Sleek extends its seed round to USD $5m and accelerates in Hong Kong
4 minute read
We announce the extension to USD 5M of our seed round, led by private investors Pierre Lorinet and Fabio Blom, and MI8, an Asia focused European backed private investment company. Pierre will take a seat at the Sleek board of directors.
Other notable investors of Sleek include Martin Crawford, former Group CEO of corporate services giant Vistra; Olivier Gerhardt, Founder of Wavecell; Eric Barbier, Founder of TransferTo; Olivier Legrand, MD Asia at Linkedin; and Stem Financial, a Hong Kong based private investment firm.
Since launching in September 2017, we have grown to 85 staff and onboarded more than 2,000 companies. With the new funds, we will look to expand our tech team to accelerate the development of new features, increase the operational capability, and accelerate our development in Hong Kong.
Lead investor Pierre Lorinet says, “If we look at the Maslow hierarchy of needs for entrepreneurs, Sleek covers the whole of the first level with its compliance services. Incorporating a company and then managing its administration and accounting is essential whether your company is big or small, and as an entrepreneur, your time is better spent building your business. With its technology, Sleek offers that autopilot service every entrepreneur is looking for, especially in countries such as Singapore or Hong Kong where everything goes so fast.”
Julien Labruyere, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Sleek, says: “We think corporates are well served when it comes to having an easy access to good products and services but this is far from being the case for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups and this is exactly our mission of Sleek: to make the life of entrepreneurs easier.”
“Being founders ourselves, we believe in building simple and seamless digital products at competitive and transparent pricing – not the norm in the corporate services industry. And this is true in adjacent markets as well, such as insurance and banking. Our approach has been validated not only by our fast growth, but also by our customers who rate us extremely highly on the Net Promoter Score index with score consistently above 50 in an industry that is traditionally not very much loved by clients. This is positioning Sleek, not only as the most affordable and fastest growing brand in the market, but also as the leader in terms of customer centricity and satisfaction. And all these trends are validated even more in Hong Kong where we have been applying our many Singapore learnings. Furthermore, under the current economic challenging situation, entrepreneurs and SMEs are more than ever looking for easy savings while not compromising on the quality of their businesses.”
“Hong Kong is a historical Asian financial hub, with six times more operating companies than in Singapore and an amazing business ecosystem. Despite the current situation in Hong Kong, we see it as a vibrant market and a great opportunity given its central location in Asia and incomparable gateway to the Chinese market. The market is here and looking for a new user experience,” says Adrien Barthel, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer.
“We are very proud to offer a 100% online experience in Hong Kong for company incorporation and ongoing compliance operations, whereas most other service providers are still extremely traditional and anchored to their painful paper-based mentality. Just because it’s compliance, it doesn’t mean it has to be complicated nor involve paper. In fact, both customer demand and the Hong Kong regulator are paving the way for more innovative approaches,” says Adrien Barthel.
Our client base ranges from local startups, subsidiaries of MNCs to private equity/venture capital funds and family offices. We are also highly active within the wider startup and investor ecosystem in Asia with many accelerator and incubator partnerships across the region.
On the accounting front, we have teamed up with Xero in 2018, and in only 18 months, we have gone from onboarding their first client to Platinum partner — making Sleek one of the top 5 Xero partners in Asia, and then now in November 2019, winning the Emerging Partner of the Year award.
About Pierre Lorinet
Pierre Lorinet is a non-executive Director of Trafigura Group Pte Ltd and Puma Energy Holdings Pte Ltd. He is also an independent non-executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Cofco International Limited since July 2017. He holds other non-executive directorships with, amongst others, Enterprise Singapore, Cocoon Capital Partners Pte Ltd, SensorFlow Pte Ltd, Delair and the National Art Council of Singapore.
Until September 2015, Pierre was the Chief Financial Officer as well as Managing Director Asia- Pacific for Trafigura Group. He joined the group in 2002 following an earlier career in banking.