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Beyond Venture takes aim at Hong Kong start-ups

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 September, 2017, 12:46pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 September, 2017, 12:46pm

Hong Kong-based venture capital fund Beyond Venture launched on Thursday, targeting local Hong Kong start-ups with its initial fund expecting to be worth more than HK$1 billion (US$128 million).

“We plan to invest in five or six Hong Kong start-ups by the end of this year,” said Lap Man, one of the three founders of Beyond Venture. “And the selected companies will get capital from US$100,000 to US$5 million.”

Start-ups with core high technologies and those operating B2B service will be favoured. Beyond Venture also welcomes start-ups focusing on facial recognition, deep leaning, micro chips, and health care. They are less keen on B2C businesses because Hong Kong’ s domestic market is too small.

“The next three years will see at least five start-ups valued at billions of dollars in Hong Kong, possibly in deep tech, e-commerce and health care,” said Man. “Now I see the innovation ecosystem is improving…technology start-ups are gaining momentum within the city. I believe more young people will be interested in establishing companies when they see more successful examples.”

Man said he plans to focus on Hong Kong companies because those emerging from mainland China or the US already have financial support.

“We will offer our social resources and previous experience to help commercialise innovative ideas and expand markets, especially those looking to enter mainland China,” he added. “We will also help them by granting access to local venture capital funds and arrange business mentors to provide wisdom and guidance.”

The Hong Kong government is also supporting innovation, reflected by the newly announced funding support to local start-ups.

Hong Kong launches HK$2 billion fund to support tech start-ups

On September 15 the Hong Kong government launched a HK$2 billion fund to encourage investment in local innovation and technology start-ups. The government is inviting venture capital funds to apply to become co-investment partners of the new Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF). The Hong Kong government and venture capital funds will invest in eligible start-ups at a ratio of around 1:2.

“The co-investment with government fund is an incentive for venture capitals to invest into Hong Kong,” Man said.