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Vol. 142 July 2020
New normal insights on VC and start-up strategies shared at StartmeupHK and Asia Venture Capital Forum
Plummeting VC financing and lacklustre economic performance in the wake of the pandemic are challenging start-ups and hampering their growth. The crisis has also transformed the VC financing paradigm: cash-burning-for-market-share business models are over; long-term R&D projects are giving way to short-term, revenue-generating businesses.
 
To help start-ups navigate and cope with this uncertain new normal, Cyberport gathered experts to shed lights on the latest financing trends, outlook, and support start-ups could look for at the Asia Venture Capital Forum (AVCF) and the Startup Impact Summit during StartmeupHK.
 
During the “Investment Outlook” panel discussion at AVCF, Duncan Chiu (Radiant Tech Ventures), Cindy Chow (Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and Chairlady of Cyberport Investors Network), and Ben Cheng (C Ventures) revealed that their focus now is on working closely with portfolio companies to help them plan their cashflow better to enable them to stay afloat, capture new consumer and enterprise demands for innovative solutions, and pivot their businesses for quick recovery and vigorous long-term growth.
 
In addition, the VCs observed that down rounds, mergers, and debt financing have increased as alternate financing avenues of choice by start-ups. They also noted the shining prospects of the Greater Bay Area, including its potential to become the world’s IoT centre given the cost effectiveness of the region’s mature supply chains and Hong Kong’s strong IP protections and global connections.
A day after AVCF, the subject of VC financing was again picked up from a start-up perspective at the Startup Impact Summit. Cyberport incubatees, Aqumon and OneDegree, sat down with Cyberport’s Chief Public Mission Officer Eric Chan to discuss how Cyberport's ecosystem, networks, and funds like the Cyberport Macro Fund help bridge start-ups to investments amid the changing VC landscape.
 
Cyberport community companies - Clear Robotics Limited, OpenAirlines HK Ltd, Ignatica, Smoothweb Technologies, Heycoins, CoverGo, Mindlayers, MAD Gaze, Apoidea, WineWorld Xplorer and Reap -  exhibited at the Summit’s virtual expo to showcase their innovative solutions and connect with investors and potential business partners.
 
If you have missed the abovementioned panel discussions, just click the below for playback: Want to hear more in-depth discussions and expert advices on start-up financing? Stay tuned for the region’s leading annual tech venturing flagship event Cyberport Venture Capital Forum on 3-4 November.  Save your date!
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