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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 22 September 2019


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Hong Kong chef’s dream of a scalable plant-based fast food concept takes root at Treehouse

Chef and entrepreneur Christian Mongendre is back with a new venue to whet people’s appetites for plant-based food. 

After suddenly closing the popular Home- Eat to Live vegetarian restaurant two years ago, the Hong Kong- born chef recently opened Treehosue at H Code on Pottinger Street in Central. It is a culmination of his experiences since he and Bobsy Gaia co-founded Mana! Fast Slow Food in 2012. 

“I always wanted to do one product and do it well and make it scalable, which has always been my dream,” the 34-year-old explains. “[At Treehouse] we’re not labelling ourselves as a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, we’re focusing on quality.”

Tucked in an alley behind Nojo just below Hollywood Road, Treehouse helps people reconnect with nature, Mongendre explains. There’s even a miniature tree house with a very long ladder that hangs from the ceiling. “Whether you have been in a tree house or not, you understand the feeling of being lifted and supported by nature,” he says.

Cannes’ ‘Papicha’ Receives Tokenized Investment from Hong Kong Financiers

FinFabrik and Lumiere, two companies based in Hong Kong made history by performing the first tokenization of a direct investment into a movie in the world. Lumiere and FinFabrik have joined forces bringing their business and technical expertise together to tokenise a co-investment into ‘Papicha’. By having their equity participation digitalised, investors will have the opportunity in the future to transfer or sell it to other investors who want to have access to an exciting alternative asset.

‘Papicha’ is a progressive film directed by Mounia Meddour, produced by Xavier Gens and Gregoire Gensollen from The Ink Connection, and Patrick Andre from High Sea Productions, and distributed worldwide by Jour2Fête; it premiered in Cannes earlier this year and has been selected to represent Algeria for the Best International Feature Film at the Oscars.

Hyderabad Fintech Forum to strengthen start-up ecosystem takes shape

Karena Belin, cofounder of WHub, Hong Kong’s largest startup community was in India this week at the launch of the Hyderabad FinTech Forum, a platform to enable and strengthen the startup ecosystem to make unicorns from the city. On the sidelines of the HFF inauguration, an MoU was also signed between Q-Hub and W-Hub to enable cross-border exchange of Fintech market opportunities in India and Hong Kong. 

The website of HFF was also launched on the occasion to provide a platform for mentor-mentee connectivity for startups.

According to the HFF functionaries, it consists of early stage Fintech start-ups, heads of research and development and technology departments of MNCs in India, angel investors, venture capitalists, academicians, researchers, government officials and regulators. They claimed that over 600 Fintech members have already joined the HFF. 

Self-driving startup gets the attention of Dongfeng and Alibaba

AutoX, an autonomous driving firm dual-headquartered in Hong Kong and California, has closed a $100 million Series A round led by Chinese state-owned Dongfeng Motor, which will help the startup build its fleet and expand the technical team. 

Dongfeng Motor Corporation led the investment. Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund also joined, together with incubator Plug and Play Tech Center, Hong Kong Science Park and other investors.

AutoX is streets ahead of its competitors. It has attracted the largest fundraising in the Chinese autonomous driving market so far this year. AutoX is planning to immediately kick off a new round of fundraising following the completion of the current deal, according to the statement. 

The company would join Alibaba’s ecosystem, which is expected to promote the better application of its autonomous driving solutions in the logistics industry. The startup also laid out plans to foray into the Southeast Asian market with the backing of its Series A round investors located in the region.

HKSTP to Promote Hong Kong’s Vibrant Biotechnology and Fintech Ecosystems at Think Asia Think Hong Kong in Los Angeles

HKSTP will take part in the annual Think Asia Think Hong Kong event (TATHK), to be held in Los Angeles, an international event organised by the HKTDC to highlight Hong Kong’s pivotal role in connecting Asia’s vibrant and expanding markets to the rest of the world. For this year’s event, the biotech sector will receive extra focus to attract talent and investments to Hong Kong. 

HKSTP will host a thematic session “Riding the Wave of Health Innovations – Invest in Hong Kong Biotech” at TATHK, where Prof. John Kao, Head of the Biomedical Cluster of HKSTP will share the latest developments, insights and investment landscape in Hong Kong’s biotechnology and healthcare industries. Meanwhile, thriving partner companies and incubatees will focus on their success stories in commercialising their research outputs, and share their experience in being part of Hong Kong’s vibrant I&T ecosystem.

Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP will take part in another thematic session hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, “Smart Banking empowering rapid fintech development in Hong Kong.” He will share the current fintech landscape and related R&D in Hong Kong, as well as case studies that HKSTP has supported.

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