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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 30 August 2020


Covid-19 Accelerates New Ways of Working for Construction Projects

A Hong Kong startup is helping developers and contractors around the world save money while creating opportunities for struggling professionals as they adapt to the shifting landscape brough about by Covid-19. 

Founder Robert Barratt is a Chartered Surveyor with almost two decades worth of experience in the construction industry and has long been troubled that access to the best talent in the industry was much easier for employers in attractive locations or for those with deeper pockets. 

His solution was to create Quantitiv, a marketplace bringing opportunities to top-tier professionals in Hong Kong while allowing their skills to be easily accessed by developers and contractors in other parts of the world. 

Quantitiv’s platform allows users to source and connect to professionals around the world, providing th eopporutnity to outsource specific tasks or have an industry expert work alongside the site team remotely. 

Meet the startups from Brinc’s first online Demo Day

Like other accelerators, Brinc hasn’t let 2020 get in the way of its program for early-stage startups. The firm is known for focusing on food technology, health tech, clean energy and hardware, and has a knack for finding some of the most interesting startups in those spaces. Today, we joined Brinc’s  first online Demo Day to meet startups from its spring Hong Kong programs, as well as its hardware and IoT program in India.

Hong Kong startup Symphony has developed plug-and-play sensors that monitor vibrations from machines, send data to cloud-based software that uses AI to analyze how they are performing and visualize the data on an app with maintenance advice. This helps facilities predict potential issues before machines shut down, resulting in expensive downtime.

Check out the other startups from Canada, Singapore, India, America and more. 

Asian Investors Back Mushlabs In US$10M Round To Scale-Up Mushroom-Based Alt Protein

Germany-based biotech startup Mushlabs has secured a US$10 million Series A round, which was co-led by VisVires New Protein, the division under Singapore’s VisVires Capital, and European startup investor Redalpine. The round also saw financing from Happiness Capital, an affiliate of Hong Kong’s established food brand Lee Kum Kee, as well as San Francisco-based Joyance Partners. 

It marks VisVires New Protein’s maiden investment out of the fund, an indicator of the potential Asia-focused expansion strategy that Mushlabs is eyeing in the future. 

The latest capital injection brings Mushlab’s total funding to date to US$12.2 million, and the startup plans to use the financing to ramp up its production and B2B distribution. 

Tencent Nears Deal to Take Gaming Firm Leyou Private

Tencent Holdings Ltd. is close to taking Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd. private in a deal that would value the Chinese gaming firm at about $1.3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Leyou, which was listed in Hong Kong in 2011, makes games including free shooting games Warframe and Dirty Bomb. It’s also working with Amazon.com Inc. to co-produce a video game based on the popular fantasy series “The Lord of the Rings,” according to its website.

The companies are discussing an offer price range of HK$3.30 to HK$3.40 for each Leyou share, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Leyou’s major shareholder Charles Yuk plans to sell his entire stake in the company, the people said. Yuk held about 69% of the Hong Kong-listed firm as of the end of December, its latest annual report shows.

A deal would mark the end of almost a yearlong process that has been in motion since at least September. Bidders included Tencent-backed iDreamSky Technology Holdings Ltd., Zhejiang Century Huatong Group Co., a Shenzhen-listed gaming firm that also counts Tencent as a shareholder, Japanese tech giant Sony Corp., as well as private equity firms.


SEA startups with the most funding dollars

Well, the companies on our list of top-funded startups in Southeast Asia are certainly in an enviable position, as they’ve gotten more than a little money from investors.

Find out who’s got the region’s funding dollars in the link above or scroll down for a summary.

Ant Group files for its stock market debut
Ant Group, the company behind Chinese payments platform Alipay, has filed for its IPOs in the Hong Kong stock exchange and in Shanghai’s Star Market. Ant reportedly plans to raise more than US$20 billion from the dual listing, which could bring the company’s valuation to over US$200 billion.

Didi goes north
China’s biggest ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing, marked its entry into Europe by launching its services in the Tatarstan Republic, part of the Russian Federation. This expansion is part of the company’s ambitious three-year growth plan, which includes a target of 100 million daily trips and 800 million monthly active users.

JurisTech acquires financial comparison site iMoney
Malaysian fintech company JurisTech, which specializes in enterprise-level software solutions, has acquired iMoney, a personal finance management platform, for an undisclosed amount. The two businesses envision building a platform to offer solutions for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer partners in the finance and banking industry.

Uber launches car rentals in India
Ride-hailing platform Uber has launched an on-demand auto rental service in India. Users will be able to book a vehicle and its driver for several hours and be able to make multiple stops along a journey.

Ola Electric begins restructuring
Ola Electric, the electric vehicle arm of Indian ride-sharing company Ola Cabs, has begun its restructuring process. It plans to hire about 2,000 people globally to build electric vehicles across segments and develop battery-as-a-service applications for a shared mobility model. The company is also planning to launch its first product, an electric scooter, soon.

This comes after Ola Cabs announced earlier in the year that it would be laying off about 1,400 employees after seeing a 95% drop in revenue from February through May.

Razer sees record high revenues in H1
Singaporean gaming company Razer recorded US$447.5 million in revenues for the first half of 2020, a 25.3% growth from the same period last year. The bulk of this growth came from its hardware unit, which includes its peripherals and systems businesses.


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