Updated whub blog banner visual  600 200

Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 22 March 2020


Hong Kong’s AMTD Digital to acquire Singapore insurtech startup PolicyPal

AMTD Digital, the digital finance arm of Hong Kong-based AMTD Group, announced that it will acquire a controlling stake in PolicyPal, an insurtech company with a digital insurance broker license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). PolicyPal will also collaborate with AMTD’s insurance brokerage company, AMTD Risk Solution, to promote online insurance services and risk management experience. It helps consumers to understand their insurance needs and provides them with financial planning solutions. AMTD Digital, meanwhile, has been working towards building a one-stop, cross-market digital financial services platform for Asian consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises. It wants to integrate digital banking, digital insurance, digital asset exchange, e-payment or remittance, and other licensed businesses in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, according to the statement.

SenseTime postpones plan for potential IPO, seeks private funding

SenseTime has decided to postpone its Hong Kong IPO of up to $750 million following the global aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak and the facial recognition unicorn’s inclusion on the U.S. Entity List, and is looking to secure $1 billion in private funding, writes Nikkei Asian Review.

The company has so far received financial support from Alibaba Group Holding, Qualcomm and SoftBank Group, and worked on the IPO with Chinese investment bank China International Capital Corp. SenseTime’s business model includes biometric facial recognition, robot delivery, smart health and education. SenseTime co-founder Tang Xiaoou said in a 2018 presentation at MIT that the startup surpassed Facebook in facial recognition success rate, reaching 99 percent. Citing a Reuters report, Nikkei says SenseTime had forecast a 200 percent revenue increase in 2019, however it reported negative cash flow and is now in pre-IPO fundraising.

Biopharma Startup Eyes Hong Kong Listing as Markets Tank

Money-losing biotech drug maker InnoCare Pharma Ltd. plans to raise up to HK$2.24 billion ($288 million) through a Hong Kong listing, betting investors will buy into its story as global markets go through one of their worst periods in more than a decade. The move would make the company, whose founders include several big names from the sector, Hong Kong’s first biotech company to list in 2020. The company plans to sell about 250 million shares for between HK$8.18 and HK$8.95 per share. It began taking orders on Wednesday and will set a final price on March 16. It aims to start trading on Hong Kong’s main board on March 23. Also, the company will make the listing into one of the worst markets since the global financial crisis of 2008, as investors worldwide dump shares over concerns that the global Covid-19 outbreak could push the world into recession. 

JD.com may list in Hong Kong soon

Chinese online retailer JD.com is reportedly eyeing a secondary listing on the Hong Kong stock market as early as mid-2020, following rival Alibaba’s blockbuster $13 billion listing in November. JD.com could be the latest addition to a group of Chinese tech firms that are gearing up for a dual listing in Hong Kong. It is in discussions with investment banks including UBS and Bank of America on details about a secondary listing, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. In January 2018, founder and CEO Richard Liu indicated that the company was considering a dual listing either in Hong Kong or mainland China. JD announced in January a $1 billion note offering to refinance and fund general operations. The e-commerce giant beat market expectations of its Q4 2019 earnings, though it said the crisis around the Covid-19 outbreak will cost the company about 10% of its net revenue growth in Q1.

Y Combinator accelerator plans to run next cohort completely remote

In yet another development, tech companies in Indonesia have started implementing work-from-home policy in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Y Combinator has revealed plans to possibly make its Summer 2020 accelerator programme entirely virtual.The Silicon Valley firm, as reported by TechCrunch, has already made its Demo Day for its Winter 2020 cohort an online-only affair and has accelerated the timeline for the Demo Day a week early. Also, in a bid to curb the coronavirus spread, major Indonesian companies including tech giants headquartered in Jakarta, have put in place a work-from-home policy. Online airline ticketing and hotel booking platform Traveloka approached the situation by establishing a special team to monitor the latest developments regarding the health emergency and to ensure that the company’s day-to-day operations remain normal.

Updated whub blog thumbnail  940 788   21

Recommend to a friend

Next on your reading list