Updated whub blog banner visual  600 200   8

Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 21 February 2021


Hong Kong stock trading volumes jump to four times those of LSE

Stock trading volumes in Hong Kong have soared to four times those on London’s main exchange, as large technology stocks attracted soaring appetite from foreign investors for the “Nasdaq of Asia”.

Trading volumes in Hong Kong also reached almost 60 per cent of the New York Stock Exchange as investors, mostly from China, poured about $50bn into shares listed in the Asia finance hub this year.

Average daily turnover on the stock exchange in the 30 days to February 16 jumped to about $25bn, according to Financial Times calculations based on Bloomberg data, compared with about $10bn in the same period a year ago.

That is more than quadruple the average daily turnover on the London Stock Exchange during the same period. Earlier this month, London lost its crown as Europe’s biggest share trading centre to Amsterdam. The NYSE’s average daily turnover was $44bn.

Hong Kong this month hosted the bumper $5.4bn listing of Chinese viral video app and TikTok competitor Kuaishou, the world’s biggest tech initial public offering since Uber in 2019.

Hong Kong’s Happiness Capital leads US$29M round of Israeli startup Redefine Meat

Redefine Meat has raised US$29 million in its Series A funding round, the company announced on Tuesday (February 16). The financing was led by Hong Kong-headquartered Happiness Capital, the venture capital arm of the Asian food giant Lee Kum Kee Group, and Hanaco Ventures, a New York and Tel Aviv-based fund specialising in Israeli startups. Alternative protein investor CPT Capital, Losa Group, Sake Bosch and K3 Ventures also joined the round. 

The Rehovot-based startup says that the proceeds from its Series A will go towards expanding its line of alternative proteins, as well as support its commercial launch on the heels of its soon-to-be completed large-scale production facility housing its 3D Alt-Meat printers. Redefine Meat, who debuted its 3D-printed animal-free steaks last year, says plans are underway to launch its products firstly in Europe, followed by Asia and North America. 

Women CEOs, founders must find the right investors to overcome challenges of fundraising, panel hears

While the statistics might suggest that fundraising remains a challenge for women founders of companies, the tide on gender stereotypes is turning in Hong Kong, the latest event in the Redefining Hong Kong series organised by the South China Morning Post heard.

Fundraising might be more difficult for them in the very early stages, but pitching to the right investors was key to moving forward, said speakers at the event.

“Fundraising is difficult for both male and female entrepreneurs,” said Karena Belin, the co-founder of WHub, the largest start-up community in Hong Kong. Not everyone should be your board adviser or on your capital table, and pitching to the right investors was important, as they are the partners with whom you will be leading your company moving forward, she added.

Belin, who is also the co-founder of Angelhub, Hong Kong’s first start-up investment platform for professional investors licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission, however said that while stats did show a gender bias, the trend was reversing. The key to success was focusing on pitching to the right investors in accordance with a company’s growth stage, she said.

Hong Kong cell-based protein start-up Avant extends reach from faux meat to US$52.5 billion global anti-ageing products market

Avant Meats, Hong Kong’s first cell-based protein start-up, is using its cell culture biotechnology to make inroads into the anti-ageing product market.

The company, founded by Carrie Chan Kai-yi in Hong Kong Science Park in 2018, has launched a cell-based functional protein product for the cosmeceutical ingredient market. The product contains multifunctional marine protein peptides that promote antioxidation, regeneration and repair skin more effectively than collagen, Chan said

“There is a whole group of animal-based ingredients commonly used in skincare products nowadays. We just use the cell culture method to produce these ingredients,” she said. Avant’s method does not require acres of land, live animals, their slaughter and various other complicated processes to produce collagen, a popular ingredient for skincare products, she added.

The global market for anti-ageing products was estimated to be worth US$52.5 billion last year, and was projected to reach a revised size of US$83.2 billion by 2027, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 per cent over the analysis period of 2020-2027, according to Dublin-based online research platform Research and Markets.

Turbulent times fail to temper hopes of Hong Kong social entrepreneurs

Social unrest and Covid-19 have interrupted Hong Kong’s strong upward trend in the formation of new social enterprises, new research suggests – but experts believe that with the right support the sector can continue to flourish.

A report published this month by the British Council, The State of Social Enterprise in Hong Kong, found that almost half the region’s social enterprises had been operating for four years or fewer – but that just 16% of those polled were formed after 2019.


Updated whub blog banner visual  600 200   8

Recommend to a friend

Next on your reading list