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Billionaire Li Ka-shing bets on Southeast Asian tech startups

(Bloomberg) – Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need. Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s private investment firm, Horizons Ventures Ltd., will make South Asia. Is a priority, with the region’s digital economy booming as the Horizons Ventures pandemic focuses in particular on Southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia, the co-founder told Bloomberg News Li’s longtime confidante Solina Chau in a statement sent by text message. bet on Zoom Video Communications Inc. helped increase Li’s wealth during the pandemic, invested in three Indonesia-based startups over the past year in funding rounds that have raised more than $ 210 million . In partnership with Alpha JWC Ventures of Jakarta, one of Southeast Asia’s largest venture capitalists, Horizons seeks to identify start-ups that could be the next most popular in the region. turns to developing economies after previously focusing on North America, Europe and Israel. Covid-19 is fueling rapid digital transformation and a booming startup scene in Southeast Asia as more people use digital services, generating some of the biggest announcements in the region. New internet users have quadrupled year on year in 2020 to reach 40 million in its six largest economies – putting 70% of their total population online – according to an annual study by Google, Bain & Co. and Temasek Holdings Singapore Pte. In the past we have felt more innovation, opportunity and founders with science and technology training in USA, Europe and Israel, but now we see Indonesia and Southeast Asia really going through a very critical phase, ”Frances Kang, director of Horizons Ventures, told Bloomberg in an interview. The company “will only deploy more capital” to the region, she said, and has put in place a team to study the opportunities there. Kopi Kenangan and the operator of the Bobobox capsule hotel. Alpha manages some $ 200 million in two funds and has invested in more than 40 startups, but political uncertainties and market fragmentation in the region remain a challenge for investors. Two of Southeast Asia’s major economies, Thailand and Malaysia, have seen recent government upheavals, and memories of the 1997 and 2008 financial crises linger. Recent mega-transactions in Southeast Asia include the Singaporean company Grab’s $ 40 billion list and a similar deal. for Indonesian online travel company Traveloka, with a potential valuation of $ 5 billion, Li, 92, joins other high-profile global investors seeking the region’s growth potential. His son Richard Li, chairman of the Pacific Century Group of Hong Kong, has teamed up with US tech mogul Peter Thiel to set up two blank check companies seeking merger and acquisition goals in South Asia -Is. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. and billionaire Mohamed Mansour, meanwhile, invested in Grab, the region’s most valuable startup, while Horizons Ventures made early investments in a number of other tech giants, including Facebook Inc. and Spotify Technology SA. Sign up now to stay ahead with the most trusted source of business information. © 2021 Bloomberg LP

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