Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 17May2021


Animoca Brands raises $88,888,888 at a billion dollar valuation

Animoca Brands announced that their company has officially achieved unicorn status by being valued at a billion dollars with the capital raise of US $88,888,888 that they just completed. Nearly three years ago they explained their vision for the NFT ecosystem, but their grand masterplan to become a significant force in the space actually kicked off a few months earlier, in January 2018, when they began their relationship with Cryptokitties by becoming its distributor in their region.

Animoca Brands has become a major force in the world of blockchain gaming and, in particular, non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They have built a broad portfolio of investments into some of the most powerful and meaningful companies in the space. In the letter, they announce that Animoca Brands has received validation from several investors of great repute, including Kingsway Capital, RIT Capital Partners (formerly Rothschild Investment Trust), HashKey Fintech Investment Fund, AppWorks Fund, LCV Fund, Huobi, Octava (via True Global Ventures), Ellerston Capital, Perennial, Axia Infinity Ventures, SNZ, Liberty City Ventures, Metapurse, Katherine Yip Ribeiro, AngelHub and other prominent investors who share our vision for a more equitable world in which we are able to take control of our online activities by truly owning our digital objects: NFTs.

Karena Belin, AngelHub co-founder and COO:

“Our investment in Animoca Brands enables our network of professional investors to fuel the growth of a company that is changing market dynamics and driving value creation in an impactful way. We expect significant growth in the adoption of blockchain-powered games and Animoca Brands is ideally positioned to drive and benefit from this - which is reinforced by the traction that the company has among our great investors.”

Whole Food Plant-Based Jackfruit Startup Karana Launches Its Alt Meat Across Restaurants In Hong Kong

Singapore-based Karana is now on menus across restaurants in Hong Kong namely Chaat at Rosewood; Sip Song by Maximal Concepts; Emerald in Central, all Beef & Liberty outlets, all Elephant Grounds outlets, Cantonese restaurant Cheung Kung Koon in Causeway Bay and Deliveroo brand HOT ‘N’ MEEN. In addition, it is partnering with gourmet food and ingredient distributor, Classic Fine Foods.

The whole food plant-based brand uses natural and sustainable ingredients with its first product developed out of jackfruit that is widely grown across Asia. The flesh of the unripe fruit is popular in Indian cuisines, but not used as widely in the rest of the region (the dried & sweetened mature flesh is a common snack across ASEAN countries) and often unnecessarily wasted. Thanks to its meat-like texture, young jackfruit is a much-loved ingredient in vegan recipes, with a shredded chicken or pork feel. Working with smallholder farms based out of Sri Lanka, KARANA aims to support these farmers by transforming jackfruit into plant-based pork alternatives that are available to consumers in shredded or minced formats.

China’s Medical Data Startup LinkDoc Eyes $500 Million IPO

Chinese medical data startup LinkDoc Technology is planning to raise $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO), Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

The public filing could happen in Hong Kong but LinkDoc is still considering other potential venues for the IPO, the sources told Bloomberg. Negotiations are ongoing and could change regarding the size of the fundraise and the timing.

Founded in 2014 in Beijing by Shan He and Tony Zhang, LinkDoc provides healthcare services that are steeped in big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer the latest in cancer-focused care. Alibaba Health Information Technology is reportedly among its backers.

A competing AI-focused medical data platform — Yidu Tech— raised $610 million in a Hong Kong IPO in January, per Bloomberg. Its share price surged some 43 percent since the listing.

Colin Mellon, senior vice president of healthcare and insurance solutions at Fiserv, said in a PYMNTS TV Trend Talk that the pandemic turned the spotlight on solutions that don’t benefit medical providers due to lack of engagement. Integrated technology — chatbots, virtual visits and online tutorials — can advance services while also making statements easier to understand.

The intersection of healthcare and digital technologies has been instrumental in giving consumers better care at a more affordable price point. In an interview with PYMNTS, Dr. YiDing Yu, chief medical officer of healthcare-centric artificial intelligence (AI) platform Olive, said the healthcare system is still buried in manual processes and paper flows.

Yu said Olive was developed to serve as the “internet of healthcare” and aims to integrate the various information points while streamlining manual tasks using AI. With an AI-powered approach, the typical workflow is more efficient because it draws from real-time rules, according to the report.

Fintech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific Returns in 2021, Aims to Help Early-Stage, High-Potential Startups

The Fintech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific program has now returned for its eighth edition this year with additional opportunities for early-stage and high-potential startups.

Cyberport, a founding partner, will be giving finalists from the 2021 cohort the chance to take part in the 2-year (or 24-month) Cyberport Incubation Program (CIP) and will also provide access to Cyberport’s Marco Fund.

During the last few years, many prominent Fintech professionals have benefited from participating in the training workshops and related networking events that take place at the Cyberport Campus under Fintech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific.

Even though there are COVID-related travel restrictions, the event organizers plan to continue this year, but activities will be carried out in “hybrid” mode. Local teams can meet up in-person with some mentors at Cyberport, meanwhile, the international teams can take part in these events via online platforms.

The program’s Alumni have said that the initiative has helped them with taking their companies and ideas to the next level. They claim it has assisted them with accelerating their growth efforts and has connected them with strategic business partners.

59 firms have now graduated from the Fintech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific and have secured a total of  $716 million in capital.

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