10th December 2018 – Nan Fung Group’s “The Mills Fabrica Fund” is excited to announce its new investments in Origami Labs (ORII) and Unspun, leading a $1.5M USD Series A investment in ORII and a $600K USD Seed investment in Unspun.
Origami Labs + unspun
Fabrica Fund was set up in Jan 2018 as a new platform to invest in entrepreneurs innovating to create a techstyle future. This includes innovators creating wearables and products merging with technology & style (like ORII), and innovations for supply chain/ new retail experiences (like Unspun).
ORII is a HK based wearable technology company, focusing on products used for interfacing with voice assistants with applications in both B2B and B2C. By wearing their ORII smart ring, customers can hear clear audio while listening to text messages via bone conduction in our ears; as well as send out communication through the ORII smart ring to voice assistants be it sending text or talking to voice assistants. Last year, ORII successfully launched at Kickstarter with over $300K secured (10 times of the original pledge goal) within 30 days of launch; they were also the 1st HK company to be in the Top 5 of the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. Well received by the market, large-scale local telecommunication companies and global hospitality groups have been in partnerships with ORII.
The new funding will be used to scale up ORII’s B2B business and R&D of its next generation products, also utilizing bone-conduction technology.
“We are delighted by the The Mills Fund investment as a continuation of the vibrant partnership we’ve developed since we first met in 2016. The Mills team were early believers of our vision to build “screen-free” technology and they have proven themselves to be valuable strategic partners for us at each step of the way. Their investment will accelerate our expansion in global markets and the development of new and exciting products. And we believe that with this deeper partnership, together we will can bring homegrown techstyle brand and innovation to make true impact on the global stage.” from Kevin Johan Wong, CEO and Co-founder of Origami Labs (ORII).
Unspun is a fashion technology company based out of both Hong Kong and San Francisco, building the next generation of production-on-demand technology for fashion, beginning with denim jeans. Their mission is to reduce global carbon emissions by at least 1% through 3D automated weaving technology and proprietary software to make customized apparel. The company was one of the winners of the 2017 Global Change Award by H&M Foundation; they also received support from Cyberport and the National Science Foundation. This December, the team officially launched their first flagship store in SF.
This seed investment will support Unspun’s growth in global brand partnerships, accelerating the industry’s adoption of on-demand technologies and the continual development of 3D weaving machine.
“The Mills and the Fabrica team have worked tirelessly to provide us with advice and services customized to our needs. They also connected us to major global fashion brands and industry partners. We are excited that this investment will enable us to scale our sustainable supply chain and to commercialize our 3D weaving technology.” said Mr. Walden Lam, Co-Founder of Unspun.
ORII and Unspun are both existing incubatees of The Mills Fabrica. Designed as a 12-month incubation programme, Fabrica provides customized support for both companies that included helping to increase their brand exposure through global showcases and product launch events, connecting both companies to other corporate partners and investors and also helping with other business & legal advisory support. With the official opening of The Mills, both companies have moved their HQ offices into The Mills, also gaining access to Fabrica Lab’s prototyping facilities.
In addition, Unspun will be launching their flagship pop-up store in Hong Kong at Techstyle X Store – an experiential retail space for Fabrica’s community of innovators. To further engage with the global startup ecosystem, the two companies will be showcasing with Fabrica at StartmeupHK Festival 2019 – TECH[LIFE]STYLE Conference on Jan 22, one of the largest annual startup conferences co-organised by InvestHK, The Mills Fabrica and Startup Launchpad. With the closing of the investment, The Mills Fabrica is excited to be joining the board of directors of both companies.
“Fabrica Fund supports the growth of leading techstyle startups in the world. We are very excited to invest in ORII and Unspun, two strong innovators who are merging with Technology & Style making daily living smarter and better especially for sustainability. With the opening of The Mills, I believe we can better support other up-and-coming techstyle startups in the community to co-create a techstyle future.” said Ms. Vanessa Cheung, Group Managing Director of Nan Fung Development Ltd. & Founder of The Mills.
“Fabrica Fund is very excited to lead the investments in ORII and Unspun, our incubatees, and help them scale their business to next levels. Over the past year, we witnessed both ORII’s and Unspun’s strong visions in innovation & sustainability for techstyle and have been working extensively with them through our incubation to take their technologies to market and expand their brand globally. With the closing of the investment, we are looking forward to continue our shared journey with them in creating their success stories globally.” from Mr. Alexander Chan, Co-director of The Mills Fabrica.
Fabrica Fund seeks to invest in companies creating the future of techstyle and is looking forward to work with more companies in the coming year. By end of 2018, Fabrica Fund is expected to announce two more exciting investment deals.