Kevin Ma founded Hypebeast in 2005. The platform amassed more than 46 million page views a month in the fiscal year of 2015. Hypebeast was originally founded as a sneaker centred passion project, Ma told Kitsuné, “The content has definitely changed from being sneaker centric to more fashion geared. A lot of our news is still based around sneakers, but we’re more choosy now on which sneakers we post up. I guess it’s because the more you see, the more you learn. Hypebeast started out talking about all the “hyped” products on the market. Now, it’s more about what actually looks good.”
In 2012, the lifestyle, digital and streetwear focused site entered the retail sphere, selling fashion editor favourites, such as Loewe, Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, Kenzo, Maison Margiela , Jacquemus, Stüssy, Acronym, Prada, Moncler, and more. That same year, as well as monetising Hypebeast, Ma also launched a print magazine.
Comprised of three major divisions – Hypemedia, an umbrella of online editorial and social media platforms; Hypemaker, an award-winning in-house creative production agency; and HBX, an e-commerce platform and omnichannel shopping destination featuring 250+ global brands – Hypebeast continues to drive culture forward. Its global readership spans 80+ markets across Asia, Europe, and the US, and its social media community is over 32.4 million followers strong.
Ma did not come from a fashion background; he launched the site whilst working in finance. “I studied business and psychology. After I graduated, I worked in the finance industry but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. While working at the bank, I was really into fashion, music and street culture. So, as a side project I decided to create Hypebeast to gather all the fashion, culture, and music news into one place. Slowly, it became my full time job and now my business.”
Ma's company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market in April 2016 by way of placing. The company listed 500,000,000 shares at a placing price of HK$0.13 and raised net proceeds of approximately HK$11.3 million. The company then transferred to the Main Board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019. In the fiscal year ended March 2022, Hypebeast reached a revenue of HK$896 million, a 33 percent increase versus the prior year.