The First Institutional Investor of J&T Express ATM Capital’s Tony Qu: Accompanying More Enterprises To Participate in the New Wave of Globalism in the Next Generation

According to the IPO Early News, J&T Global Express Limited (hereinafter referred to as "J&T Express") was officially listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with the stock code "1519" on October 27, 2023.


As of the time of writing, J&T Express was trading at HKD 12.5 per share, with a market capitalization exceeding HKD 100 billion, making it the largest IPO in terms of market value on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this year. As a global express company with Chinese roots, J&T Express has achieved a remarkable speed from its founding to going public in just eight years.


Since its establishment, J&T Express has received investments from well-known institutions such as Tencent, Boyu Capital, ATM Capital, D1 Capital, Hillhouse, GLP, Sequoia China, SF Express, Temasek, HNA Asian Investment Fund, and CICC International, among others.


Among them, ATM Capital was the first investment institution in J&T Express, and they increased their investment multiple times later on. Before the IPO, ATM Capital held a 5.49% stake in J&T Express, making them one of the three important institutional shareholders with holdings exceeding 5%.


ATM Capital founder, Tony Qu, stated, "As the earliest institutional investor, we have witnessed J&T Express's continuous growth from its beginnings in Southeast Asia to becoming a super unicorn. Today, the express delivery company, adapting to the new digital economic environment, is embracing globalization, and J&T Express is currently the only global logistics company capable of local delivery. The next generation of global enterprises is rising, and ATM Capital will continue to discover and accompany the next super unicorn in Southeast Asia."


The First Investment Institution, Accompanying Growth All the Way


Tony Qu recalled that in 2017, he came to Jakarta, Indonesia, and founded ATM Capital, which focuses on Southeast Asian investment. Based on his background with Alibaba's strategic investments, he initially focused on the e-commerce sector when he first arrived in Indonesia. However, he quickly realized that platforms like Shopee and Lazada had already reached a certain scale in the e-commerce field, and there were even greater opportunities in the infrastructure supporting e-commerce, such as logistics and supply chains. With the e-commerce market's vigorous development, he believed Southeast Asia would certainly produce logistics giants.


While chatting with the founder of a Southeast Asian express delivery company named Ninja Van, Tony Qu asked, "Indonesia has the largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia, so why not focus on the Indonesian market?" The response he received was, "There's a local company called J&T (J&T Express) that we can't compete with."


Not long after, Tony Qu got to know the team at J&T Express. In Tony Qu's perspective, commerce determines logistics, and with the development of the Indonesian economy and the rise of e-commerce platforms, the market was large enough. J&T Express had a significant market share, and the team demonstrated strong combat capability and execution. "Through continuous interactions, I became more convinced that a courier and logistics company like ZTO Express or SF Express would undoubtedly emerge in Southeast Asia, and this company was very likely to be J&T Express."


After knowing each other for more than half a year, J&T Express opened up to external financing, and ATM Capital became the first external investment institution for J&T Express. They continued to invest and accompany J&T Express on its journey of growth.


At the end of 2019, when J&T Express decided to enter the Chinese market, Tony Qu provided strong support. He stated, "In 2019, we speculated that in the next 3 to 5 years, after further consolidation of the Chinese express delivery market, the strongest one or two courier companies would go international, especially to Southeast Asia. So, J&T Express considered entering the most competitive and advanced market. If they could survive in the Chinese market, their operational capabilities, technological capabilities, and the team would be the strongest in the world."


According to data from Frost & Sullivan, in 2022, J&T Express held a 10.9% market share in China, and from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2022, J&T Express was the fastest-growing among the major courier operators in China. Furthermore, in 2022, J&T Express expanded its business to Latin America and the Middle East, including countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Brazil, and Egypt. They entered the world's largest and fastest-growing emerging express delivery markets, and their courier business now spans across 13 countries.


Tony Qu believes that the successful listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is an important move for J&T Express in the capital market and a further deepening of J&T Express's globalization strategy.


Continuing To Discover and Nurture Globally-Oriented Businesses Rooted in Southeast Asia


In fact, apart from J&T Express, ATM Capital's fund has invested in various projects, including J&T Express's technology-focused express delivery enterprise, J&T Cargo, the leading Southeast Asian beauty brand Y.O.U, the top mother and baby brand MAKUKU in Southeast Asia, the emerging Indonesian coffee chain TOMORO COFFEE, the Southeast Asian integrated e-commerce service provider Jet Commerce, the world's largest third-party AIOT intelligent cloud platform, Tuya Smart (NYSE: TUYA), and China's leading insurtech platform, Waterdrop Group (NYSE: WDH).


Tony Qu pointed out that leveraging China's talent, technology, and supply chain advantages for businesses looking to expand internationally can lead to significant success in the local market. He advised starting with Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, and once a solid business foundation and team are established, expanding to other countries and regions. Many successful international companies have origins in regions like China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Europe, and Indonesia is poised to be the next such region. For example, both J&T Express and Shopee began their journeys in Indonesia.


In Tony Qu's view, there are three major development opportunities in Southeast Asia's future: the e-commerce dividend, the social media dividend, and the offline channel dividend. Among them, the potential of offline channels is enormous and far from being fully tapped. In addition, the new energy sector offers a very promising track, and the industry is expected to grow rapidly in the next 3-5 years.


"To become a global enterprise, you need products, funding, business models, talent, and more," Tony Qu added. "First, it's crucial to thoroughly research the market and choose industries with high growth potential and business models validated in mature markets and closely aligned with the local context. Second, founders should be fully committed, ideally based locally. The first step in globalization is crucial, and by building an international team in Indonesia, you can better expand globally."


"In the future, Southeast Asia has the opportunity to give rise to another billion-dollar, or even trillion-dollar, company, and ATM Capital will continue to discover and nurture globally-oriented businesses rooted in Southeast Asia," Tony Qu stated.