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Perfect Matches Based on Big Data Analysis

Los Angeles-based event technology startup Surkus believes that Hong Kong is the best place to jump start its global expansion plans.

Established in 2015, the Los Angeles based Surkus is an industry leader when it comes to matching events with tailored audiences through technology including its mobile app. For businesses, Surkus is a performance marketing tool that facilitates campaigns which maximise attendance and marketing value. By utilising sophisticated “applied AI” technology, Surkus helps brands create successful events by promoting them to targeted audience based on its extensive database. For members, Surkus is an application that invites them to events and experiences that cater to their interests, prompting support through social media. 

After raising more than HK$150 million to fund international growth, Surkus opened its first overseas office in mid-2018, with Hong Kong as its regional headquarters to act as the springboard for expansion in East Asia. According to Ernest Choi, General Manager, Hong Kong was a natural choice for Surkus to develop new markets. “Many of our clients, who are multinational corporations, have their regional office here,” he says. “There is a diverse pool of international and local talent to leverage upon as we grow. While it is still early days for the tech ecosystem, Hong Kong is also exceptionally diverse in terms of the types of companies, and therefore the types of talent, that work here. It is our belief that growth in Asia can eclipse our growth in North America.” 

Not a Zero Sum Game

Choi’s optimism stems from Hong Kong’s easy access to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area’s (GBA) wealth of innovation and technology companies, as well as the government’s development and infrastructure plans. “Technology as an ecosystem is not a zero sum game,” Choi believes. “In other words, the more successful startups exist in Hong Kong, the more likely it is there will be even more unicorns. In particular, the GBA has a concentration of incredible technology companies that, with closer ties to Hong Kong, will be like an adrenaline shot to our ecosystem as customers, partners and role models. Hong Kong will be a place where the leading technology companies from both Mainland China and the West come to do business.”

Looking ahead, Surkus will be expanding aggressively with the experience gained in Hong Kong. By leveraging on the local network for regional expansion, the company is planning to create a community for businesses and members. 

InvestHK has worked with Surkus since it opened its doors in the city, supporting the company as it quickly gets up to speed. “InvestHK has been a big cushion for the landing of our first office in Asia,” Choi states with enthusiasm. “It has been exemplary in creating opportunities for us to learn from the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as meet relevant government stakeholders to do business here.” 

After living in the UK and Singapore for nine years and returned to the city two years ago, Choi still finds Hong Kong a unique city. 

“There is such a diverse working culture that everyone can always find new ways to connect with people and businesses.” 

18.07.2019

Fast Facts

  • Headquartered in Los Angeles with its first overseas regional headquarters in Hong Kong
  • Startup founded in 2015 and raised HK$150 million
  • Expanded offices in HK and will expand to Taipei and Singapore by Q4 this year

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