Hong Kong Online-Only Fashion Brand GRANA Raises US$1 Million in Seed Funding From Local Investors

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Disruptive fashion brand GRANA raised a US $1 million seed round from Hong Kong luxury retail marketer and distributor Bluebell Group, with local strategic and angel investors also participating in this round.

Founded by Australian entrepreneur Luke Grana (pictured middle in above image), the brand is all about delivering high quality fashion at disruptively low prices. Selling exclusively out of its online store, GRANA is able to keep prices low by cutting out the middlemen, dealing directly with their fabric mills and shipping straight out of their brand new Hong Kong warehouse in Wong Chuk Hang.

The GRANA idea was started on a trip to Peru, where Grana discovered the superior quality of Peruvian Pima Cotton. He then realized the gap in the market for beautiful and durable garments for an affordable price. “I was annoyed with the low quality and high markups that customers have to pay for their clothing at the main street retail stores. As a result, we have focused on what we think is most important for the customer: selling high quality basics made from the world’s best fabrics at an amazing price,” said Grana. [Read more...]

Startmeup Week 2014 is Running Hot this November as Hong Kong Hosts Startup Events Across the City

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Kick the starter, give it all you got and get out your calendars and book off the second week of November for Startmeup Week 2014!

The Invest HK-backed ‘StartmeupHK Venture Programme,’ received 550 applications hailing from 47 countries this year in its mission to attract entrepreneurial talent from around the world to Hong Kong. Besides encouraging foreign founders to use Hong Kong as their launchpad for the Asia-Pacific region, StartmeupHK’s aim is to showcase Hong Kong as an innovation and entrepreneurship hub.

First up is ‘StartmeupHK Forum and Awards’ on Tuesday, November 11th. The event will have the 12 finalists pitching to a panel of judges and an audience of angels, VCs and business communities from Hong Kong and overseas. Entrepreneurs will be competing for three Grand Awards and three special awards for the categories of ‘Data Analytics,’ ‘Fintech,’ and ‘Smart City.’ Besides pitches, the event will also have keynote and panel speakers.

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5 Questions with Markus Stefanko, Co-Founder and CEO of PitchXO

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Born in Poland and raised in Germany, Markus Stefanko (pictured on the far right) headed straight for Copenhagen as soon as he finished school and was set for his first CTO position at the age of just 20. In the Danish capital, he worked on the professional electronic sports team MYM. The site attracted 1.4 million users and VC funding of $2 million from Seed Capital and Danish IT billionaire Preben Damgaard.

After working with Morten Lund for five years; firstly at Copenhagen design agency HelloGroup as a Solutions Architect, later for three years at Everbread, hacking out travel solutions from Mallorca, Stefanko co-founded PitchXO. Under his direction, PitchXO has already made it into the UK’s Rackspace Startup Programme and has offices in the US, Denmark and Hong Kong.

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