Tink Labs’ plan to populate Hong Kong hotel rooms with preloaded smartphones gets US$13m blessing from Foxconn subsidiary

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 November, 2015, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 November, 2015, 5:52pm

A Hong Kong start-up that saves travellers from pricey roaming charges by providing smartphones for guests at top hotels has secured a US$13 million investment from a Foxconn subsidiary.

Tink Labs, which offers its self-branded Handy devices loaded with city guides at hotels in cities including Hong Kong, Singapore and Istanbul, secured the investment from FIH Mobile Ltd, a subsidiary of the Taiwan-based assembly manufacturer.

The company said the investment will be used to support its expansion into European and Asian travel destinations.

READ MORE: Top 5 Hong Kong travel and tourism start-ups

“Handy is synonymous with Hong Kong’s mobile-driven tourists, and a widely lauded hotel amenity on popular travel review websites,” said Tink Labs founder and CEO Terence Kwok.

“We are honoured to have Foxconn on board as both an investor and a partner, and will greatly benefit from their technological expertise and global capabilities, as we aggressively expand handy’s customer base.”

FIH Mobile’s investment brings the total funding raised by the start-up to US$35 million. Earlier investors include mobile phone manufacturer TCL Communications Holdings Ltd.

Hong Kong-listed FIH Mobile provides manufacturing services from design through to distribution for the handset and wireless communications industries.

Launched in 2012, the smartphones save guests from expensive roaming charges by giving them free access to mobile data as well as free international and local calls.

Each handset comes preloaded with a city guide offering tips on dining and attractions written by the firm’s in-house editorial team. All data is wiped from the phones at the end of the guest’s stay.

The Handy phones have been available in more than 30 per cent of Hong Kong’s three- to five-star hotel rooms as of November, the company said.

Tink Labs is among a small group of Hong Kong-based travel start-ups building services for tourists who rely heavily on the internet to book and plan their trips.

In October, locally based travel activity booking platform Klook secured US$5 million in a Series A funding round led by US venture capital firm Matrix Partners.