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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 20 September 2020


Meet the 9 startups selected for Betatron's cohort 6 accelerator programme

Hong Kong-headquartered startup accelerator-cum-VC firm, Betatron, has unveiled the nine startups participating in its sixth cohort.

These startups were selected from a total of 2,500 applications it received.

“Cohort 6 represents our most competitive portfolio to date with an acceptance rate of only 0.36 per cent. The investments reflect our focus on companies in the B2B markets who have validated their business model and are ready to scale in Asia,” said Matthias Knobloch, Managing Partner of Betatron.

Unlike other accelerators, Betatron provides an investment of up to US$500,000 each to the selected startup immediately after they join the programme. Further investments are done based on their valuations.

The nine startups attending this virtual programme are:

ShipsKart (Singapore, India), Qwikwire (Philippines), Phable Care (India), FreightBro (India), App4Legal (UAE), Connected Analytics (Nigeria), SINAY (France), TakeTask (Poland)


Successful With Chinese Startups, Sequoia China Launches a Hedge Fund

Venture capitalist Neil Shen’s Sequoia Capital China is organising a hedge-fund enterprise to leverage its report of selecting winners in Chinese expertise.

In August the agency launched the U.S.-dollar-denominated Sequoia Capital Equity Partners fund with preliminary capital of greater than $300 million from buyers, in line with individuals accustomed to the matter and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It plans to spend money on publicly traded shares globally, the individuals mentioned.

The launch places Sequoia China in more-direct competitors with Hillhouse Capital, one other high-profile Chinese language asset supervisor that has investments in non-public fairness, enterprise capital and listed shares world wide.

Hong Kong startup in the 10 startups selected for MetLife’s accelerator program in Cary

For the third year, the MetLife Digital Accelerator – in partnership with Techstars – has announced a cohort of 10 startups. But this time, instead of luring the companies to MetLife’s Cary campus, the accelerator is taking on an online model.

That’s according to company spokesman Tony Varnon, who confirms that, due to the pandemic, all 10 companies are staying put.

This year’s cohort of startups are focusing on developing financial wellness and engagement solutions to help customers and families save money, tackle debt, stay healthy, care for seniors and children and close the racial wealth gap, according to the company.

ChangEd (Chicago), Dot (New York), FinGoa (Colorado), Holisticly (New York), InterGen Data (Texas), Kinside (Los Angeles), LivNao (California), Mellow (Hong Kong), OfColor (New Jersey), VillagePlan (Boston)

Virtual events platform Airmeet raises 12m

Airmeet, a startup that offers a platform to host virtual events, said on Tuesday it has raised $12 million in a new financing round as the Bangalore-headquartered firm demonstrates accelerating growth in its user base. 

Sequoia Capital India led the $12 million Series A financing round in one-year-old Airmeet. Redpoint Ventures and existing investors Accel India, Venture Highway, Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Gokul Rajaram (Caviar Lead at DoorDash) also participated in the round. 

The new round values Airmeet at about $50 million, more than double of what it was valued in March, when it raised $3 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Wix Launches VC Arm to Invest In The ‘Future of the Web’

Israeli-founded website platform Wix is launching its own venture capital arm, Wix Capital, to invest in tech innovators focused on “the future of the web” and the evolving digital landscape.

Wix Capital will look to invest in seed and early-stage companies and startups worldwide “at the intersection of online design and development, commerce and business management and AI and automation solutions,” the company said in a statement.

Wix was founded in 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan. The multi-billion-dollar company developed a cloud-based development platform that enables businesses, organizations, professionals, and individuals to take their businesses and brands online. It currently serves over 180 million registered users worldwide and employs some 4,000 people across the globe.

Wix is headquartered in Tel Aviv with offices in Austin, Berlin, Denver, Dublin, LA, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and São Paulo, among others.

Wix Capital has already invested in a number of ventures, according to the announcement, including Spike, an Israeli-founded company building a communication and workflow tool; Oriente, a digital fintech company based in Hong Kong, and Modalyst, a leading dropshipping platform.

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