Business

The mysterious Hong Kong family office doing big deals

Hong Kong remains a major centre for family offices as the investment activities of a little known investment office based in the city underlines. 

Summer VC recently participated with one other investor in a Series B funding round worth $26 million for San Francisco-based healthcare group Blue Note Therapeutics.  

OK, no big deal. But a look at Summer VC’s website indicates the group has been an investor in a host of familiar and successful companies, including Alibaba, Snapchat, and Moncler. Apart from Summer VC’s deals, nothing much else can be gleaned from its website, like who owns it. 

Regulatory filings suggest the investment office is based, or is registered in an apartment block in the exclusive area of The Peak on Hong Kong island. Those regulatory filings have only mentioned one name associated with the group, Yinne Yu. 

Yu’s LinkedIn profile says she works as head of investments for a family office and further search shows Yu’s name has come up in a number of venture capital conferences as a representative of Dickson Poon’s family office. 

OK, Summer VC’s might not be Dickson Poon’s family office. Highly qualified Stanford graduate Yu, who has worked for Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital, might work for more than just one family office, although working for two family offices of different owners is unusual.  

So Dickson Poon could very well be the principal behind Summer VC – he certainly has the wherewithal to have a substantial family office like Summer VC. The high profile luxury retail entrepreneur is the founder and executive chairman of the retail holding group Dickson Concepts. The listed business has revenues of around HK$3 billion ($386 million) a year and Poon is also its biggest shareholder.  

In the UK, Poon is best-known for owning Harvey Nicolas, the luxury department store in London’s Knightsbridge. 

Summer VC’s past and present investments show a bias towards retail clothing companies, including Moncler, Wish, and Zalando. That said, recent investment look to be trending more towards biotech businesses. 

Summer VC was contacted by Family Capital for this story but gave no response at the time of publishing. 

Whoever is the owner of Summer VC might not matter. But its activities show Hong Kong remains an important centre for family office activity, despite some of the political issues the city has faced in recent years. 

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