来源:滴灌通

https://microconnect.com.hk/





致资本市场的一封信

撰写者
李小加 | 张高波

2021年8月3日




感谢您对滴灌通投资的关注。写这封信的目的,是希望您能了解到,我们为什么是一个独辟蹊径,开创先河的投资平台。但更重要的是,希望借着这封信,将我们的初心,以及我们的革命性使命和投资逻辑,真诚地与您分享。

我们的使命与投资战略

小微企业是中国经济发展的基石,增长强劲。但是融资难、融资贵的问题,长期困扰和制约着小微企业的健康发展。这一问题的另一面则是:尽管中国的小微经济充满活力且整体规模庞大,但却一直是海外投资者尚未涉足的全新疆域。随着数字经济在中国的普及,小微经济活动越来越透明,中国的小微经济正逐步发展成为现代投资的新蓝海。

我们从农业滴灌技术的成功获取灵感,希望通过创新和大胆的尝试,开启小微企业投资的新纪元。我们的使命,是将国际资本精准引流至中国小微经济,并以最符合小微经济发展规律的方式助力小微经济健康发展。同时为国际投资者带来与经济周期关联度较低、可持续增长、风险高度分散和高质量的投资回报。

我们坚信小而美、多而安,百万生态、万千小微的集合将孕育出新的大美。我们以数字化技术赋能,实现对海量且分散的小笔投资高效精准的管理。把“大”资金和“小”经济完美结合,将引发一场划时代的投资革命。

我们的投资策略简称 “SHARPE”,六个英文字母,代表六大理念:

  • Small in amount — 单笔小额投资

  • Huge in number — 为小微企业建群,构建海量分散的小微投资组合

  • ARM (Automated Repayment Mechanism) — 透过数字化的收入管控机制和节点企业网络,搭建资本与小微企业之间最好的桥梁

  • RDR (Revenue-based Distribution Right) — 通过收入分成安排,为小微企业提供灵活、透明、同甘共苦的长期资本

  • Progressive position allocation strategy — 持续优化的投资组合配置体系,为海量的小额投资定价

  • Exchange-enabled ecosystem — 透过新型的数字化交易平台,为小微投资提供长期稳定的流动性


请允许我们详述以上的六大理念:

1. 小而美 — 为小微企业正名,现代投资新蓝海

在传统金融思维中,小微企业有体量小、抗风险能力差、违约率高等标签,形成了不适合规模化投融资的固有印象。而这一思维恰恰忽略了小微企业的三大重要特征:

  • 很多小微企业的平均增长率和投资回报率远高于大中型企业;

  • 小微企业对行业风险和市场波动的敏锐反应和灵活应对能力不亚于大中型企业;

  • 小微企业生存于中国实体经济的深土之中,最能够反映中国经济发展的脉搏与健康状况。若想投资中国,便不应该忽视中国的小微企业。

作为中国经济发展、财政税收、劳动就业的重要贡献者,小微企业理应得到现代金融的支持与赋能。因此,我们必须突破传统思维的制约,开辟小微企业投资新的路径。我们的使命是向健康、有成长性的小微企业提供长期、灵活的资本。我们坚信小而美, 实践小而美。


2. 多而安 — 为小微企业建群,构建海量组合

单一小微企业投资风险过高这一值得商榷,对机构投资者来说并不适用。我们构建的是大型投资组合,即把海量的小微企业组合在一起进行规模化的投资。一个投资组合内的企业数目越多,企业间的相关性就越低,风险就越分散,投资越安全,回报质量越高。

要想小而美, 必须多而安。小微企业投资必须做到单笔小额、海量万千。如何实现这一目标听起来似乎是一个不可能的任务,但是现在我们有四大金刚助力:数字化的抓手、同甘共苦的产品、持续优化的投资组合配置体系和新型的数字化交易平台。


3. 数字化的抓手 — 节点企业是资本与小微企业之间最好的桥梁

大批量的小微投资需要效率极高的触达方式与投资回报保障机制。资本如何找到小微企业?小微企业怎么拿到资金?投资回报怎么实现有效抓取?

