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

jay-z-money1

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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Hong Kong’s Fundraising Frenzy: ‘Cyberport Pitch Day’ and ‘CoCoon Pitch Finals’

Andrew Pang and EventXtra

Last Thursday was a pitch-filled day for Hong Kong as startups battled it out at ‘Cyberport Pitch Day for Tech Startups’ and ‘CoCoon Pitch Finals.’

Cyberport’s intensive event incorporated two pitching sessions. While Cyberport incubatees took the stage with speedy, one-minute elevator pitches, a batch of interns from the digital community’s ‘E+ Startup Internship Program’ represented their startups with five minute presentations.

The judging panel included Kyle Lam, co-founder and business angel of Big Bloom Investment, Carman Chan, managing partner of Click Ventures, Jennifer Carver, CIO of Nest and Raiyo Nariman, director of Serendipity Group.

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