According to a recent report, one of the start-ups has entered into an Earn-In Agreement with the founder of a platform for brain-inspired computing to acquire a 67% stake in the operational company for the artificial intelligence accelerator.
The total consideration for the transaction is approximately HK$8.44 million consisting of HK$5.63 million in cash earn-in and approximately HK$2.81 million in the start-up’s shares.
Additionally, the Cyberport company has committed to underwrite investment into the brain-inspired computing company totalling up HK$15.6 million. This investment will provide participants with Limited Partner status and grant them claims on proceeds from the cohorts of AI and blockchain start-ups accelerated by the AI accelerator.
Separately, another leading investment firm based in Hong Kong, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a deeper strategic partnership with the AI accelerator. This partnership may include direct investments and further potential investment into AI accelerator or its segregated portfolios. Sun Hung Kai & Co previously invested in the start-up from Cyberport.
The AI accelerator is the first accelerator in the world to focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. It was founded on of the previous directors at a prominent US-based technology accelerator program.
The AI accelerator invests in high-potential start-ups and provides operational, strategic, and networking support to investee companies as they develop their businesses. Separately from its acceleration programme, the AI accelerator has made a number of investments in blockchain-focused companies.
To date, the company has accelerated three cohorts totalling 33 companies, obtaining an average 6% stake in each, and has made eight investments in companies focused on blockchain technology. Various of these companies went on to raise funding after graduating from the company’s acceleration programme, including from prominent venture capital firms.
A spin-off of the investing company that was later rebranded as OliveX, is a graduate of the AI accelerator’s acceleration programme. The AI capabilities gained through the program helped the spin-off to win an HK$0.55 million Hong Kong government grant to develop an AI exercise app, and led to the spin-off establishing a commercial relationship with leading fitness blockchain company which went on to invest approximately HK$2.80 million in the aforementioned investing company and has committed to lead a future funding round into OliveX.
The investing company expects that acquiring a stake in the AI accelerator will extend its capabilities and reputation in product acceleration, especially in the areas of AI and blockchain as well as corporate incubation; increase its visibility and exposure to relevant technologies; and contribute to the Company’s strategic development and growth as it advances further in the AI and blockchain ecosystems.
The co-founder and chairman of the investing firm noted that his company is impressed by the AI accelerator’s rise to one of the most influential AI accelerators in Asia as well as a major investor in blockchain. He noted that as his firm continues to expand its AI and blockchain initiatives, the AI accelerator provides it with an excellent strategic match, invaluable resources, and access to high-potential ventures and technologies.
The founder of the AI accelerator stated that the company is very excited at the chance to work with the investing firm to scale up its operations. It was noted that the firm believes that AI will be the biggest force multiplier for technology companies in the next five years, and our trajectory is rapidly establishing the AI accelerator as one of the world’s most active AI investors.
The founder also added the strategic and managerial skillsets of the investing firm will greatly increase the AI accelerator’s operational discipline and development opportunities as it expands efforts in the AI and blockchain industries.