在今天经济高度数字化的中国,绝大多数小微企业都生存在某一个核心企业、供应链中心、品牌商或技术系统提供商所构建的生态圈中。我们把这一类企业统称为“节点企业”,他们将是资本通达小微企业的重要桥梁与渠道。

我们与各生态圈中的节点企业合作,投资小微企业。他们离小微企业最近,对小微经济规律最为了解,而且具备和小微企业的数字化互联互通能力。他们就像滴灌工程的基础设施,将万千毛细管道铺到了每棵农作物的根部。通过这些管道,我们的投资可以抵达,来自小微企业的收入分成可以及时回收。


4. 灵活、透明、同甘共苦的产品 — 基于收入分成的类股权长期资本

小微企业投资难、融资贵的一个重要原因是传统的金融产品很难满足他们独特的融资需求:(i)对小微企业来说,信贷产品存在着期限短、条款弹性低、还款周期无法应对业务周期起伏变化,以及无法解决抵押品要求的缺点;(ii)对股权投资者来说,对小微企业的股权投资难以有效和低成本地估值、确权、监测和退出;(iii)风险投资者只专注极少数前景巨大的小微企业;(iv)供应链金融的发展虽然部分缓解了小微企业流动资金的困难,但在本质上依然无法改变小微企业缺乏长期发展资金的根本困境。

滴灌通希望长久伴随小微企业的成长,向他们提供灵活、透明、同甘共苦的融资产品 — 收入分成权。从经济本质来看,它就是与股权类似的长期资本,但在分成机制安排上,它又是一个更适合于小微企业融资的创新:即投资方与小微企业按事先约定的比例和节奏,直接在收入上完成传统意义上的“分红”,双方是同甘共苦的命运共同体。

我们相信,这种“现收现分”的模式,为投资者的权益确认和精准估值,提供了一个全新的透明机制。我们希望这个分成权未来还可以上市交易,为投资者提供有效的退出机制。这个创新可以彻底解决小微企业股权投资者在确权、估值和退出等方面的难题,同时为小微企业提供友好、灵活和同甘共苦的长期资本。


5. 可自我学习、渐进优化、自上而下的投资组合配置体系

基于海量小微投资的特点,我们的基础配置策略是自上而下的。基于精准、透明、实时的数字化信息反馈,我们的投资配置策略具有自我学习、渐进优化的显著优势。我们的具体做法是:

第一步,基于管理团队的丰富投资经验,从宏观层面筛选出优先涉足的行业及地区;

第二步,在拟投资的行业及地区,筛选出最合适的节点企业,结合节点企业的行业经验,制定出针对该领域内小微企业的具体投资计划。这个过程会加深我们对行业及地区的认知,从而进一步优化第一步中的行业及地区配置策略;

第三步,与精选出来的、有丰富经验的节点企业合作,采用小额、多批次的方式,对不同组群的小微企业进行投资。比如,在同一个节点企业的生态圈内,分别用不同批次,对不同规模、不同地区的小微企业进行投资。

第四步,利用投后反馈得到的实时信息,与投前的假设进行对比,筛选出风险回报最适合的小微企业组群。透过不断获取和分析动态信息,我们不仅可以持续优化在一个节点企业生态圈内的投资配置策略,还可以进一步深化对各个行业的认知,从而再次优化我们的第一步配置策略和第二步对节点企业的选择策略。

概括而言,我们的投资配置策略是以专业团队的丰富经验为起点,与节点企业深厚的行业经验相结合,形成配置体系的起步策略;投后借助及时的数字信息反馈,不断加深我们对行业、节点企业和小微企业的认知,通过持续渐进的自我学习,不断优化配置策略,实现科学有效的价格发现,从而高效地为大规模资金带来风险高度分散的、回报优良的投资组合。


6. 新型数字化交易平台 — 为小微投资提供长期稳定的流动性和市场生态

我们将创建一个新型的数字交易平台,为海量的小微企业,提供一个信息发布和交易平台,为小微投资提供稳定的流动性支持和持续的价格发现。

更重要的是,我们希望千万个小微企业,可以通过这个交易平台发现自己的价值。其实,这不就是实现了小微企业的“挂牌上市”吗?除了鼓舞人心之外,新的交易平台还可以吸引新的投资者进入这个市场,为小微企业提供源源不断的资金,从而降低小微企业的平均资金成本。

总之,我们的使命是向小微企业提供长期资本,伴随他们成长。我们将脚踏实地,突破教条,不停创新,造福小微企业,回馈我们的投资者。

创始人
李小加 张高波




Open Letter to the Investment Community

Author
Charles Li & Gary Zhang

August 3, 2021

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Dear all,

Thank you for your interest in Micro Connect. As you read this letter, I hope you will not only see a trailblazing investment platform but, more importantly, appreciate our genesis and our revolutionary mission and investment paradigm.

Mission Statement and Investment Strategy

We believe that China’s small businesses represent vast investment opportunities that have not yet been accessible to global investors. Our mission is to pioneer the access to such opportunities by providing small businesses with funding that is tailored to their development needs, in a way replicating the great agricultural success of “drip irrigation”. We believe this will unlock the growth potential that will transform these small businesses and provide investors with the opportunity to participate in the potential upside of such growth and secure sustainable, highly diversified and quality returns.

