Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 8 February 2021


Here's What You Need to Know About Clubhouse, and Why You Should Join

The Clubhouse app officially hit unicorn status this week with its latest US$100 million investment round. Have you scored an invite yet?

Clubhouse, the hottest new-ish social media app that focuses on live audio and candid conversations, has had quite a 2021, so far. In late January, the San Francisco-based team secured a US$100 million investment in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz, valuing the company at US$1 billion—that's unicorn status in start-up speak.

And then on Sunday night, Pacific Time, Elon Musk hopped into a chatroom, and for 90 minutes fielded questions from a panel and discussed topics including Bitcoin, tunneling, the vaccine roll-out efforts in the United States, the future of Tesla, how much he loves Cobra Kai, and how his day-to-day calendar is just packed with back-to-back meetings (billionaires, they're just like us). In an unexpected move near the end of the chat session, Musk pulled Robinhood CEO Vladimir "Vlad" Tenev onto the virtual stage and grilled him on the recent Gamestop fallout. All of this happened live, in real time, fed directly into the ears of thousands of Clubhouse users in the main chat room as well as dozens of overflow rooms. The audio feed was also piped live to other streaming platforms, including YouTube.

Visa Expands Digital Currency Roadmap with First Boulevard

Visa (NYSE:V) today announced a partnership with First Boulevard, a digitally native neobank focused on building generational wealth for the Black community. First Boulevard will be first to pilot Visa’s new suite of crypto APIs, which will enable their customers to purchase, custody and trade digital assets held by Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank. The pilot will serve as a key first step in supporting API capabilities that help additional Visa clients access and integrate crypto features into their product offering, and is anticipated to launch later this year.


How a 30,000-member Facebook group is helping Hong Kong navigate one of the world's longest quarantines

Since its inception in March 2020, the support group has become an invaluable resource for Hong Kongers who travel overseas during the pandemic and must navigate the city's stringent Covid-19-related travel restrictions.

What started as a simple idea to connect people in quarantine with volunteers who could get them groceries has grown into a massive, crowdsourced platform with resources on almost every aspect of the arduous journey, such as advice on where to get the right nucleic acid tests abroad and detailed reviews on quarantine hotels. Those summaries often have vital information for such a long stay -- if windows open, where you can rent exercise equipment or whether a hotel refuses outside deliveries.

The group also offers a sense of community for those struggling in isolation. People regularly post about their experiences and how they're coping. Some vent for catharsis. Others share jokes and funny videos to pass the time.

Recommend to a friend

Next on your reading list