Xiaomi-backed Tiger Brokers raises $104 mn in US IPO eyeing Chinese young investors

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(Image credit: China Money Network)

This article by Eudora Wang originally appeared on China Money Network, the best data intelligence platform tracking China’s tech and venture capital markets (access requires subscription).

Up Fintech Holding Limited, the parent company of Chinese online brokerage Tiger Brokers, has raised $104 million in a downsized initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Wednesday, following its homegrown counterpart Futu Holdings Limited who raised $90 million in a New York IPO earlier this month.

The company, listed under the symbol “TIGR,” offered 13 million American depositary shares (ADSs) at $8 apiece, each representing 15 Class A ordinary shares. The share price is above the expected range of $5 to $7, but downsized from the $150 million Up Fintech targeted to raise in late February.

The domestic online retail securities market in China is already the largest in the world. For offshore assets, the country’s online retail trading volume is expected to triple from roughly $445.4 billion in 2018 to about $1.36 trillion in 2022, as per consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

The Tiger Brokers online trading platform, founded in June 2014, allows Chinese investors at home and abroad to trade stocks in the US, Hong Kong, and mainland China markets via the stock connect scheme between Hong Kong and mainland stock exchanges.

The company floated shares in the US as Chinese online brokerage firms have captured the important demographic of young investors for whom more traditional US financial firms are competing with start-ups such as Robinhood. More than 70% of Tiger Brokers’ individual brokers were under the age of 35 by the end of 2018, according to the company’s prospectus. Over 85% made more than $40,000 annually, shows the document.

Before the listing, Up Fintech counted Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi as its second-largest shareholder with a 14.1% stake, while Interactive Brokers Group, an automated global electronic broker, owned a 7.7% stake. Its founder and former developer of Chinese internet firm NetEase, Wu Tianhua, held an 18.9% stake.

The IPO of Up Fintech followed closely with the listing of its domestic counterpart Futu. The Hong Kong-based Futu—the first Chinse online broker to go public overseas—raised $90 million in a New York IPO on March 9.

Futu, backed by Tencent, Sequoia, and Matrix Partners China, also counts the Chinese young generation as a key source of its customers. According to its prospectus, the average user age of Futu is 35 years old, and about 43.8% of its clients work in the internet industry, information technology, or financial services.