Hong Kong billionaire bet on Southeast Asian technology startup

Southeast Asia will be a priority for Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing’s Horizons Venture private investment firm due to the booming digital economy in the region.

Billionaire Li Ka Shing. (Image: Bloomberg)

Exchange with BloombergHorizon Ventures co-founder Solina Chau said the company will specifically focus on Southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia. Thanks to his early bet on Zoom Video Communications, billionaire Li Ka Shang’s fortune soared during the Covid-19 epidemic. Over the past year, Horizons Venture has invested in three Indonesian startups. Combined with Alpha JWC Ventures, Horizons wants to find young businesses with the hottest potential in the region.

After focusing on North America, Europe and Israel, Mr. Li’s company turned to developing countries. Covid-19 accelerates digital transformation and startups in Southeast Asia as more people use electronic services. According to research by Google, Bain & Co and Temasek, the number of Internet users will quadruple in 2020, to 40 million people, or 70% of the total population in the six largest economies in the region.

Frances Kang, Director of Horizons Ventures, said Indonesia in particular and Southeast Asia in general are actually going through an important period. The company will inject more capital here and have formed an opportunity search group. Even so, political instability and fragmented markets in the region remain a challenge for investors. For example, the two leading economies, Thailand and Indonesia, have recently witnessed upheaval in government. Memories of the financial crises of 1997 and 2008 cannot be erased either.

Mr. Li, 92, joins the ranks of senior global leaders pursuing the growth potential of Southeast Asia. His son, Richard Li – Chairman of Pacific Century Group, has joined hands with US technology magnate Peter Thiel to set up two short check companies to conduct M&A deals here. SoftBank Group and billionaire Mohamed Mansour are investing in Grab, the region’s most valuable startup.

Horizons Ventures soon poured money into some big tech giants like Facebook, Spotify.

Du Lam (According to Bloomberg)

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