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Hong Kong’s Hottest Startups of 2024

Fintech and AI startups dominated the list.

The financial sector and AI domain dominated the 2024 edition of Hong Kong's Hottest Startups, securing two spots each in this year's line up of 10 ventures.

READ MORE: Foodtech, fintech emerge as bright spots in Hong Kong’s startup landscape

Other sectors represented  in the list include food technology, bright spots in Hong Kong’s startup landscape.

This list of the last three years’ brightest startups are backed by top venture capital firms and investors such as Brinc, Lightspeed Venture Partners, PolyVenture, and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. A number of ventures in the list are also products of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park's (HKSTP) Incubation and IDEATION programmes.

READ MORE: Days of excess are over, investors warn founders

Meat the Next
Founder/s: Cheung Po Kwan Markus, Chan Ka Ming Edmund
Total Funding: USD$256000
Founding Year: 2020 (Sep) 

Chan Ka Ming Edmund

Meat the Next, a Hong Kong-based superfood technology company, focuses on crafting delicious and nutritionally balanced protein products from sustainable ingredients. Their mission is to combat climate change by altering dietary habits. Leveraging patented enzymatic technology and unique raw materials, their products stand out in the market. Their latest innovation, Tiger Nut Oat Milk, has received positive feedback since its market launch. It combines tiger nuts, odourless non-GMO soybeans, and oats to achieve enriched protein levels without added sugar. The product offers a rich texture and can enhance various applications like milk tea and coffee. Furthermore, their investors include BBS, JP Mr. Simon Wong Kit-lung, CityU's HK Tech 300 and Gravity Capital Partners - Impact Venture Capital.

Uncle2 Fintech Limited
Founder/s: WONG WAI KEUNG, Victor 
Total Funding: Undisclosed
Founding Year: 2021 (Jan)

WONG WAI KEUNG, Victor 

UNCLE2 FINTECH stands as Hong Kong's inaugural cloud-based pawn marketplace. Its mission revolves around reimagining the pawnshop funding process to expedite the deployment of pawn assets locally and globally. The company extends the heritage of pawnshops by leveraging quick finance and digital technology, incorporating A.I. and blockchain solutions. Their objective is to foster alternative methods for quick finance with collateral while promoting the century-old pawning concept. Furthermore, UNCLE2 FINTECH endeavours to educate and inspire younger generations to exchange their assets for short-term liquidity instead of future money.

Vidi Labs
Founder/s: Turzo Bose (co-founder and CEO); Rahman, Lamia Sreya (Co-founder and COO)
Total Funding: HKD$4m
Founding Year: 2021 (Apr)

Turzo Bose (co-founder and CEO); Rahman, Lamia Sreya (Co-founder and COO)

Vidi Labs, an early-stage AI startup, seeks to revolutionise daily interactions with hardware and software for visually impaired people (VIP). With a young and passionate team, their aim is to decentralise and streamline user experiences, empowering individuals to optimise their potential with intuitively designed products for the VIP. Specialising in delivering cutting-edge tech, VisionTech and AI solutions for businesses seeking growth, Vidi Labs boasts a diverse tech stack and a capable team ready to cater to various needs. They are an award-winning startup under Hong Kong Science and Technology Park’s incubator programme.

Newwit
Founder/s: Kan Pan Lawrence Chan
Total Funding: Undisclosed
Founding Year: 2021 (June)

Kan Pan Lawrence Chan

Newwit is the world’s first AI and blockchain project that helps investors make better trading decisions. Its prediction game systematically collects prediction data and rewards users to help train and build their proprietary AI model. They currently have 13,000 registered users who have made 300,000+ predictions on their platform. Ultimately, the project aims to train a decentralised AI model using crowd wisdom to enhance future prediction capabilities. One of their main investors is Brinc.

