26 October 2016
Kelvin Ma's (left) Hypebeast is now bigger than I.T., which was founded by Shum Kar-wai (right). Photos: HKEJ,
Kelvin Ma's (left) Hypebeast is now bigger than I.T., which was founded by Shum Kar-wai (right). Photos: HKEJ,

Why Hypebeast shares jumped 10 times in two days

A 33-year-old businessman who knows how to appeal to the fashion sense of millennials has become the latest billionaire in Hong Kong after his company made its debut on the local stock market on Monday.

Hypebeast (08359.HK), which runs digital platforms to promote international fashion brands on social media, saw its shares jump as much as 20 times on the Growth Enterprise Market before closing eight times its initial public offering price.

The company owned by founder and chairman Kelvin Ma Pak-wing kept up the momentum on Tuesday morning, and is now virtually bigger than fashion retailer I.T. (00999.HK), owned by Shum Kar-wai, in market cap.

Certainly, much is at stake in the game to become the top trendsetter in young adult fashion.

Both men show a preference for black and white, as could be seen in their corporate designs and publications.

Shum, 48, has 25 years of experience in the fashion industry under his belt, but Ma can say he is more appealing internationally.

Nearly half of Ma’s Hypebeast business comes from United States, where he is providing digital media services for international brands such as Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Chanel and VF.

Setting up his business in January 2007, the Hong Kong-born entrepreneur owes his success to being a trendsetter in the fashion market, thanks to his ability to identify the latest fashion trends and produce content that is appealing to young adults.

“Our digital media segment primarily derives its revenue from the provision of advertising services to brand owners and advertising agencies,” Hypebeast said in its listing document.

“We attract a large number of followers and visitors globally on our digital media platforms to view our shareable digital content in the form of articles and videos, and empower brand owners to reach millions of people globally.”

As at Sept. 30 last year, Hypebeast and its sister websites Hypetrak (music portal), Popbee (women) and HBX (sports shoes) stores recorded an aggregate of 46 million page views and approximately five million unique visitors per month.

It has about 2.1 million likes in Facebook, more than that of Bloomberg.

A big fan of sports shoes, the University of British Columbia economics and psychology major tasted his first success by writing his own top sports shoes blog before branching out to fashion and devoting considerable time on his blog.

Later, he set up business with Janice Lee Yuen-tong, who became his wife and executive director of Hypebeast. She is mainly responsible for editing and marketing Popbee.

Ma, with a paper wealth of HK$1.57 billion based on a share price of HK$1.22, as compared with its debut price of 13 HK cents, has seven solid years of experience in digital media marketing.

Indeed, Ma is a name to watch for what he has achieved in the fashion industry and what many Hong Kong youngsters aspire to be.

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EJ Insight writer

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