Hong Kong to launch US$637 million startup fund
The Hong Kong finance chief said a fund valued at HK$5 billion will be launched next month to attract foreign start-ups and support local tech companies. The Strategic Tech Fund will help Hong Kong projects attract investors, according to Financial Secretary Chan Mo-po.
An investment vehicle called the Hong Kong Growth Portfolio, consisting of HK$22.4 billion, was introduced as part of Hong Kong's yearly budget speech in February.
This growth fund aims to enhance economic sectors such as finance and innovation and is part of a HK$200 billion "Future Fund" set up by Hong Kong's government in 2015. It is similar to Temasek, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund.
There is a great deal of competition between countries for talent and money, especially in the technology sector, with China, the United States, and Singapore investing millions in their industry.
Announcing the Strategic Tech Fund in his budget speech, Chan said the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation would work with Cyberport to identify tech enterprises with strategic value to Hong Kong.
As part of the follow-up rounds of funding for the companies, Chan explained, "In terms of an IPO for biotech, I think we are the world's number two, just after the US, but there is a gap in Series B, Series A."
He added, "When these start-ups grow to a certain size, they want to further grow, they need bigger capital. If the government is able to make an investment, that will help them."
According to Eric Yeung Chuen-sing, president of Smart City Consortium, a strategic tech fund can assist companies in securing Series B and even Series C funding after reaching major milestones like profitability or market dominance.
CBW - External Analyst