We have a simple but firm conviction about investing:

  • Small is beautiful;

  • Small and in huge number is fantastic; and

  • Small, in huge number, but digitally executed and intelligently priced is revolutionary.

To achieve our mission, we seek to implement a simple and straightforward investment strategy, with the acronym “SHARPE”, where:

  • S“stands for small in amount for each individual investment, a new path to access and invest in small businesses;

  • H” stands for huge in the number of investments to be made, a new approach to fundamentally diversify risks;

  • A” stands for ARM (“Automated Repayment Mechanism“), a new way to “connect” and “collect” through digital technology;

  • R” stands for RDR (“Revenue-based Distribution Right“), a new, fit-for-purpose investment product targeting small businesses enabled by digitalisation;

  • P” stands for progressive and intelligent position allocation strategy, a new way to discover price and deploy capital; and

  • E” stands for exchange-enabled ecosystem, a new central platform for small business investing where our investment paradigm can be implemented at an accelerated pace. We believe that our future success will be enhanced if our RDRs are provided with liquidity in a new vibrant exchange platform.

We adopt “SHARPE” as an acronym for our investment strategy for a clear purpose: we seek to apply the concept of risk-adjusted returns to our investments, building strong portfolios made up of a huge number of small investments with exposure to growth opportunities in a diversified range of small businesses in China.

Why Small is Beautiful

Conventional wisdom has it that investing in small businesses is unattractive and economically unfeasible because they are too small, too vulnerable and have higher default risks. The following are also true, however, about small businesses, which

  1. on average grow faster and achieve greater rate of returns than larger enterprises;

  2. are nimbler and more flexible when faced with adverse market conditions; and

  3. are the most representative of China’s real economic conditions.

As important contributors to China’s economic development, fiscal revenue and employment, quality or promising small businesses (“Micro Growth Units” or “MGUs”) deserve proper funding from the financial industry. Thanks to China’s massive digitalisation at the grassroots level of its economic system, this has finally become practicably and economically feasible. Our mission is to invest in the best of China’s MGUs and provide flexible capital to support their long-term growth.

Why Huge in Number is Important

“Huge in number” is important because we need to continuously diversify our investment portfolio. Given the small size of each individual investment, we aim to deploy a large pool of capital across a huge number of investments with low correlation, which will enable us to achieve risk diversification at the portfolio level.

How to Achieve “Small in Amount” but “Huge in Number”

To execute our strategy, we intend to

  1. Find a new way to “connect” to and “collect” from our investments through digital technology;

  2. Develop a new fit-for-purpose investment product;

  3. Adopt a new way to price and allocate our investments; and

  4. Seek an appropriate exchange platform designed for small business investing.

A New Way to Connect and Collect through CC Partners with ARMs

In order to reach as many MGUs as possible and make a huge number of investments in a cost and time effective manner, we seek to collaborate with a wide network of connect and collect partners (“CC Partners“). CC Partners are industry/sector leading enterprises with strong established business relationships with or technology enterprises which provide technology platforms to the MGUs in their ecosystems. CC Partners can potentially assist us in identifying, “connecting” to and “collecting” from MGUs and we will collaborate with them to screen, select and invest in prospective MGUs. An enterprise with a strong ARM, which refers to the digital ability to control the revenue streams of the MGUs within its ecosystem, is a potential CC Partner, and we can then leverage its ARM to digitally collect revenues from the investee MGUs.

Our collaboration with CC Partners may take different forms depending on the specific circumstances of the CC Partners and the underlying MGUs. Through collaborating with Micro Connect, prospective CC Partners seek to support the MGUs in their ecosystems, therefore expanding their business influence and competitiveness. In particular, CC Partners’ ecosystems are likely to be strengthened with the development of quality MGUs as a result of the funding support facilitated by our investment paradigm. The expansion of the relevant CC Partners’ businesses will in turn increase their ability to attract more aspiring MGUs to their ecosystems. This will, in the long term, generate a self-reinforcing network effect and enhance the vitality of the CC Partners’ ecosystems.

The RDR as a New Equity-like Investment Product – Alignment of Interests, Transparency and Exit Opportunities

In order to make a “huge number” of small investments efficiently, we have to differentiate our investment products from traditional financial products whose features are not truly fit-for-purpose for MGUs:

  1. Credit products are too inflexible for the diverse universe of MGUs in terms of tenure, terms, and collateral requirements;

  2. Equity investments are unfeasible to investors as the cost to effectively document, monitor, value and exit many small private investments is difficult to justify

  3. Venture capital aims at profiting only from a small number of MGUs with the most spectacular growth potential; and

  4. Supply chain finance helps MGUs to optimise their working capital, but does not address their broader financing needs.

