Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, is said to be diversifying its US-focused portfolio by beefing up deals in Southeast Asia while targeting women-centric investments in Japan, Nikkei Asia reported on Wednesday, quoting its co-founder Solina Chau.

The investment firm has set up a Singapore office earlier this year. Its notable exits include include Meta, Razer, and Zoom, data platform Crunchbase showed.

In Southeast Asia, Horizon Ventures invested in Indonesia-based coffee chain unicorn Kopi Kenangan. In May, Alpha JWC Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Indonesian firm Indika Energy announced a joint venture to develop two-wheeler electric vehicles (EVs) and an EV ecosystem in Indonesia. Horizon Ventures has about one-third of its bets in the US, with over 140 active investments in 17 countries.

“We have started a Southeast Asia cluster with a different focus: We want to see if we could fast-track a lot of new technology into the incumbent manufacturers,” said Chau, the fund’s co-founder and a longtime business partner of Li, in a recent interview with Nikkei Asia.

“A lot of [venture capital] funds raised funds before the market was hit hard, so everyone is sitting on funds and not investing,” Chau was quoted as saying.

The newly opened Singapore office is the company’s first outside Hong Kong. The expansion has stoked rumors about the company relocating altogether as Hong Kong saw an exodus of talent and capital amid strict COVID-19 measures and two years after the installation National Security Law, according to Nikkei Asia.

Chau dismissed the idea that Horizons was looking to “decamp from tax-friendly Hong Kong” in the interview. “Our company is small. We have 20-something people. How many people am I going to relocate?” Chau reportedly said when asked about the speculation. “I was born and bred in Hong Kong. … [And] until the tax structure changes, it is still a very interesting place to be,” she reportedly said.

According to her, Horizons Ventures is also eyeing new investments centering on sustainability and women-focused projects.

“Do you have science [that can produce] formula milk that is better than breast milk? What’s better for the world and better for the women?” Chau said. “It’s what we are working on and building a cluster on that,” she reportedly said.

“There’s a lot of unsaid discrimination in Japan against women founders,” Chau said, quoting the female founder of a Japanese company in Horizons’ portfolio. “We have an interesting [investment] focus in Japan [that] is totally women-centric.”

Horizons Ventures is a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies, including Facebook, Waze, Spotify, Impossible Foods, Improbable and Zoom, the firm said in its Linkedin profile.

Feature photo credits: Horizon Ventures

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