As it turns out, a promise by Xiaomi founder Lei Jun is as good as gold.
Sun Taoran, the founder and CEO of third-party payment company Lakala, posted a picture of a 1kg engraved gold bar on Sina Weibo. The gold bar, engraved with the text “to celebrate Lakala’s public listing” is a gift from the Xiaomi founder, Sun said in the post.
“[Lei Jun] made a promise to his pals, whoever founds a listed company worth at least USD 1 billion will get a 1kg gold bar from him personally […] Several good pals of his have one. Today, I get one too. Happy,” Sun wrote.
Lakala, a Beijing-based company that offers online and offline payment channels, remittances, and credit rating services, went public at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange last Thursday after a failed previous attempt in 2017. The company then tried to use a backdoor listing to land on the Shanghai Stock Exchange through a merger with Tibet Tourism. But the merger was called off by the Shanghai market regulator.
Lakala’s latest listing attempt was approved by China’s Securities Regulatory Commission earlier last month. The company’s market value stood at RMB 21 billion (USD 3.1 billion) at market close yesterday.
Lei Jun invested USD 500,000 in Lakala in 2005 and his shares are now worth more than RMB 200 million (USD 30 million).
Recounting his decision of Lakala investment, Lei said he was just helping out Sun, an old friend. “I helped a friend to raise funding to the extent that I became a shareholder. After that, I began to explore angel investing and invested in 30 projects,” Lei wrote on his Weibo. “In fact, the success rate of angel investment is very low. I am just too lucky my first investment project was Lakala.”
Editor: Nadine Freischlad