In Search for the World’s Next Greatest Startups in Asia

Silicon Valley venture firm expanded into Hong Kong to help bridge Asia market and US innovators.

Based in Palo Alto, Amino Capital is a venture firm focusing on seed to growth stage investments in big data and data-driven technologies and helping global startups enter the Asian market. Founded in 2012 by a team of over 80 technology executives and innovators from various global tech giants, Amino has funded over 150 high growth startups since its inception, with 17 successful exits, seven unicorns, and over 17 startups with more than US$100 million valuations.  

Data-focused Investment Approach

Amino focuses on three key factors when evaluating a project: people, data, and product. According to Larry Li, Managing Partner, the company believes that good people, collaborated and talented teams can create social impact and in turn create the world’s next great company. In particular, companies that are able to utilise their data to create a barrier of entry and make data-driven decisions, such as Facebook and Google. 

“We observed this pattern and wanted to implement the same philosophy into our investment process,” said Li, “we have seen FinTech and Healthcare giving us the most return in recent years, as social mobile did not disrupt this highly regulated industries, but AI and Big Data have great potential.” 

Eyeing on Greater Bay Area and Asia 

Seeing exponential growth of portfolio companies in Asia market and, as a result, an increasing amount of talents and entrepreneurs in the area, Amino urges to expand its presence in Asia by setting up an office in Hong Kong. Li disclosed that 35 percent of Amino’s portfolio companies either went to Mainland China or started a subsidiary there. As a result, Amino’s expansion plan in Asia is a crucial step for the success of the company. 

Amino also plans to enhance its deal flow from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) to better utilise its global resources and support startups in the area. “Hong Kong provides funding and liquidity while Mainland China has land and talent. Combined together, the GBA could be a perfect place for global technology innovators to target the Asian market,” Li said. 

Amino strives to channel the gap between entrepreneurs and enterprises by bringing investment resources such as global connections, technological and marketing insights to the startups in the GBA.  Besides establishing a team for portfolio services, the company aIn Search for the World’s Next Greatest Startups  in Asialso sets to enhance its investment team and operation support team. 

“Our long-term investment strategy in Hong Kong is to take advantage of our knowledge and investment capabilities to identify the most promising technological companies and teams in the Greater Bay Area,” Li added. 
Amino has been closely in touch with InvestHK’s San Francisco office. Li concluded, “InvestHK provides us with the latest policy updates and valuable networks, allowing us to manage our Hong Kong businesses remotely as we begin to set up our office.”


Fast Facts

  • Amino Capital recently raises US$100 million for its third venture fund
  • Larry Li’s legacy investment Zoom Video went IPO in 2019, and its shares soar 72 percent with a market capitalization of US$17.7 Billion
  • US digital banking startup Chime Bank raised $200M at US$1.5 Billion Valuation in 2019, and AMINO invested in Chime seed round in 2013

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