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25-Year-Old’s Phone-Leasing Startup Set to Become Hong Kong’s First Billion-Dollar Unicorn

A company created by 25-year-old entrepreneur may soon become Hong Kong’s first ever billion-dollar startup.

In 2012, Terence Kwok founded Tink Labs Ltd., a firm that leases phones to tourists. The company has since grown, increasing its employees to more than 300 people, more than double its staff from last year.

With a target valuation of over $1 billion, the firm is currently hoping to raise around $40 million from investors, Bloomberg reports. The figures are expected to change as the fundraising is still in process. The additional funds will be used to further expand the business.

Tink Labs raised $125 million last year, setting its value a little over $500 million. Foxconn Technology Group, Kai-Fu Lee’s Sinovation Ventures, and Cai Wensheng, chairman of Meitu Inc, were among the financial backers.

It is worth noting that while China has multiple billion-dollar startups, Hong Kong has yet to birth its own. If Tink Labs reaches its target valuation, the company will be the first unicorn startup in Hong Kong.

Tink Labs has installed 120,000 smartphones in high-end hotels such as Starwood, Accor and prestigious locations like The Ritz London. It aims to provide smartphones to 1 million rooms by 2018.

Hotel operators can use the phones to promote their services inside the room. Users may also carry the phone outside and use it as a city guide simply as a local mobile device.

Tink is also set to come up with a newer version of its smartphone with the help of investor Foxconn, allowing users to use the phone as a functional in-room entertainment controller.


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