Hong Kong’s ‘Nova Founders Capital’ Raises US$50 Million to Back FinTech Startups in Asia

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Great news for Hong Kong FinTech! Nova Founders Capital, a global Internet investment firm headquartered in Hong Kong, has raised US $50 million from Pacific Century Group (founded by Li Ka-shing’s son Richard Li and operates mainly in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan). The funds will be used to back, build and acquire high-growth FinTech startups in emerging markets.

This adds to the strength of the booming local FinTech scene as 2014 has been a busy year for Hong Kong. Besides the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific accelerator program that’s just kicked off at Cyberport, two of our startups have also raised impressive rounds of funding this year – DemystData raised US $5 million in Series A, while 8 Securities picked up $9 million in Series B.

For those unfamiliar with Nova Founders, it was founded by two former Rocket Internet managers Mads Faurholt-Jorgensen and Raphael Strauch. Also a pair of entrepreneurs, Faurholt-Jorgensen and Strauch have a proven track record of backing and growing 30+ tech startups in the past.

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Hong Kong Social Travel App Spottly Raises US$850,000 Seed Round to Fund Expansion Plans

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Location-based social travel app Spottly has just raised a US $850,000 seed round to back their video-focused product and to expand into new markets. Investors in this round include Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups, China’s Cherubic Ventures and Gobi Partners.

A trip planning aid that allows travelers to discover places from their smartphone, Spottly is an attractive repository of handpicked travel tips from 17,000 places, 2,100 cities and 115 countries – and has a growing user base in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Thailand. The newly launched v.2.0 lets users create video travel posts, instead of just sharing static images.

“As more and more people use social media to share their travel finds instantaneously, we found that travelers increasingly prefer beautifully curated visual recommendations, served to you right away through social media, trusted friends and local key opinion insiders,” said founder Edwyn Chan in a release. “The next generation travel guide will need to be curated, instant and visual.”

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Cyberport Launches Smart-Space 3F: A 27,000 Square Foot Co-Working Space with Room for 134 Startups

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For digital and tech startups looking for a home, Cyberport has just opened the doors to its new co-working space.

The 27,000 square feet Smart-Space 3F is a stunning government facility that has the capability of housing 134 startups. Smart-Space 3F has 46 offices ranging from 2-12 person occupancy, 32 flexi-spaces (hot desks) and 24 work stations (dedicated desks).

Besides boasting a panoramic sea view, 3F’s affordable prices are another attractive feature. Two-seater offices go for HK $5,000/month, larger offices average $2,500/month per room seat (depending on size), dedicated desks are at $1,500/month while hot desks will only set tenants back $800/month.

“It’s ideal for a very, very early stage startup. Local startups and overseas entry companies are our target markets,” said Cyberport’s COO Mark Clift. “Overseas companies want to expand to Asia and they’re attracted by the China market. For a lot of companies, it’s difficult because they don’t understand China and they’re weary of long term commitments – so the flexi-space gives them a good entry point.”

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