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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 29 March 2021


HK robot startup a top winner of JUMPSTARTER 2021

Rice Robotics, an autonomous robot company from Hong Kong, and Lingxi AR Technology, an optical display and AR technology company from Beijing, came out as the top two winning teams from the recent global startup pitch competition, JUMPSTARTER 2021, entitling them to an investment of up to USD 4 million, organized by the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF). 

Rice Robotics, the Hong Kong-based startup that is building the infrastructure for companies to deploy robot fleets,  won the prize in the smart city category and was also awarded the Social Startup award, while the Top Innovative Startup Award was given to the China startup, Lingxi AR Technology for its waveguide AR technology.

This year they received 2000 applications from 100 countries across the world to the four different categories: retail, fintech, smart city, and deep tech industries. Although the event was conducted virtually, it was nevertheless able to attract 126,000 global supporters.



Hong Kong Startup Plans To Launch Passenger Drone and Seaplane Service


Seaplane Hong Kong, the first passenger drone service in Hong Kong, will be offering passenger drone flights that connect HK’s central business districts, Central and Kwun Tong, to a new town, Tsueng Kwan O. Each one-way trip will cost around HKD 200 and the commute time between these districts will be shortened by 5 to 8.

The passenger drone industry is estimated to have a compound annual growth rate of 26% and is expected to reach $16 billion by 2027. Seaplane will later on hope to utilize their service to further integrate Hong Kong and other cities in the Greater Bay Area to further realize a one-hour living circle and benefit Hong Kong’s overall economic and tourism development. 



Plant-based egg maker Eat Just raises $200 million in new funding round

Eat Just Inc, a plant-based egg producer looking to meet increasing demand for alternative protein products, has just raised $200 million in funding,  led by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund,  that will be used to boost capacity and expand into new markets. 

Eat Just, founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, is best known for its mung bean based-egg substitute, ‘JUST Egg’. Since 2011, the company has raised more than $650 million, with Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing being one of its backers.



Stripe’s Value Jumps to $95 Billion, Becomes Top U.S. Startup


With its latest round of funding, Stripe Inc. has become the most valuable startup in the US , amongst tripling its valuation in less than a year to $95 billion. The online payment processing company is used by businesses to accept payments and competes with companies like Square Inc. and Paypal Holdings Inc. Stripe, a company that has benefited from the boom in e-commerce, has been able to accelerate as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Stripe plans to invest in its headquarters in Dublin to support the surge in demand and expand its global payments and treasury network. Currently, the company isn’t focusing on an initial public offering, said the CFO. 


Prince Harry Takes New Job With Silicon Valley Startup

Following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit from the royal life in early 2020, Silicon Valley coaching and mental health startup, BetterUp Inc, announced that Prince Harry will join their firm as its Chief Impact Officer.

The prince hopes to create an impact in people’s lives by giving ‘input into initiatives including product strategy decisions and charitable contributions’, as well as serving as a public advocate. 



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