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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Get HK$100,000 in Funding for Your Startup: Applications for the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund Now Open

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If you’re a young upstart with a great idea but not many resources, the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund might be the place to start.

The CCMF is a seed fund for creative and innovative tech startups still in their idea phase. A HK $100,000 grant will be given to successful applications to be used in a six-month period of proof of concept and prototyping. The deadline to apply for the CCMF is October 15th at 5pm.

Here’s a sampling of the types of startups that have benefited from the fund:

CashYou: a mobile app allowing for person-to-person payment through NFC, QR Code or online
ZeusControls: an automated system that controls at-home devices by detecting and learning from a person’s movements and usage habits

For those startups that have already determined that their target market is the Mainland, the CCMF also runs a ‘cross-border programme. The ‘Hong Kong – Guangdong ICT Young Entrepreneur Program’ is in support of youth between the ages of 18-30 who are still in university or are within three years of graduation. Program offerings include fostering startup connections between Hong Kong and the Mainland and business skills training.

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