Hong Kong FinTech Hyphen Group is mulling a public offering via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Provident Acquisition Corp., South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported, citing unnamed sources.
Backed by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li Tzar-kai, the SPAC merger could give Hyphen a valuation of $1 billion, the sources said. The deal could include a $100 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) anchored by institutional investors. The transaction could officially be announced by the end of the year, the sources told SCMP.
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The SPAC is led by Provident Group executives Winato Kartono and Michael Aw. The fund backs Southeast Asian startups and has invested in ride-hail giant Gojek, digital travel platform Traveloka, and eCommerce fashion retailer Pomelo.
Provident’s January initial public offering (IPO) raised $230 million and indicated that it was planning to back consumer tech firms in Southeast Asia.
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Formerly known as CompareAsiaGroup, Hyphen uses tech-driven tools to direct people to the best fit for credit cards, personal loans and other financial services. The company’s eight brands work with more than 11 million users every month.
Hyphen acquired Singaporean personal finance firm Seedly from ShopBack last year and has raised over $110 million from investors including Li’s investment manager Pacific Century Group, Alibaba Group Holding, Goldman Sachs, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and Experian.
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Founded in 2014 and dual-headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore, Hyphen Group is a portfolio of digital finance firms that works with over 220 financial institutions across six markets — Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, according to its website.