Billionaire-Backed Hong Kong Fintech Firm Plans U.S. IPO

(Bloomberg) -- TNG FinTech Group Inc., a Hong Kong-based digital wallet operator, plans to seek as much as $300 million in a U.S. initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, whose investors include billionaire Henry Cheng’s NWS Holdings Ltd., is working with advisers on preparations for the proposed share sale, according to the people. It aims to start trading next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used to develop TNG’s planned virtual banking business in Hong Kong and to expand overseas, according to the people. TNG has recently raised more than $120 million in a Series B funding round, one of the people said.

TNG is seeking funds as competition heats up with Chinese internet giants Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings Ltd., which have also started offering digital payments in Hong Kong. Welab Holdings Ltd., another financial technology startup in the city that runs an online lending platform, filed in July for a Hong Kong initial public offering.

The notoriously expensive Asian city, with an economy focused on property and finance, has struggled to create major successes in the technology industry. Only one company from Hong Kong, Klook Travel Technology Ltd., which books activities for tourists, has made the CB Insights list of unicorns, or closely held startups with valuations of at least $1 billion.

Founded in 2013, TNG offers global money transfers, foreign-exchange transactions and bill payments. The company is profitable and has a valuation of close to $1 billion, one of the people said. NWS, the transportation unit of New World Development Co., owns less than 5 percent of TNG, according to the person.

A representative for TNG declined to comment. A representative for NWS confirmed the company is a shareholder of TNG, declining to comment further.

TNG raised $115 million in its Series A round of funding, which was the biggest for any startup in Hong Kong for such stage of financing, the firm said in a statement last September. Last month, TNG announced acquisitions in Indonesia and Malaysia.

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