Sept 25  2019  1

Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 8 September 2019


If you'd like to listen to the top 5 news of the Hong Kong Startup Ecosystem in just 2 minutes, check out WHub's new podcast - The WhyCast!

The best place to find weekly news about Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem, as well as longer features and extra content—all of which is made, with ❤️by WHub.

Get the latest updates by subscribing to our podcast: The Why-Cast on iTunesSpotify or Pocket Casts!

Hong Kong Loosens Fintech Lending

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority amended its credit risk management guidelines to encourage greater application of analytic tools when providing loans, in yet another move to further fintech development in the financial hub.

As part of the HKMA’s «Banking Made Easy Initiative», lenders are now allowed to further expand personal lending based on credit analytics tools, like big data analysis, to assess and approve applications. The guideline was issued in May 2018 and initially limited such types of lending but will now liberalize the market.

“Several AIs (authorized institutions) have since rolled out new retail credit products following the guidelines and the business has been operating smoothly.” said HKMA’s executive director of banking supervision, Raymond Chan, in a note. 

“In view of this latest development, the HKMA considers that it is no longer necessary to set an across-the-board limit applicable to all AIs on such lending (i.e. 10% of an AI’s capital base). Instead, the HKMA expects AIs intending to develop this business to set a limit of their own, which should be commensurate with their risk appetite and risk management capability.”

China's tech news platform TechNode closes pre-Series B to increase global outreach

TechNode, an online technology and entrepreneurship news platform in China, has closed pre-Series B funding round of “tens of millions of RMB”. Leading co-working operator UCommune and investment firm XCGT Holding Group participated in the round.

With this funding, TechNode aims to increase its global outreach with international technology innovation as its core strategy, as well as accelerate the expansion of its international influence through media, branding, and data-sourcing.

The company also aims to become an innovation platform connecting global companies with Chinese innovation.

Through this investment, the strategic cooperation between UCommune and TechNode will be strengthened. TechNode will help enhance UCommune’s dynamic and entrepreneurial innovation environment.

For international collaboration, UCommune and TechNode will complement each other by forming an O2O (online-offline) technology ecosystem to connect China and the international community.

Campaigns are now live on AngelHub

Two Fintech and Robotics startups are live on AngelHub. Angelhub shared that its companies are raising USD800,000 of which USD160,000 has already been committed. The two companies have also secured in this round from Venture Capitals, Government and top accelerators.

AngelHub is democratizing startup investment and provide startups the opportunity to raise from Professional Investors! 

EurekaNova Cohort 3 announced by New World Development and Mizuho Bank

New World Development together with Mizuho Bank have announced the latest cohort of EurekaNova, the 6-month accelerator programme in which this time the two main streams are fintech and culture tech. 

They are looking for revenue-generating startups which have a founding base in Asia, have the intention to expand to Asia in the near future or to make an alliance with Asian corporates, and those who share their vision to build the next generation of living together. 

They’re looking for Fin Tech, health tech, and insurance tech companies to join their cohort.

You will get:

  • Access to real business operations for product and market validation

  • Mentorship from business leaders of the two leading corporates, Mizuho Bank, Ltd and New World Group

  • Mentorship from expert teams of the supporting organizations including Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Cyberport, Deloitte, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation and Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen

  • Networking occasions to connect to senior leaders of various fields

  • Office space at K11 Atelier, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, HK

Application deadline for open recruitment is 15th Sep 2019

This Startup Used AI To Design A Drug In 21 Days

Hong Kong-based Insilico Medicine published research Monday showing that its deep learning system could identify potential treatments for fibrosis. That system, called generative tensorial reinforcement learning, or GENTRL for short, was able to find six promising treatments in just 21 days, one of which showed promising results in an experiment involving mice. The research has been published in Nature Biotechnology, and the code for the model has been made available on Github.

Of course, in the grand scheme of drug development, this only represents the very first step. While this represents a milestone in demonstrating the potential of AI to identify drug candidates, it will still take years of clinical trials and millions spent on investigation before any drug candidate is approved for use to treat a particular disease.

Zhavoronkov also cautions that Insilico still has a lot of work ahead of it, though for him, this research is an important breakthrough because it shows the promise of using AI for drug discovery. 

“I think that this paper will remove a lot of skepticism in big pharma,” he says.

Startup news round up  2

Recommend to a friend

Next on your reading list