Our investment strategy calls for the adoption of a simpler, more flexible product with its returns digitally collectable, namely the RDR. The RDR is a new investment product that is fit-for-purpose for MGUs. Unlike traditional equity investments under which an investor holds a fixed percentage of the MGU’s permanent ownership, the RDR is based on a commercial contract under which an RDR investor and an MGU owner agree to co-invest in the MGU and each holds respective rights to receive an agreed percentage of the MGU’s future revenue that is collected at pre-determined intervals. The proportion of revenue for collection is based on industry metrics and with safety buffers taking into account the observed level of operating expenses of the relevant MGU and its industry. The RDR therefore functions as permanent capital similar to equity, but with digital and direct collection of economic interests from the MGU’s revenue through the CC Partners, commencing immediately from the time of investment and continuing throughout the life of the RDR.

The key benefits of the RDR include:

  1. A complete alignment of interests between MGU owners and RDR investors;

  2. Prompt revenue distribution in an economically viable manner;

  3. Highly transparent and frequent disclosure of the MGUs’ revenue performance hence RDRs’ investment returns; and

  4. The possibility of a secondary market sale or listing of RDRs on a suitable exchange platform, thereby allowing investors to achieve exit that has otherwise been difficult to date.

A New Progressive and Intelligent Position Allocation Strategy – “Trust, Verify and Evolve”

In light of the “huge number” of small investments we need to make, our investment and allocation decisions will be made on a top-down basis, encompassing an effective self-learning process based on accurate, transparent and frequent digital disclosure.

More specifically, our investments will be made in four different stages:

  1. We will select the sectors or regions in which we would prioritise our allocations from a macro perspective, based on the investment experience of our management team;

  2. We will select the most appropriate CC Partners from the sectors or regions which we have prioritised and work with such CC Partners in formulating the most appropriate investment plan. Such in-depth discussions with the CC Partners will enhance our insights into the sectors or regions we invest in, which will allow us to further optimise our allocation decisions for the first stage;

  3. We will then work with the selected experienced CC Partners to invest in specific MGUs in their respective sectors or regions in small amounts and in multiple batches. For instance, we will make investments within the ecosystem of one CC Partner in different batches and different amounts depending on the size, location and other relevant characteristics of the MGUs in question.

  4. We will then evaluate the return profiles of the investments we have previously made and readjust our portfolio to include the most appropriate MGUs that meet our latest investment criteria.

This layered approach will allow us to start the allocation process with our industry experience leveraging the rich insights of the CC Partners in their respective sectors or regions. With the ever-increasing volume and ever-improving quality of the data that have been generated from our investments, we will deepen our understanding of the various industries, CC Partners and MGUs, and will be able to continually optimise our progressive and intelligent position allocation decisions. This ongoing process of evolution and self-learning will in turn lead to more effective price discovery and better investment performance.

A New Exchange Platform for MGUs – Sustained Liquidity and Price Discovery

In the initial phase of our development, we will generate investment returns primarily from revenue distribution from our invested RDRs. In addition, we may sell our interests in these RDRs on a bilateral basis, thereby creating liquidity for the RDRs and enabling us to exit our positions at a premium.

In the next phase of our development, we plan to list and trade the RDRs we have invested in on an exchange platform which we are currently developing (“NumaEx”). The benefit of having such an exchange platform, which is designed for institutional and professional investors, is the ability to consolidate and optimise the accumulation of market data in one place, which will in turn enable RDR Holders including us to leverage data analytics to conduct investment and trading activities at a rapid pace.

While our investment paradigm is not dependent on having an exchange platform, we believe our future success will be greatly enhanced by such a platform, given that:

  • We can benefit from deeper liquidity and better price discovery, allowing us to enjoy a sustained and consistent competitive advantage as an early mover.

  • MGUs may consider the listing of their RDRs as an alternative form of “IPO”, allowing MGU owners to instantly capitalise the MGUs’ revenue streams regardless of their size. They can also buy back or sell more of their RDRs directly on the exchange platform.

In summary, we intend to make small investments in huge number. In order to achieve that, we intend to find a new way to connect and collect through CC Partners with strong ARMs, adopt RDR as a new investment product, develop a progressive and intelligent position allocation strategy, and ultimately list and trade our invested RDRs on a new exchange platform for small business investing. Through our investment strategy, we are heralding a revolutionary and disruptive way of investing to help the “little guys” succeed while delivering to our investors sustainable, highly diversified and quality returns.

Sincerely yours,

Charles Li and Gary Zhang
Founders



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