Monday, July 22, 2024

Hong Kong’s $8 billion government fund partners with Beijing biotech start-up to bolster city’s tech hub aspirations

HKIC Strikes Deal with Biotechnology Firm Founded by Baidu Founder: Boosting Hong Kong’s Tech Sector

The Hong Kong Investment Corporation (HKIC) has entered into an exciting partnership with a biotechnology firm founded by Chinese internet giant Baidu founder Robin Li Yanhong. The government-owned fund, with assets totaling HK$62 billion (US$8 billion), will be leading the current financing round for Biomap, setting the parameters and terms for other investors to follow.

The collaboration will see the establishment of an accelerator called BioMap InnoHub, which aims to support over 50 early-stage research and development projects in cutting-edge life science. Priority will be given to projects recommended by universities and ecosystem partners in Hong Kong, showcasing the city’s commitment to boosting its technology sector.

This move marks the HKIC’s second public venture as part of the city’s initiative to transform into an innovation and technology hub. Earlier this month, the fund partnered with AI unicorn SmartMore, solidifying Hong Kong as a base for development for tech companies seeking to grow and go public on the city’s stock market.

Biomap, founded in 2020 by Robin Li and former Baidu Ventures CEO Wei Liu, specializes in providing AI models for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to expedite the discovery and development of new products. With a successful US$100 million series A funding round under its belt, Biomap is also collaborating with French drug maker Sanofi on a project that could potentially yield a US$1 billion pay-out upon completion of certain milestones.

“We welcome companies such as Biomap to list on our stock exchange, using our world-class fundraising platform to grow bigger and stronger,” stated Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan. With a strong foundation in AI and life sciences, Hong Kong is poised to become a key player in the health technology industry and beyond.

Biomap’s decision to prioritize Hong Kong as an IPO destination aligns with the city’s focus on developing industries such as health technology, data science, advanced manufacturing, and new energy as outlined in its innovation and technology development blueprint.

The partnership between the HKIC and Biomap signifies a significant step towards fostering innovation and growth in Hong Kong’s technology sector, leveraging the city’s unique strengths in data protection, intellectual property protection, and experienced talent in AI and life sciences.

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