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Sustainability data start-up MioTech plans to double Asian headcount after bagging Guotai Junan, Singapore’s GIC as new investors

August 25, 2021 GMT

MioTech, a sustainability data and solutions start-up, is planning to double its headcount in the region to 300 after bagging new funding from investors including Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, as it anticipates strong demand from Asian companies looking to reduce carbon emissions.

The Hong Kong-based start-up announced on Tuesday that it has raised new capital from GIC and Chinese investment bank Guotai Junan International. The two add to a list of early investors that also includes HSBC, venture capital firms Horizons Ventures and Zhenfund, and rating agency Moody’s.

“We are seeing a paradigm shift in the global financial markets, whereby economic growth will increasingly be fuelled by sustainable technology and away from the mobile internet sector,” said chief executive Jason Tu in a Zoom interview with the Post. “The need to reduce carbon emission will broaden out to many industries beyond just the heavy polluters.”

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Tu declined to reveal the amount GIC and Guotai Junan have invested in the firm, which uses artificial intelligence to help companies with their environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and with tracking carbon emissions. According to Crunchbase, a venture capital data provider, MioTech had raised a total of US$7 million from its previous five rounds of financing since 2016.

The addition of GIC and Guotai Junan has helped raise MioTech’s profile among institutional investors, and among prospective Chinese issuers, Tu said. “Some of the existing investors” will also make follow-on investments over the next two months, he added.

With 150 people currently employed in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Tu said some of the new headcount will be in Singapore as it sees strong demand from banks and other companies there looking to report on their ESG efforts or install equipment to track their carbon emissions.

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In China, MioTech estimates the ESG data market is worth about US$6 billion now the country’s national carbon exchange in Shanghai has gone live, opening up more collaboration opportunities with Chinese carbon exchanges and other financial institutions.

Beijing has committed to achieving peak emissions before 2030 and net zero emissions by 2060.

In Hong Kong, MioTech claims to be the biggest sustainable technology provider with an ESG database covering over a million private and public companies, and more than 700 verified data points.

“We have hired a good number of data scientists in Hong Kong. We expect that Hong Kong can play an active role in carbon emission trading in the Greater Bay Area,” said Tu, referring to the area comprising nine Chinese cities, Hong Kong and Macau that has been designated by Beijing for innovation-driven development.

Tu’s comments come after plans announced in July for the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong stock exchange to collaborate with the city’s accounting watchdog on a road map to adopt new climate-related financial disclosure standards. He declined to say whether MioTech is involved with the regulators’ work.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia. For more SCMP stories, please download our mobile app, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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