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Hong Kong Startup News Roundup - 24 May 2020


HK-focused VC fund Beyond Ventures eyes two IPOs

Global coronavirus pandemic has posed an existential threat to some small and early-stages businesses.

But startups working on pivoting their business models to adapt to the new circumstances can survive, said Lap Man, a founder of Beyond Ventures, a venture capital (VC) fund to focus exclusively on Hong Kong.

There are in fact only 41 percent of startups in its portfolios which have experienced a decline in business, Man told EJ Insight in an interview, citing findings from a survey conducted by the VC fund.

Investing in early-stage technology startups in Hong Kong, the two-year-old venture capital fund, backed by China’s Hony Capital, has invested in 22 companies, including artificial intelligence (AI) ‘unicorn’ SenseTime, DNA testing firm Prenetics, online marketplace Yoho, local taxi-hailing app HKTaxi, among others.

JD.com set for US$3b listing test this week

Mainland e-commerce giant JD.com is seeking to pass the listing hearing for its Hong Kong secondary listing next week with the aim of making its mainboard debut on June 18 to raise US$3 billion (HK$23.4 billion), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

The planned listing date is the company's 22nd anniversary, as well as the date of its "618" online shopping festival, the second-largest shopping festival in China after Alibaba's (9988) Singles Day event on November 11.

The report said JD.com will not introduce the deal's cornerstone investors

CapBridge Financial Secures Investments From SGInnovate and Hong Kong Cyberport Macro Fund

CapBridge Financial ("CapBridge"), Singapore's leading integrated private market eco-system comprising over US$2 billion of investable deals and Singapore's first regulated securities exchange for private companies, today announced that it has received equity investments from SGInnovate and Cyberport Macro Fund, further attesting to its strong government support and growing regional network.

With the support from SGInnovate, CapBridge is expected to accelerate the development of its technology solutions, and deploy blockchain technology to optimise share tracking, private equity investments, and securities trading settlements for private companies.

Along with the investment from Cyberport Macro Fund, CapBridge expects to further scale up its presence in Hong Kong to serve the growing interest in private markets from the region.

Hang Seng Index makeover sets fresh benchmark for Hong Kong

Hong Kong's main stock tracker is getting an overdue makeover. The Hang Seng index compiler rewrote its rules to welcome companies with secondary listings and dual-class shares. That opens the door to Alibaba and others. It will help diversify baskets overstuffed with financial institutions, but also underscores the local bourse's plight to attract more startups.

The benchmark, started in 1969, has struggled lately to keep up with the times. In 1992, it added state-owned Citic, its first mainland Chinese company. Such tickers now account for over half the US$2.1 trillion of market value represented. Index restrictions, however, have lagged relaxed listing standards at the Hong Kong stock exchange and kept the bluechip tracker from properly reflecting the new, tech economy.


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