The Hong Kong X Foundation, a charity foundation established by Sequoia China in Hong Kong, and CGTN jointly launched the “Innovative Harbor 2021 INNO BAY” special program. During the event, the association released the “Hong Kong Unicorn List Unicorns HK 2021” for the first time. All the unicorns on the list were founded/early incubated/headquartered in Hong Kong, or the founder was a Hong Kong resident. These start-ups have all received private equity investment, have not yet been listed, and are valued at more than $1 billion, which meets the international standards of unicorns. The company must also comply with the legal requirements of Hong Kong and the Mainland at the same time.
Including super unicorns valued at tens of billions of dollars
Among the 18 unicorns that have successfully made the list, companies in the fields of high-end manufacturing, robotics, and artificial intelligence are the most, including super unicorns DJI Innovation, SenseTime Shangtang Technology, and Lalamove, which are valued at more than ten billion U.S. dollars. Unicorns valued at over US$1 billion include Airwallex and EcoFlow Zhenghao.
Unicorns with the “Hong Kong Gene” successfully made the list, mainly in the fields of high-end manufacturing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
It is also worth noting that in the ranking, 6 unicorns are from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Known as the “Godfather of Hidden Entrepreneurship in China”, Professor Li Zexiang has participated in more than 5 unicorns. He formed an academic entrepreneurial group with HKUST students to encourage students to actively start their own businesses, find funds and provide technical assistance for them. With the help of the manufacturing base in the Greater Bay Area, he continuously incubates and invests in high-tech companies founded by his students and participates Established DJI Innovation, Googol Technology, etc.
Another notable commonality is “based on Hong Kong, rooted in the Greater Bay Area, and looking at the world.” According to the analysis, many unicorns with “Hong Kong genes” have made full use of the incubation space and policies of various university startup incubators, government science parks, or Cyberport. At least 9 companies have set up their global headquarters or core offices in Hong Kong, and set up R&D or production bases in the Greater Bay Area. The company has polished its products in the Hong Kong market, combined with the perfect manufacturing supply chain, active sales market and rich industrial clusters in the Greater Bay Area, from prototypes to mass production, and finally sells the products to the country and the world.
What do Hong Kong young unicorns have in common?
The Innovation and Technology Hong Kong Foundation stated that these Hong Kong genetic unicorns have many things in common. First, these companies are very young, such as KLOOK established in 2014 and Airwallex established in 2015. Among them, the youngest is the computer vision company SmartMore, which was founded in 2019 by Jia Jiaya, a tenured professor of computer science and engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
This article was originally published on www.inews.hket.com