Hong Kong Incubator NEST Launches An Equity Crowdfunding Platform For Startups

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Ask Hong Kong startup founders about the challenges facing their ecosystem and you are likely to hear one answer over and over again: the lack of funding opportunities. Because Hong Kong’s startup industry is so new, companies are still seen as risky investments and many high-worth individuals turn to the property and banking sectors instead. But there is an increasing amount of interest in tech startups and several platforms have stepped up to help connect companies with potential investors.

These include Bigcolors, which TechCrunch covered in January, which allows investors to trade in startups before they launch. Now NEST, a Hong Kong incubator, has launched Investable.vc, an accredited equity crowdfunding platform for startups, giving founders yet more options when seeking funding.

Investable says that within the first day of the site’s launch, more than 100 professional investors sign up. Three investors have already committed $150,000 to startups on the platform, which currently lists 15 companies for its beta launch. One hardware startup called Simple Crossing, which makes wearable tech products for elderly people, has already raised 75% of the total $100,000 that it is seeking.

Thirty more companies will be added to Investable soon, with each planning to raise between $100,000 to $5 million. Investors can commit funds in exchange for equity and send a request to startup founders to meet.

“Investable allows the founders of a company to raise funds at any stage in their cycle from seed to growth to Series A and we have a minimum USD $10,000 investment amount, but we have no maximum investment amount. The founders set the value when they request to list their startup on Investable, not us. We make sure the valuation has credibility as part of our due diligence, but we don’t set the price. In addition, we provide all the needed paperwork to connect the investor to the startup and vice versa,” Nest founder Simon Squibb explained in an email.

In addition to funding, Investable also encourages startups on the platform to look for investors who can also serve as mentors and advisers.

Sign-ups on Investable “proved that there is a huge interest in startup investing among high net worth individuals in Asia. All we need is to present the right opportunities, at the right time to the right demographic,” said Nest CIO and Investable head Jennifer Carver in a statement.

Image by Flickr user Nicolas Vollmer user under a Creative Commons 2.0 license