Author: Tronserve admin
Wednesday 28th July 2021 05:48 AM
Li Ka-Shing Is Profiting from Early Bet On Zoom With Stake Now Worth US$3 Billion
Li Ka-shing built Hong Kong’s biggest fortune on old-fashioned real estate and infrastructure. It’s a bet on technology that is paying off in the current crisis.
Li, called “Superman” by his admirers, was an early investor in Zoom Video Communications and owns about 8.6 per cent of the San Jose-based company, according to regulatory filings.
The value of Li’s stake has surged 80 per cent this year to US$3 billion, the only public holding of his tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to record a gain. His overall fortune has dropped by US$4.6 billion to US$25.7 billion this year after Hong Kong was hit by anti-government protests and the coronavirus pandemic.
The 91-year-old tycoon owns Zoom through three investment vehicles, according to the filings. Horizons Ventures, which manages Li’s venture investments, led a US$6.5 million series B round funding in the video conferencing company in 2013. It took part in a US$30 million series C round two years later, according to the company’s website.
His stake was worth about US$850 million when Zoom started publicly trading in the US in April 2019. The stock has rallied 83 per cent this year to US$124.51 through April 9, giving the company a market value of US$34.7 billion.
Zoom’s teleconferencing software has become an essential tool for millions at a time when much of the world is socially distancing to blunt the toll of the Covid-19 disease.
The company’s shares have soared as the homebound use it for everything from work conferences to Passover meals to happy hours. The company has pledged to bolster the security of the application after a controversy over privacy concerns.
Li isn’t the only person benefiting from the Zoom boom.
Founder Eric Yuan is now worth US$6.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking. Former Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang was another early investor. David Bonderman’s family office, Wildcat Capital Management, jumped in at the end of last year, regulatory filings show.
Some of Li’s other companies are helping boost Zoom’s user base. 3 Hong Kong, the mobile arm of his Hutchison Telecommunications, donated backpacks that included free “Zoom Classrooms” to hundreds of Hong Kong schools, the company said last month.