Sunday, June 26, 2022
 
Columnist
Martin Hennecke

E-commerce start-up Yoho seeks US$100m
 
24/05/2022
 
<p>Yoho Group will open its retail books on Thursday, aiming to raise around US$100 million (HK$780 million).</p><p>The local e-commerce platform operator has launched a pre-market roadshow, with a plan to start trading on June 9, a report by the International Financing Review under Reuters said.</p><p>Founded in 2013, Yoho adopts an online-merge-offline business model, operating an e-commerce platform available on desktops and mobile devices, and two retail stores in Kwun Tong and Cheung Sha Wan.</p><p>In its IPO prospectus, Yoho said it ranked first as an e-commerce platform with a focus on consumer electronics and home appliances in Hong Kong in terms of website traffic, quoting a commissioned report by Frost &amp; Sullivan.</p><p>Yoho had around 34 million website users and derived nearly 80 percent of revenue from online operations for the year ended March 31, 2021, the filing showed. Also, it recorded the highest online retail sales of consumer electronics and home appliances among all Hong Kong e-commerce platforms with a market share of around 5.6 percent in the fiscal year of 2020, it said.</p><p>The Hong Kong-based start-up plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to launch an online marketplace and expand its business to the mainland market, with a particular focus on the Greater Bay Area.</p><p>Meanwhile, Didi Global yesterday secured the blessing of shareholders to delist from the New York stock exchange, capping an 11-month ordeal that wiped out around US$70 billion of its market value and turned the ride-hailing giant into a symbol of China&#39;s tech crackdown.</p><p>It plans to file the required paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on or after June 2 in order to delist, Didi said in a statement yesterday.</p><p>The shareholder vote clears the way for the company to work with Chinese regulators who are demanding an overhaul of its data systems.</p><p>That would allow the company to begin preparing for a Hong Kong share float, the best outcome investors have said they can hope for.</p><p>Didi&#39;s biggest shareholders, which include SoftBank, Tencent (0700) and Uber Technologies, have watched Didi&#39;s shares fall about 90 percent since going public, when it was valued around US$80 billion. After delisting, the company will likely see its stock traded over the counter on the so-called pink-sheets market, home to penny stocks and other riskier businesses.</p><p>Some investors could be forced to sell because their mandates don&#39;t allow them to hold unlisted shares. Hedge funds have already reduced their Didi holdings by 29 percent to about US$231.9 million during the first quarter, according to a Bloomberg analysis of filings. Even those who are free of such mandates, such as SoftBank, may question whether it&#39;s worth holding onto the shares given uncertainty over Beijing&#39;s punishment, increased competition from smaller rivals and stalled expansion overseas.</p><p>The retreat is part of what many see as comeuppance for a company known for pushing the limits with Beijing authorities. It is still unclear what actual punishment awaits Didi, which has been in talks with the Cyberspace Administration of China about a fine and other penalties.</p>
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