The Artisan Acquisition Corp. founder on how Prenetics will benefit Hong Kong — and the world.
You may recognise Prenetics as the company behind CircleDNA — the comprehensive home DNA test that delivers unique personal insights on your health and genetic makeup that can benefit your diet, your sleep and even protect you for the future. In the wake of the pandemic, the company quickly expanded its business model to become one of the world’s biggest suppliers of accurate and affordable testing kits for COVID-19, benefitting millions in Hong Kong and abroad
Under the direction of CEO and co-founder Danny Yeung, the company has grown by leaps and bounds amid the pandemic, expanding its reach and launching new products like Circle HealthPod that will help countless others around the globe protect their health and that of their loved ones.
Following last week’s announcement, that the company would merge with founder Adrian Cheng’s Artisan Acquisition Corp., Prenetics achieved a historic milestone: It will become the first Hong Kong unicorn (billion-dollar startup) to be publicly traded on any market. The merger, which made headlines around the globe, is expected to be finalised later this year.
“I am so proud to support Prenetics in being the first Hong Kong unicorn to go public and to support local entrepreneurship,” says Cheng, who envisions a future where affordable and preventative healthcare is available to all.
With this merger, that vision comes one step closer to reality.
We reached out to Cheng for his thoughts on the merger, disrupting the industry and bringing healthcare access to the world.
How does it feel to be behind Hong Kong’s first publicly listed unicorn?
It was our core mission to seek out a high impact and high growth global company, and I am very pleased that we have found it with Prenetics. Danny has built a superb business with an inspirational team at all levels.
What initially drew you to Danny and Prenetics?
We share the vision to provide easily accessible and decentralised healthcare services to millions of people globally. I look forward to this ongoing partnership and, together, creating greater shared value for all.
How does a company like this disrupt the healthcare industry?
We aim to disrupt, decentralise and reimagine the global healthcare market by focusing on prevention, diagnostics and personalised care, capitalising on the new norm under the current/post COVID-19 environment. Prenetics is one of the largest diagnostics and DNA testing companies globally, headquartered in Hong Kong, driving change and empowering millions of people with valuable, easily accessible health information.
The company has a proven track record in commercialising frontier science and the agility to react to new market demand within prevention (CircleDNA), diagnostics (Project Screen/COVID-19 testing) and personalised care (Circle HealthPod).
What potential do you see for Prenetics and its mission going forward?
HealthPod will be the next key growth driver. Prenetics has a robust, disruptive product pipeline with sizable addressable markets, with planned launches of at least one key product each year for the next few years. The company revenue has grown substantially in the past, from HK$9m in 2019 to HK$65m in 2020, and it is expected to achieve HK$205m in 2021. Its existing pipelines are expected to provide us with robust growth in the next few years, and more than compensate for potential loss in revenue stream from COVID-19 testing when the pandemic subsides.
The product pipelines form a unique healthcare eco-system with strong technical and commercial synergies.
Are there any initiatives or advancements that you can talk about that excite you for the future?
We believe there will be a high demand for rapid and point-of-care COVID-19 tests as society returns to normal and travel resumes. Prenetics already obtained CE-IVD for EU and UK. FDA approval is in progress and expected by end of year, therefore, we’re very optimistic about the opportunities across these markets.
We are excited to launch the HealthPod together with Prenetics, to capture the opportunity for the global medical device market.
What does it mean for people and businesses in Hong Kong to have a positive story like this? How does it make you feel as a Hongkonger?
I am so proud to support Prenetics in being the first Hong Kong unicorn to go public and to support local entrepreneurship. My commitment to improving social welfare and the standard of living is brought to life through Prenetics’ work in making healthcare services decentralised and more easily accessible to the community.
What sort of benefits do you see across spaces that have been so impacted by COVID?
As there is rising concern of healthcare under COVID, Prenetics is going to partner with EC Healthcare, which operates a service network in Greater China. Prenetics products will be available at EC Healthcare network in the future.
Anything else you’d like to add about the merger?
Hopefully the deal can be completed by the end of this year, and together, we can provide decentralised healthcare for the Hong Kong community and the world, pushing the social welfare and creating shared value for all.