Alcarbo Technologies Limited
Founder/s: NG POK HIM (Nelson), CHAN KWAN WAI (Bill), CHEUNG YAN CHU (Rex)
Total Funding: HKD$5.5m
Founding Year: 2022 (Jan)

NG POK HIM (Nelson), CHAN KWAN WAI (Bill), CHEUNG YAN CHU (Rex)

Alcarbo Technologies Limited leads the way with a revolutionary algae photobioreactor system, effectively capturing and converting carbon dioxide into valuable by-products. Leveraging highly efficient microalgae, this scalable solution offsets emissions and produces oxygen. Aligned with Paris Agreement objectives, this sustainable approach not only promotes a green and profitable business but also aims for carbon neutrality by 2050. The company was given financial support by PolyVenture, HKSTP Incubation Programme, and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. Meanwhile, their investors include HK tech 300 and CityU Enterprises Limited.

Moongate
Founder/s: Jonathan Mui, Peter Hui
Total Funding: USD$2.7m
Founding Year: 2022 (Jan)

Peter Hui

Moongate is revolutionising the ticketing and membership landscape with their innovative NFT platform. By integrating utility-based NFTs, Moongate empowers event organisers and promoters to offer a continuous journey of benefits and exclusive perks, from pre-event packages to post-event rewards. Key collaborations include Wonderfruit, one of Southeast Asia's largest music festivals, ComplexCon, a globally renowned cultural conference by Complex, and Siam Piwat, a major conglomerate in Thailand. With over $2.7 million in funding, Moongate is set to expand its immersive engagement platform, aiming for global reach and diversification as well as building their own modular L2 chain, serving clients across 30 countries, primarily in Asia.

i2Cool
Founder/s: Prof. TSO Chi Yan and Dr. Martin ZHU
Total Funding: HKD$140m
Founding Year: 2022 (March) 

Dr. Martin ZHU

i2Cool is a technology company incubated by the HK Tech 300 program at City University of Hong Kong. The team has successfully developed the world's leading passive radiative cooling materials (PRC), achieving cooling effects below ambient temperature through efficient solar reflection and mid-infrared emission. This patented cooling technology, ideal for construction, facilities, and outdoor setups, has expanded its reach to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US, speeding up the adoption of energy-saving solutions globally. Spanning over 100 projects worldwide, it covers 53,575㎡, saving more than 1 million kWh. i2Cool's PRC materials not only improve indoor conditions but also reduce urban heat islands and contribute to global warming mitigation.

Inriskable
Founder/s: Megan Chau (CEO, Co-Founder), Kenyon Wong (CTO, Co-Founder)
Total Funding: HKD$3m
Founding Year: 2022 (July) 

Megan Chau (CEO, Co-Founder), Kenyon Wong (CTO, Co-Founder)

Born from a blend of "invisible" and "risk," InRiskable addresses the critical challenge banks face in identifying latent risks within SME operations, utilising advanced AI to efficiently and accurately filter risk levels. The startup’s platform significantly reduces due diligence time by up to 80% with a remarkable accuracy of 97%. With plans to raise seed funding and expand into Southeast Asia, InRiskable aims to become the Moody's for SME credit assessment, bridging the gap between banks and the elusive data on SMEs, thus enabling safer business practices across the financial ecosystem.

DayOne
Founder/s: Roxanne Wong & Victor Chan
Total Funding: Undisclosed
Founding Year: 2023 (Jan) 

Victor Chan & Roxanne Wong

DayOne revolutionises dating with its focus on real-life experiences and genuine connections. It encourages its users to engage in meaningful interactions. Available in Hong Kong and expanding in Asia, DayOne utilises AI and creative UI/UX design to prevent scams and to suggest ideal date venues and times, eliminating the hassle of coordinating schedules. Designed for busy young professionals, it filters out time-wasters, ensuring online interactions lead to real-life dates. DayOne is a member of HKSTP IDEATION Programme, which offers up to HK$100,000 grant.

Markato
Founder/s: Brian Lo and Martin Li
Total Funding: USD$5m
Founding Year: 2023 (April) 

Brian Lo and Martin Li

By bypassing traditional, time-consuming trade shows, Markato offers a streamlined online platform for Hong Kong retailers to access over 600 independent brands and nearly 25,000 products from Europe, the United States, and Australia. With seamless logistics and payments, Markato simplifies cross-border transactions, serving as a gateway for global brands to enter the Asian market. After a successful US$5m seed funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2Q23, Markato expanded to Singapore, enhancing its engineering, logistics, and merchandising capabilities to connect to a broader audience with global brands.

 

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