HONG KONG, China — Hypebeast Ltd., the collection of fashion and entertainment blogs that started out as an online sneaker forum, is on track for the best debut of any Asian initial public offering this year.
The company jumped as much as 2,000 percent on Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market. It was up about eight-fold Monday afternoon, conferring a valuation of HK$2.1 billion ($270 million) on the company. If that holds, the 10-year-old company could chalk up Asia’s best first-day performance in 2016, surpassing the near-700 percent gain that Ching Lee Holdings Ltd. managed in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ma founded the company in 2005 to indulge his passion for athletic footwear. Hypebeast, a slang term for people who obsess over sneakers and lifestyle trends, has since morphed into a family of websites and an online store that generated HK$99 million in revenue in the year ended March 2015.
The Hypebeast, Hypetrak and Popbee websites and apps cover the latest fashion and culture trends for a millennial audience. In 2012, it launched an online store called HBX that carries over 300 brands and 8,000 products. Its main website alone has drawn over 2.3 million Instagram followers.
“Our position as a trendsetter in the field of fashion allows us to attract international brand owners for our advertising services and to supply their branded products to our e-commerce platform,” the company said in its IPO prospectus.
Hypebeast has amassed millions of likes and follows on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and its platforms attracted more than 46 million page views per month in fiscal 2015. The digital media division, which had a gross profit margin of 76 percent, derives most of its revenue from advertising. The U.S. was its the largest revenue-generating region, followed by Hong Kong.
Hypebeast raised HK$65 million after pricing its IPO at 13 Hong Kong cents. It soared to as much as HK$2.80 and was up eight-fold at HK$1.04 in the afternoon.
The company had no immediate comment.
By Selina Wang; editors: Robert Fenner and Edwin Chan.