Written by 4:43 pm Interview

E005: Story of a well-backed startup, with Ambrose Wong

Featuring, as a guest, Ambrose Wong, COO of Serai, an innovative startup created in Hong Kong under the auspices of HSBC.

Serai was originally launched in 2019 as part of HSBC’s multi-billion-dollar technology investment plan. Originally conceived as a platform where buyers and sellers come together to facilitate business-to-business (B2B) transactions via trusted networks.

As the COVID-19 crisis affected the markets, Serai adjusted its focus to the garment industry, to provide the sector with real-time data and end-to-end supply chain transparency. Additionally, it partnered with Coface, a trade credit insurer, to integrate risk management tools into its solution.

Even though Serai boasted the kind of backing and resources that few trade startups could ever dream of, by June 2022 it announced that it would be shutting down, informing visitors to its website: “We regret to inform you that Serai will be winding down all operations. Despite a huge amount of progress made by the team, it has proven difficult to build a commercially viable business. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our doors.”

Learn the details about Serai’s rise and fall. Listen to Ambrose Wong discuss the advantages of being backed by one of the world’s leading banks, the drawbacks that came with it, the risks that materialized, and the brilliant team that brought Serai so close to realizing their goal.

Video version of this episode is available on YouTube.

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