Jim Rogers-backed Chinese firm Tiger Brokers files for US IPO

Times Square is seen through the window of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Up Fintech Holdings, a Beijing-based online brokerage and financial advisory firm also known as Tiger Brokers, has filed to raise $150 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, with plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol TIGR.

The firm, which provides an online service for Chinese investors to gain access to foreign stock markets, has not specified the number of shares it intends to offer and the amount specified is likely a placeholder to calculate the filing fee. Its other investors include smartphone maker Xiaomi and ZhenFund.

Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities are serving as underwriters.

Launched in 2015, Tiger Brokers claims to be the largest online broker focusing on global Chinese investors in terms of US securities trading volume. It accounted for a market share of approximately 58.4 per cent in 2017, according to an iResearch Report.

“Our proprietary trading platform enables investors to trade in equities and other financial instruments on multiple exchanges around the world,” the company said.

The firm targets the ‘young and affluent’ demographic and as of December 31, 2018, 71.5 per cent of its individual customers were under 35 years of age.

According to its F-1 registration statement, Up Fintech’s platform has achieved 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion) cumulative trading volume within three years since its launch in 2015. The company claims it did so in the shortest timeframe among all online brokers focusing on global Chinese investors.

The company said it will use the proceeds from the IPO to, among others, set up entities and apply for operating licenses in multiple jurisdictions to expand its customer base.

It also seeks to acquire or invest in technologies and businesses that complement its current business. The IPO proceeds will also be used to satisfy the increased capital adequacy requirements of the New Zealand Stock Exchange or regulators in other jurisdictions.

The company also revealed that its revenue in 2018 reached $33.56 million, up 98 per cent from $16.95 million in 2017. It boasts more than 1.6 million registered users on its platform as of December 31, 2018, but did not reveal Monthly Active User results.

According to an iResearch Report, the market size of online brokerage in terms of US stock trading volume reached $5,427.2 billion in 2017, accounting for approximately 14.7 per cent of total trading volume in the US stock market, and was expected to reach approximately $6,852.4 billion in 2018.

The online brokerage industry focusing on global Chinese investors is highly concentrated, yet competitive. According to the iResearch Report, the market size of the online brokerage industry focusing on global Chinese investors in terms of both the US and Hong Kong stock trading volume experienced rapid growth over the past three years.

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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.

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.