In a city that is known for its investment banking and property conglomerates, the thought of an innovative technology startup is probably as mythical as a unicorn. In tech terms, a unicorn, is a company worth over $1 billion. So far, Hong Kong has one tech unicorn. Welab, who raised in excess of $160m earlier this year. Oddup, the Startup Rating System forecasted that Welab would be a unicorn. Oddup provides investors with an assessment of the potential success of a startup and with its proprietary Oddup Score, it helps investors with a Buy, Hold and Sell view of the startup it rates.
Searching for that billion-dollar company
Announcing its partnership with Thomson Reuters this week, the fortunes of Oddup, the Hong Kong headquartered startup are in favor for its investors who include 500 Startups, Click Ventures and Kima Ventures. The partnership will allow Thomson Reuters' 250,000 EIKON users access to Oddup startup data, including analyst views, scores and valuation. The company's CEO, James Giancotti, was formerly an angel investor and a partner at a micro VC fund, and had experienced the pain of trawling through multiple spreadsheets and tedious due diligence processes. James co-founded Oddup with the intention of bringing insight and transparency across the startup landscape to enable smart startup investing.
"Finding information on early stage startups as an investor was incredibly difficult, and time consuming. Getting a third party opinion on a startup, similarly as you would for a public company didn't exist. So we created Oddup to solve this problem", James Giancotti said.
Since launching in 2014, Oddup has rated over 2000 startups focused on Asia and now has launched offices in London, Melbourne and San Francisco. "We are working on having Oddup available in the 30 biggest tech locations in the world by the end of 2017". James Giancotti said.
An emerging asset class
As opposed to public companies where information can be found by a simple Google search, startups not disclosing financials, growth rates or traction has served as a competitive advantage. For early stage startups who have been in business less than 3 years, it is particularly difficult finding qualified information. With more private companies continuing to stay private, the need for information from a demanding investor base has been the focus for a number of financial companies. With the influx of Asian family offices, and the strength of Asia tech ecosystems in Beijing, Bangalore and Singapore, the need for Asia based startup information has been desperately needed.
Getting it right
Besides Oddup's correct investment call of Welab, it has proven its credentials as the "Startup Rating System" with its correct assessments of startups including Didi, Carousel and Grab. "Our business is all about providing transparency on startups to investors, and we pride ourselves on getting it right when we rate a startup". James said. "The more times we get it right, the more people will continue to use our service".