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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 25 August 2019


Insurtech startup, The CareVoice raises US$10m Series A

Shanghai-based insurance technology startup The CareVoice has raised about US$10 million in a funding round led by Chinese investment management company Lun Partners Group. The round was also joined by global healthcare fund DNA Capital as well as existing investors SOSV and Artesian Capital. 

The funding will be used by the startup to boost growth of its recently ‘spun off’ arm in mainland China and Hong Kong. The startup also plans to scale the team by threefold and pursue three main goals – invest in research and development, expand its sales and customer teams, and accelerate the launch of 10 new health insurance products. 

“This funding will accelerate our vision to become the leading health insurtech platform in Asia, making health insurance digital and more human! Thanks to our new breakthrough CareVoiceOS platform, we will continue growing fast the number of insurers using our services while penetrating new geographic markets, with the aim to change how millions of insurance members experience healthcare insurance,” said The CareVoice co-founder and CEO Sebastien Gaudin.

HK-based payment solutions firm BBPOS raises $8m

Hong Kong-based payment firm BBPOS has closed an $8 million funding round by a local investment firm. While a part of the funding will be used by BBPOS to spruce up delivery of its point-of-sale (POS) solutions for global enterprise merchants, the other part will be used to expand its comprehensive merchant services to the rapidly growing SME network in its key Asian markets.

Founded in 2008, BBPOS provides over 3 million POS terminals annually to over 50 countries and claims to have invented the world’s first mobile POS.

“We have recently become authorised payment facilitator for Visa, Mastercard and China UnionPay, allowing more efficient onboarding of BBPOS MSL merchant customers. We have been working with a major card scheme to roll out the region’s first and transformational ‘soft terminal’ on phone – more details to be shared upon launch late this year,” said Alex Choi, CEO of BBPOS MSL.

FTAHK Releases Guidance Document for Opening a Bank Account in HK

Startups often find it difficult to open a bank account in Hong Kong. In order to solve this, the FinTech Association of Hong Kong has released a Bank account opening guidance report which outlines steps you can take to smooth the process of opening a bank account in Hong Kong to help startups better understand the process. 

The document includes the valuable insights of major banks, tech companies (including start-ups) and professionals in the arena and was coordinated by FTAHK’s Policy & Advocacy Committee.

Hong Kong Startup Develops Water-Soluble Film To Fight Plastic Waste

Hong Kong-based startup Hydroplast is fighting plastic pollution through its new ground-breaking water-soluble technology, specifically the water-soluble film. 

Started with a mission to protect the planet from single-use plastic, Hydroplast developed a unique smart water soluble polymer. Products made using this patented technology are biodegradable, compostable and non-toxic. The company hopes that it can replace single-use plastic products over time to minimise the damage we have already caused to marine life and the environment. 

This technology can be applied to replace everyday items that would typically be made with soft flexible plastic film, such as plastic carrier bags, cling wrap, tape, gloves and retail packaging. Hydroplast films can even be printed on in the same way as conventional plastics, but the company has taken the extra step to only use ink made from organic ingredients to ensure that no toxins are left behind when the product is dissolved. Once dissolved in water, what is left is only hydrogen, carbon and oxygen – making it as safe as drinking water, according to the company’s founder.

HK based private equity firm leads Series B round in Vietnamese startup

Hong Kong based private equity firm, Hendale Capital, has led a 4 million US dollars Series B round in a Vietnamese startup called Everest Education, alongside Viet Capital Ventures, and Singapore-based family office Nullabor. The startup helps students get accepted into overseas education programs and succeed in international academic environments. They will use the funds to grow its learning centers.

Henry Lee, managing partner at Hendale Capital, said that Everest has “the potential to make a significant impact in the rapidly expanding supplemental education space in Vietnam.”

“We are committed to being a part of Vietnam’s vibrant growth equity space and see education as a critical element in the country’s continuing economic development,” Lee said in the statement.

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