Wall Street Welcomes Three China IPOs Ahead of Chinese New Year

The top performer among the three was Lizhi, an interactive podcast platform. Others were a co-living platform, Phoenix Tree, and a biopharma company, I-Mab.

Author: Selina Cheng   

Hoping to ride the general market trend up, three Chinese firms debuted in public trading in New York on Friday, a week before the Chinese New Year. They were Lizhi (Nasdaq: LIZI), Phoenix Tree (NYSE: DNK) and I-Mab (Nasdaq: IMAB).

Lizhi Plays on China's Audio Sharing

The top performer among the three was Lizhi Inc., a Chinese interactive podcast platform, which raised $45 million.

Lizhi rang the opening bell on the Nasdaq, skyrocketing as high as $15.25 per share in its first hour of trading from its offering price of $11 apiece. It closed at $11.63 per share in New York, up nearly 6%.

The Guangzhou-based company is one of China's largest interactive podcast platforms. It allows users to create, store, share and discover audio tracks, as well as interact in real-time.

Lizhi's audio community counted 46.6 million average monthly active users (MAUs) in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 27% year-over-year.

The company said it intends to use 40% of the new funds to develop innovative products, 30% to invest in AI technologies and 10% to expand overseas.

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Phoenix Tree Anchors on China's Growing Urbanization

Shares in Phoenix Tree Holdings Ltd., a China-based housing rental platform, ended flat, at $13.50 per American depositary share. The company priced its offering below the expected range of $14.50 to $16.50 per share and raised $129.6 million.

Also known as Danke, the company was established in 2015 to provide young people with comfortable and affordable homes. As of September, Phoenix Tree operated 406,746 apartments, a 166-fold increase from December 2015. Citing internet consulting group iResearch in its prospectus, the company said it was one of the fastest-growing co-living platforms in China.

Phoenix Tree said it intends to use approximately $80 million of the proceeds from the IPO for the expansion of sourcing and renovating additional apartment units, around $40 million for improving technological capabilities and the remaining towards general corporate purposes, including branding, marketing, possible acquisitions and investments.

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I-Mab Propels in Immunotherapy R&D

The last and most anticipated stock is the immunology-focused biopharmaceutical company I-Mab, which raised $103.7 million. Today, I-Mab completed the first U.S. listing by a Chinese biotech company since Zai Lab Ltd.'s (Nasdaq: ZLAB) $173 million offering in 2017.

IMAB shares opened at $14.75 per ADS, up 75 cents above its issue price of $14. Despite a strong opening, however, the stock in the company slipped to $12.50 apiece by close of trading on Friday. 

The company, which began as a five-member startup in 2014 as Third Venture Biopharma (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., enters the public markets today buoyed by rapid growth and a robust product pipeline. I-Mab is led by an international team of more than 200 employees with expertise in immunology, clinical development, regulatory affairs and CMC. It operates in Shanghai, Beijing and Rockville, Maryland.

The biopharma company said it intends to use the proceeds from its IPO for research and development of drug candidates, to invest in trials in China and the United States and to fund the construction of its manufacturing facilities in Hangzhou. The rest will be applied to working capital, strategic acquisitions and general corporate purposes.

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