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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 22 December 2019


Sleek raises $5M to help companies incorporate and operate in Singapore and Hong Kong

Sleek, a startup that is making it easier for other startups to establish and operate in Hong Kong and Singapore has announced that it has raised US$5 million in its extended seed financing round. The extended seed round was led by MI8, an Asia-focused European-backed private investment company as well as private investors Pierre Lorinet and Fabio Blom.

The financing will help the company expand its tech team and build new features for clients in Hong Kong and Singapore. “Hong Kong is a historical Asian financial hub, with six times more operating companies than in Singapore and an amazing business ecosystem,” said Adrien Barthel, co-founder of Sleek. "We offer a simple panel for our customers to quickly verify the progress we have made on any front," he added.

The service provider claims to have grown to 85 staff and on-boarded more than 2,000 companies since its incorporation.

AngelHub successfully closes its first two startup fundraising campaigns and launches the Global Startup Competition

AngelHub, Hong Kong’s first and only Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) Licensed Startup Investment platform has successfully closed the first two startup fundraising campaigns. The Hong Kong FinTech Startup Know Your Customer and Singaporean Robotics Startup Botsync have closed a total investment amount of US$2,500,000. 

AngelHub continues to launch new campaigns, covering several sectors including PropTech and Fast Fashion/E-commerce, including a Series C company, which already confirmed more than USD50,000,000 investment. 

WHub and AngelHub are also proud to announce the launch of its Global Startup Competition across 12 countries in Asia and EMEA, leveraging its global network of over 500 partners worldwide. Each country winner will be flown to Hong Kong to pitch at the competition finale, held during the annual tech conference: Startup Impact Summit on February 14th 2020, part of StartmeUp Festival. The winners stand a chance to win upto USD1,000,000 in equity funding and USD10,000 prize money.

TravelFlan bags $7M to enhance IT, expand to new markets

Hong Kong-based AI startup TravelFlan recently announced that it has raised an additional $7 million in funding. This latest investment, a Series A round, brings the company's total funding to date to more than $9.9 million. 

The round was led by SPK AI Travel Tech Fund, founded by Lazard Korea, with participation from Linear Venture China, Radiant Venture Hong Kong, ITVSC Fund Hong Kong, SoSV, Chinaccelerator and Artesian Capital.

The company stated that it would use the capital to enhance IT development and to expand to new markets throughout Asia Pacific. “The new B2B2C model quickly expanded our customer base from only serving 150,000 in 2016 to now serving almost 30 million customers in total,” said Abel Zhao, founder of TravelFlan. “This year we aim to achieve to serve a total of 50 million customers,” he added.

Animoca Brands to acquire nWay, developer and publisher of POWER RANGERS: Legacy Wars

Hong Kong based, Animoca Brands acquired nWay, Inc. for US$7.69 million. Animoca leverages gamification, blockchain, and artificial intelligence technologies to develop and publish a broad portfolio of mobile games. nWay is a San Francisco based developer and publisher of competitive multiplayer games across mobile, consoles, and PC.

The Acquisition of nWay will add a strong, highly experienced team of game developers and executives. It will also significantly bolster the company’s core gaming business capabilities and allow it to move from platform-specific gaming to crossplay gaming.

Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands said: “The acquisition of nWay is a historic day for Animoca Brands. Not only are we acquiring a company with experienced management, strong revenues, and successful branded games, but we are also immensely excited about the nWayPlay platform, which - among other advantages - will allow a new generation of developers to create multiplayer games without the many years of experience normally required for such tasks.”

New era for Hong Kong banking sector as ZA Bank becomes the city’s first virtual lender to launch services

ZA Bank, co-owned by mainland online insurer ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance and Sinolink Group, became the first virtual bank to start services in Hong Kong after gaining regulatory approval from Hong Kong Monetary Authority. 

ZA Bank will allow 2,000 of its selected users to try its services, such as remote account opening, multi-currency savings accounts, time deposits, local transfers and e-statements. 

The bank claims that customers can open an account in five minutes using only a Hong Kong identity card. The Bank is said to offer an interest rate of 1.4% for a one-month Hong Kong dollar time deposit, which rises to 2% for three, six and 12-month tenors. The bank also allows customers to open a time deposit account with only HK$1 and also accepts US dollars and yuan time deposits.

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