Forbes Hong Kong rich list: Li Ka-shing gains $5.7bn
Forbes has released its 2018 Hong Kong Rich List, and sees Li Ka-shing taking the top spot for the 20th year in a row.
Li, who is reportedly known as “Superman Li” locally in Hong Kong for his ability to build empires out of ordinary businesses, saw his wealth rise by $5.7bn over the past year.
Li, who is 89, now holds a total personal fortune of over $36bn.
In total, the 50 individuals featured on the list saw a collective rise in wealth of 24%, year-on-year, which was an increase of around $60bn and has put their total value of $307bn – an amount not far off the size of Hong Kong’s economy, the annual GDP totalling around $319.7bn.
The gap has narrowed between Li and Lee Shau-kee, who is worth $32,9bn and was one of the top wealth gainers last year.
Also featured in the top five were Lui Che-woo, who is worth $19bn, brothers Thomas and Raymond Kwok who are collectively worth $17.8bn, and Joseph Lau Luen-hung who is worth $17bn.
Last year Li Ka-shing topped off his expansive wealth by selling the most expensive office space in the world in Hong Kong, the Center, which went to a Chinese consortium with a record-breaking price tag of $5.2bn.
Li is the founder of CK Holdings and remains chairman of CK Asset Holdings and CK Hutchison Holdings. He had previously sold the second most expensive building in the world, the Century Lin Complex in Shanghai for $2.85bn in 2016.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.