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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - July 19 2021


Hong Kong biotech start-up Prenetics plans $1.3 billion SPAC merger

Hong Kong biotech company Prenetics is set to merge with Artisan Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, in a deal that will value the new entity at $1.3 billion or more, according to a source close to the deal.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year. The SPAC is already traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker ARTAU.

SPACs are shell companies set up to raise money through an initial public offering — their sole purpose is to merge with or acquire an existing private company and to take it public. They bypass Wall Street's traditional IPO process.

Hong Kong Startup Pickupp Raises $15 Million From Billionaires And Conglomerates For Asia Expansion

Pickupp, a Hong Kong-based logistics startup, announced earlier this week that it has raised about $15 million in funding since November to fuel its Asia expansion and grow its e-commerce platform.

New investors include Taiwan e-commerce company PChome, Taipei-based Cornerstone Ventures and Drive Catalyst, the corporate venture arm of Taiwan conglomerate Far Eastern Group, which is chaired by billionaire Douglas Hsu. Existing investor Swire Properties, a Hong Kong-headquartered property developer, also participated in the funding.

Startups exploring Greater Bay Area opportunities in Hong Kong to benefit from Alibaba HKEF

The fund will invest in startups either located in the GBA or a Hong Kong-based startup with plans to expand into the GBA.

Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF) will be an anchor investor in the AEF Greater Bay Area (GBA) Fund, with the aim to provide programmes to nurture entrepreneurship in the region.

AEF is Hong Kong's first-ever venture fund formed by the private sector focused exclusively on startups in GBA. The target funding of the GBA Fund amounts to HK$2bn, and the final closing is expected to take place in the first half of 2022.

The Fund is supported by limited partners including financial institutions, family offices and conglomerates, among others.

Fintech startup based in Singapore and Hong Kong gets $700k in seed funding

Zetl, a Hong Kong- and Singapore-based fintech startup, raised US$700,000 in seed funding to finance product development and its Asia-Pacific expansion plans.

The Workplace Accelerator, a program focused on technology related to human resources, led the round, which also saw participation from angel investors and family offices.

Zetl provides services that cover working capital, payroll management, and growth financing for its recruitment and consultancy industry clients. The HR tech startup claims to have grown 300% after launching in Hong Kong and Singapore last year. 

Singapore-Based Vegan Chicken Startup Bags Additional $20M to Launch in U.S.

Singapore food tech Next Gen, maker of plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE, has secured US$20 million in its extended seed round in order to launch in the U.S. market. This takes the startup’s total seed round to US$30 million, and according to Pitchbook, the initial US$10 million was already hailed as the largest seed round for a vegan food tech company gobally. According to publicly available information, the company is valued at US$180 million.

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