Hong Kong’s fintech startups haven’t really attracted as much funding as its Chinese and Singaporean counterparts. From the looks of things however, that’s starting to change.
TNG FinTech Group Inc., a Hong Kong-based digital wallet operator founded in 2013, is poised to close a funding round and is targeting a valuation of about $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The firm has attracted almost $60 million in the series A round from investors including a Beijing-based private equity fund, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing private deliberations.
TNG Fintech bills itself as the largest P2P network in Hong Kong. It offers money transfers, currency exchange, and digital bill payments, among others. It boasts over 600,000 users in Hong Kong, as well as 190,000 cash pick-up points in 13 countries.
The startup plans to use the round’s proceeds to snap up companies with remittance licenses in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and the U.K. It also claims to be profitable, and it aims to list either in Hong Kong or New York by 2019.
Aside from the unnamed Chinese private equity fund, a Taiwan-based technology fund and an Israeli-Hong Kong PE venture also participated in the round. As with their Beijing-based peer, the two other funds weren’t named.
The size of the round is somewhat rare in Hong Kong’s muted funding scene. Unlike their peers in Singapore and in the Mainland – which typically run on a more global scale – startups based in the former colony rarely bag eight figures in the early rounds.
This also means a lack of unicorns. Earlier this year, Tink Labs was a contender to be Hong Kong’s first-ever billion-dollar startup, and two months ago, Futu Securities reportedly received a “unicorn-level” valuation. However, none of these valuations were really confirmed, so the title is still up for grabs.
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