Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) (“Li Auto”) rose 43% on its Nasdaq debut on July 30, joining the growing number of electric-vehicle manufacturers listed on U.S. exchanges. Tiger Brokers (NZ) Limited (“TBNZ”), a wholly owned subsidiary of UP Fintech Holding Limited (NASDAQ: TIGR) (together with other affiliates of UP Fintech Holding Limited, “UP Fintech”) served as an underwriter in Li Auto’s IPO, and in total received subscription orders of $1.887 billion. Of the subscription orders UP Fintech received, more than $1 billion came from institutional investors and $800 million came from retail investors, demonstrating UP Fintech’s unparalleled capability to assist China-based companies raise financing in overseas markets.
Founded in 2015, Li Auto is an innovator in China’s new energy vehicle market. Li Auto designs, develops, manufactures, and sells premium smart electric SUVs. Li Auto in total raised $1.1 billion by offering 95 million ADS priced at $11.5 in the IPO, making it the largest IPO by a Chinese company in the U.S. so far in 2020. The shares closed at $16.46 on the end of the first trading day, giving the company a market capitalization of approximately $13.9 billion.
Serving as an underwriter in Li Auto’s IPO, UP Fintech assisted the issuer on every step of the process. With a network of more than 500 institutional investors, UP Fintech was able to assist Li Auto connect with a wide range of global institutions, building demand for the new issuance. In addition, the company also engaged with its large retail investor base through its flagship mobile trading app “Tiger Trade”. By providing global Chinese retail investors the opportunity to participate in Li Auto’s IPO, UP Fintech further enhances its leading market position as the online broker of choice for global Chinese investors.
UP Fintech started to expand its institutional business, particularly investment banking and equity underwriting, in the TMT space in late 2017 and the business continues to grow rapidly. The firm has now participated in over fifty Chinese ADR IPOs including many high-profile Chinese Tech IPOs such as e-commerce giant Pinduoduo (PDD), video streaming platform iQIYI (IQ), and video sharing website Bilibili (BILI). As of June 30, 2020, a total of 16 Chinese companies had held U.S. listings this year and UP Fintech participated in eleven of these IPOs, serving as an underwriter in six of them. UP Fintech maintains its position as the top U.S. IPO underwriter for China-based issuers by deal count among brokerages in both 2019 and H1 2020.
“Being a next-generation investment banking firm specializing in new economy companies, our corporate services team is able to assist and advise on all aspects of the IPO from offer structure and strategy, timing, to equity story and valuation framework. After a successful listing, UP Fintech also provides a variety of ongoing corporate services such as support for secondary equity offerings and ESOP,” said Mr. DJ Guo, Head of Investment Banking and Partner of UP Fintech.
Guo noted that UP Fintech will continue its efforts to expand its corporate services offerings to more customers across APAC and the U.S. In June 2020, UP Fintech participated in Warner Music’s IPO in the U.S., and also served as a joint bookrunner for the international offering of NetEase’s secondary listing in Hong Kong. In the future, the firm plans to continue developing its capabilities to sustain and consolidate its leading position in assisting Chinese companies, especially TMT companies, raise capital in key global financial centers.