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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 27 December 2020


On-demand logistics company Lalamove gets $515 million Series E

Lalamove will extend its network to cover more small Chinese cities after raising $515 million in Series E funding, the on-demand logistics company announced on its site. The round was led by Sequoia Capital China, with participation from Hillhouse Capital and Shunwei Capital. All three are returning investors.

According to Crunchbase data, this brings Lalamove’s total raised so far to about $976.5 million. The company’s last funding announcement was in February 2019, when it hit unicorn status with a Series D of $300 million.

In its announcement, Lalamove CEO Shing Chow said its Series E will be used to enter more fourth and fifth-tier Chinese cities, adding “we believe the mobile internet’s transformation of China’s logistics industry is far from over.”

Hong Kong-based logistics startup nets $10m in pre-series A round

Zeek, a Southeast Asia-focused logistics technology startup, has secured approximately $10 million in pre-Series A financing.

The company intends to use the funds to further its  expansion in Southeast Asia markets, enhance and refineme its logistics management technology, and in data analytics applications.

This brings the total amount of funding to around $15 million, led by SF Holding, Chinachem Group, Philippine family office The Kho Group, Dr. Lee Ka Kit, Chairman and Managing Director of Henderson Land in a private investment, the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund Corporation of the Hong Kong SAR Government, HKSTP Ventures, Elite Time Limited, Radiant Tech Venture Fund LP, Caelus Asset Management, SQ Capital Ventures, among other investors.

New anti-money-laundering regulations should exclude Hong Kong’s bitcoin ATMs to sustain innovation, says industry body 

As Hong Kong’s financial regulators tighten their scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, the machines that dispense bitcoin and other digital tokens may soon be among the last remaining avenues for individual retail traders.

A broader set of rules currently being considered would subject the city’s virtual currency exchange platforms to licensing requirements by the Securities and Futures Commission, and forbid them from servicing retail investors.

But the bitcoin automatic teller machines (ATMs) could also eventually find themselves off limits if an appeal from the cryptocurrency community for the government to exclude them from the extended regulations designed to tackle money laundering goes unheeded.

Global investors inject momentum into Hong Kong’s biotech craze

International investors including BlackRock and Fidelity are anchoring a boom in Hong Kong biotech listings, with Chinese healthcare companies raising a record $21.1bn from share offerings in the city this year.

Hong Kong is seeking to supplant New York’s Nasdaq as the world’s largest biotech fundraising centre by 2025. The rush of interest from western investors follows reforms two years ago that allowed biotech groups with no revenue to go public in the Asia finance hub for the first time.

Those listings have been backed by so-called cornerstone investors from the US and elsewhere, which in return for a large allocation agree not to sell their shares within six months following an initial public offering.


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