Anacle Systems Founder and CEO Alex Lau also revealed why Hong Kong is the perfect choice to support the plan
In-mid December 2016, Singapore-based property and energy management systems startup Anacle Systems filed for a listing on an exchange set up by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE), the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM).
In a written interview with e27, Founder and CEO Alex Lau revealed that the company has managed to raise HK$74 million (US$9.5 million) by end of December.
Apart from the increasing awareness of Asian society on the negative impact of rampant energy, which opens up ‘tremendous’ prospect for companies like Anacle Systems, Lau believes that there are several strengths that drew investors to the company.
“We operate in niche, fast growing and untapped industries that are not easy to fully understand. We have also invested heavily in product innovation, thus we have been able to grow fast and grow profitably. We also have a disciplined and committed management team with a track record of delivery,” he says.
The company plans to use the proceeds raised through the IPO to fund R&D investment as well as international expansion into Hong Kong, China, and the Middle East.
The expansion will be done through both organic growth and possible M&A of ‘suitable’ local companies.
“Hong Kong is similar to Singapore macro-economic structure-wise as well as the strength of the legal system, and thus would provide a good starting platform for our venture into the region,” the Founder and CEO explained.
“China provides one of the largest markets in the world and cannot be ignored by us as an Asian company. The Middle East respects Singapore-made products and often provides us much higher margins,” he adds.
The company’s international expansion plan is also the reason why they chose to get listed in Hong Kong instead of other countries.
“The Hong Kong Stock Exchange GEM provides a gateway for us to venture into the Hong Kong and China markets. It also provides easier upgrade criteria to their Main Board compared to the SGX,” he says.
When asked about whether the company had considered other stock exchanges such as ASX, as done previously by migme and SportsHero, Lau stated that they did not as they have no plans to expand to Australia in the near term.
The way out
Are we going to witness more Asian startups getting their exit through IPO in this brand new year?
Lau says he cannot foresee the trend, but he does have some words for startups which are looking to define their exit strategy.
While some commonly heard advice stated that startup founders should figure out their exit strategy early on, Lau actually have a different opinion.
“We do not have an exit strategy; our vision is for Anacle to be a global household name for excellent, practical and useful technologies in a hundred years time,” he says.
He even went as far as stressing that exit strategy is not what founders should focus on.
“Exit strategies belong to investors. I would advise startups to focus their energies on growing their business rather than figuring out the means to escape from it,” he concludes.
Image Credit: Anacle Systems
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