Hong Kong, September 27, 2017
Start-up investments total around US$20 million since fund launch
The Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund (“the Fund”), a not-for-profit initiative run by Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), announced today it has invested approximately USD10 million in six rising start-ups in Hong Kong spanning across the fields of Financial technology (Fintech), Internet of Things (IoT), Sharing Economy and digital healthcare this year.
Cindy Chow, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, said, "We’re very excited with the progress of our Investment Program. With these six companies added, our portfolio now covers a wider range of industries and technologies that are set to transform traditional sectors.”
The six companies receiving the new round of funding include:
• Origami Labs, a company utilizing bone conduction technology to bring to market voice-activated smart rings.
• Qupital, Hong Kong's first accounts receivable (invoice) trading platform. Their technologies allow companies to raise finance against receivables by connecting them with professional institutional investors.
• AQUMON, a robo-advisory engine developed by Magnum Research to provide automated, algorithm-based and customized global asset allocation service.
• CompareAsiaGroup, a personal finance management platform to help personal finance with independent online comparison and management tools for financial products.
• gobee.bike, a station-less bike sharing operator that aims to revolutionize urban mobility and improve the quality of city living by implementing convenient and innovative bike-sharing system.
• Prenetics, a genetic testing and digital health company that aims to empower individuals with valuable health information through a simple DNA sample to live healthier and proactively prevent diseases.
The new investment will bring the total amount invested by the Fund since its launch in November 2015 to around US$20 million. The portfolio companies have increased to 12, with 75% of them being early–stage (from seed round to Series A round) start-ups established for approximately 2 years, and 60% of the companies’ founders are local Hong Kong entrepreneurs with an average age of 32.
“Our portfolio companies have also developed vast synergies with the Alibaba Group ecosystem. With our support, GOGOVAN merged with 58 Suyun, a business unit under 58 Home, making it the largest short-distance intra-city logistic platform in Asia. In the days to come, we will continue to foster entrepreneurship spirit and innovation in Hong Kong through our investment program, JUMPSTARTER start-up contest and ‘Venture Hours,’ an initiative that enables budding entrepreneurs to seek expert advice,” Cindy added.
Since its inauguration in November 2015, the Fund has evaluated more than 1,400 business proposals from start-ups in different stages of development. More than 900 business plans have been received this year so far, of which about 90% are from local Hong Kong entrepreneurs, while the rest are from overseas start-ups in the US, Canada, mainland China, Singapore and other regions that aspire to set up in Hong Kong. The applicants are mainly in the fields of consumer, enterprise solution, Fintech, smart city and IoT.
About Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund
Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund is a not-for-profit initiative launched by Alibaba Group in 2015. The Fund’s mission is to help Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs and young people realize their dreams and visions for their businesses and help them engage their communities regionally and globally. Currently, the Fund runs two programs to fulfill this mission. The Investment Program provides Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs with investment capital and strategic guidance to help them grow their businesses and penetrate global markets by utilizing Alibaba’s vast ecosystem. The Internship Program offers Hong Kong graduates and students from tertiary institutions a chance to learn with us by providing valuable internship opportunities at Alibaba Group and our affiliate companies.
About Venture Hours
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund initiated Venture Hours in August 2016 to enable budding entrepreneurs, start-ups, The Fund and interested investors to interact in an innovative way. At Venture Hours, young entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas and receive feedbacks from the Fund, investors and business practitioners, as well as gaining best practice knowledge and professional advice during the 20-minute meeting. They can also network with other start-ups to exchange ideas and seek opportunities for collaboration. Timeslots for this novel approach can be reserved through the online platform. For more details, please visit https://www.venturehours.hk/en/.
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