepening its product offering, ensuring that it is, by far, the most distinctive virtual collaboration platform in the market. Its mission remains the same -- to build meaningful connections between people.

Along with this funding, Toasty will also appoint Eric Tsang as its CEO. Eric has been a tech leader and an entrepreneur throughout his career. A computer science graduate from Canada, he was formerly CTO of Lynk Global, where he led the development of their world-leading expert network platform. Eric commented, "We see tremendous opportunity in re-defining what it means to interact and work collaboratively in the new post-Covid world. Our team has significant learnings from our initial virtual platform offering and is very excited to take it to the next level with this new round of funding.

Hong Kong and New York-based Easyship joins Shopify Plus’ tech partner program

Easyship, a logistics startup that allows e-commerce sellers to add multiple carriers to their stores, announced it has joined the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program. Easyship is headquartered in Hong Kong and New York. Co-founder Tommaso Tamburnotti told TechCrunch it is the only shipping app in Asia for Shopify Plus, the e-commerce platform’s solution for large companies and high-volume shippers. 

Founded in 2015 by Tamburnotti and Augustin Ceyrac, both veterans of Southeast Asia e-commerce giant Lazada, and former banker Paul Lugagne Delpon, Easyship’s platform includes more than 250 shipping options from carriers, including UPS, FedEx and DHL, pre-negotiated discounted rates and the automation of tasks like taxes and duty charges. So far, Easyship says it has served more than 100,000 clients.


Quantifeed completes Series B+ funding round led by Franklin Templeton

HONG KONG digital wealth management solutions provider Quantifeed has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from its Series B+ round led by global asset manager Franklin Templeton.

The funding will enable the startup to continue its growth in existing markets: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, as well as accelerate its expansion into new markets including China's Greater Bay Area and Malaysia, it said on Thursday.

The startup said its target markets are experiencing increasing demand for investment advice led by a fast-growing affluent class and ageing population. The investment from Franklin Templeton will allow Quantifeed to build engineering and delivery teams in key growth markets.

Quantifeed provides fund and exchange-traded fund portfolio order and trade management systems. Its on-premise and cloud solutions power the discretionary portfolio management platforms of financial institutions in Asia, it said.

Societe Generale Eyes Transformation Success With Incubator Launch

French multinational investment bank Societe Generale is helping fintechs specialised in financial markets turn their ideas into innovative services. Here Jerome Niddam, Head of Global Markets for Asia Pacific at Societe Generale, explains why it has high hopes of extending the European success of its Global Markets Incubator to Asia Pacific.

In 2018, Societe Generale unveiled the Global Markets Incubator, an open framework dedicated to fintech companies specialising in market activities. Over the past two years, 12 fintechs have taken part, including Wematch.live, ICA and Raise Partner, benefiting from Societe Generale’s expertise in capital markets.

The bank has now opened the doors to its first incubator in Asia Pacific, with applications open until 15 November 2020.

Based in Hong Kong, Jerome Niddam is responsible for driving and overseeing the global market business of the bank in Asia Pacific. The Fintech Times asked Niddam to expand on why Asia Pacific is proving to be an area revered for its innovation and growth.


The Most Exciting Alt Seafood Startups According To A Food Tech Investor

To us, and probably to the general public as well, the developments of fish-free fish products have been overshadowed but the buzz around animal-free beef, chicken and pork with players such as plant-based Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, and lab-grown meat pioneers Memphis Meats, JUST, Mosa Meat and others.

During the last few weeks we’ve come across a surprisingly high number of animal-free seafood startups. We started asking around and realized that quite a lot is happening in the space, all over the world. To help people interested in the space, we thought it makes sense to share what we’ve found so far.

We list all innovative startups we’ve come across, except for a couple of companies still in stealth mode. Also, to limit the scope a bit, we here only cover startups focused on animal-free seafood and their brands, i.e. we exclude:

  • corporates, even though they’re working on products competing with some of these startups (e.g. Vuna, Nestlé’s plant-based tuna)
  • companies simply importing products for local rebranding
  • general plant-based companies not focusing on seafood (but who may still have a few such products)
  • fish companies not mainly focusing on fish-free alternatives
  • startups who folded or paused operations 


Silentmode announced the successful close of their Pre-Series A funding round

Launched Breathonics: a new “breathing workout” and biofeedback iOS app that combines breathwork with curated music to help users optimize their mental fitness, mood and productivity; reduce stress and heart rate.

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