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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 28 February 2021


Willis Towers Watson acquires Hong Kong’s HR tech startup Jobable

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) announced it has acquired Hong Kong-based human capital analytics and software company Jobable and hired the startup’s entire team.

Former Jobable CEO Richard Hanson joins WTW as global head of data science for talent and rewards. Based in Hong Kong, Hanson will work to identify and capture global revenue opportunities, as well as contribute to WTW’s thought leadership initiatives. Meanwhile, Jobable co-founder Luke Byrne, who served as the company’s chief operating officer, will help drive the transition process.

With the acquisition, WTW will be able to capitalize on Jobable’s expertise in human capital data science and software development. This includes full-stack software development, data engineering, natural language processing, deep learning, predictive analytics, and rapid prototyping, among others.

The acquisition will also enhance WTW’s services in helping organizations drive digital transformation and uncover the insights within their human capital data.

Edtech Startup Doubtnut Bags $31 Mn, SIG Investments Leads The Round

Edtech startup Doubtnut has raised INR 224 Cr (about $31 Mn) in a round led by Hong Kong-based venture capital firm SIG Investments and James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems. Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network India and Waterbridge Ventures also participated in this round. With this round, the edtech startup has raised close to $50 Mn to date.

Avendus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Doubtnut on this transaction.

Doubtnut was founded by IIT-Delhi alumni Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar in October 2017. Vedantu’s former chief business officer Ravi Sekhar joined in as the cofounder of this edtech startup in March 2020.

Looking at this growth, Doubtnut plans to use this fresh capital to expand its product offering in more Indian languages and curriculum subjects. Besides this, it is also looking to monetise its platform by launching new paid courses. The development comes as the company is looking to clock $30 Mn average recurring revenue (ARR) by September 2021.


Cigna Partners with The CareVoice

Cigna Hong Kong announced a new partnership with Asian health insurtech company The CareVoice . The partnership will see the launch of “blüüm woman”, a solution that provides “flexible medical protection and innovative digital health services” to help protect women in Hong Kong at every life stage.

The partnership will see the launch of “blüüm woman”, a solution that provides flexible medical protection and innovative digital health services to help protect women in Hong Kong at every life stage.

Available on blüüm, an integrated health platform, blüüm woman offers two insurance products: “Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan” and “Cigna HealthSecure Lady Care Plan”, which provide protection against the costs associated with hospitalization, pregnancy, psychiatric treatment or critical illness. Complemented by digital health services for prevention, treatment and recovery support, blüüm woman offers all-around care for women so that they can be free to live the life they want.

Big Idea Ventures Launch Fund To Support Rural U.S. Economies Through Alt Protein Innovation

Founded in 2018, Big Idea Ventures (BIV), a venture capital company that invests in early-stage alternative protein innovation has launched the Generation Food Rural Partners (GFRP) fund and has chosen North Carolina State University as its first collaborator.

The fund is a US$125 million target fund that aims to boost the economic development of rural communities through protein innovation, commercialization of food and agricultural technologies, and university intellectual property.

In a press release seen by Green Queen, Andrew D. Ive, founder and managing general partner of BIV, said that the fund aims to repair the broken global food chain. “Big Idea Ventures was founded to solve the world’s greatest challenges by backing the world’s best entrepreneurs. This new fund will widen our scope to capture breakthrough technologies from world-class universities that will impact the global food supply chain. The goal is to drive job creation and entrepreneurship in rural communities hungry for economic development and have them continue to be the centers of food innovation and production for generations to come.”

Green Monday has been named as one of the “Top 10 FoodTech Companies” by Forward Fooding 

Along with the top innovators and disruptors in the innovation, sustainability and technology food space to improve the global food system by solving the world’s most pressing challenges, Green Monday was named as one of the “Top 10 FoodTech Companies” by Forward Fooding.

Other companies amongst the Top 10 FoodTech Companies: Plenty, Imperfect Foods, Infarm, Too Good to Go, AeroFarms, Apeel, LiveKindly Collective, Farmy, NotCo

Here are some key statistics of the 2020 Foodtech 500 Companies: 

  • 52 Countries Represented
  • 374 Revenue-Generating companies
  • 423 Companies Received Investment
  • €4.1+ Total Funds Raised (Over time)
  • 39.5% Companies are in their Seed Stage, 28.6% in Series A and 6.6% in Series B
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