Hong Kong Web3 Fund to Raise $100M, Will Back the City’s FinTech Ambitions
Hong Kong investors are launching a new $100 million fund, ProDigital Future, aimed at backing early-stage crypto and Web3 companies, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The move comes as the city continues to double down on its efforts to become a fintech and crypto hub.
Web3-focused ProDigital Fund Already Secured $30M in Financing
A new Hong Kong-based fund is looking to secure $100 million in financing in 2023 to invest in Web3 startups as the city progresses to restore its fintech hub status in the region. According to Bloomberg, the new ProDigital Future Fund will support early-stage Web3 companies focused on the regional market.
ProDigital Future has already raised at least $30 million in funding and plans to bag an additional $70 million by the end of the year. The fund is led by Ben Ng, a venture partner at Asian private equity firm SAIF Partners, and venture capitalist and entrepreneur Curt Shi. Shi said other investors who recently joined the first close for the Hong Kong-based fund include Sunwah Kingsway Capital Holdings Ltd. and Golin International Group Ltd.
The fund will mainly focus on early-stage and developing startups, particularly China-linked tech firms transitioning into Web3. ProDigital Future has invested in six digital asset ventures, including the Hong Kong-based metaverse firm GigaSpace and Australian digital sports club One Future Football.
So far, the fundraising process has been “relatively smooth,” Shi said, despite investors being skeptical about committing their funds to new crypto projects. He noted that numerous Hong Kong families interested in Web3 participated in the fundraising and certain China-based family offices investing in Australia and Singapore.
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Hong Kong’s Aggressive Support for Crypto Firms Raises Concerns
Launching a new $100 million fund comes as Hong Kong continues with its aggressive strategy of cultivating local crypto startups and firms to transform the city into a regional fintech and crypto hub following three years of battering amid Covid-related border controls.
Hong Kong has been trying to attract popular crypto exchanges to set up shop in the city instead of the US, which has been cracking down on the sector in recent months in the wake of the FTX fiasco last year. But some are concerned that Hong Kong’s aggressive support for crypto projects could backfire.
“I understand the concerns, but nothing is perfect given the complexity of the crypto economy and current geopolitical situation. Our strategy is to continue to see how things go.”– Curt Shi told Bloomberg.
Earlier this week, OKX, one of the biggest exchanges in the world by trading volume, set up an entity in Hong Kong and said it would apply for a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license in the city. OKX is one of the first major crypto companies that could obtain a VASP license under Hong Kong’s new crypto regulatory framework that is expected to come into force in the coming months.
Do you think Hong Kong will achieve its goal of becoming a regional crypto hub? Let us know in the comments below.