Chinese insurance platform Huize raises $55m in US IPO

Pedestrians walk past the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York's Times Square. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Huize Holding, the operator of an online insurance intermediation platform in China, raised approximately $55 million after pricing its offering at $10.50 apiece, slightly above the midpoint of its $9.40-$11.40 range, according to its filing.

The company offered 5.3 million American depositary shares (ADSs), or 600,000 more than expected. Each ADS represents 20 Class A common shares of the company. Huize originally filed to raise $150 million in September 2019 but the figure was trimmed to about $48 million.

The stock traded on Nasdaq Wednesday, hitting a high of $10.83 before closing at $10.

“Listing in the US not only allows the company to enter the international trade market but also provides a solid foundation for the long-term development of the company,” Cunjun Ma, chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Huize Holding, said in a statement.

In the future, Huize will continue to focus on consolidating its position in the online insurance sector in China, Ma, who founded the company in 2014, added.

Huize disclosed that the proceeds from its IPO will be used to invest in technology and big data analytics to boost user acquisition and risk management capabilities. Part of the proceeds will also be used to further improve its product and cover general corporate expenses.

Focusing on China’s younger generation, Huize distributes insurance products and services with the aim of helping insurance firms serve a large number of purchasers, it said in its prospectus.

Its products cover two major categories — life and health insurance, property & casualty insurance products. Based in Shenzhen, the company booked $108 million in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, 2019.

Its annual revenue in 2018 nearly doubled to $74.1 million from the preceding year. The firm, which has served at least six million clients, turned to profit in 2018, reporting $400,000 in income in contrast to bearing losses in 2017.

It made $900,000 in profit in the first half of this year, serving a cumulative 5.8 million insurance clients as of June 30.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.