KUALA LUMPUR: Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd has hit gold with its investment in Texas-based cloud software provider Phunware Inc when the latter’s shares climb over 2,000 per cent this week.
Khazanah is the biggest investor with 2.2 million shares in the firm, followed by Phunware’s own chief technology officer Luan Dang.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Phunware’s shares had climbed over 2,000 per cent on the back of its merger with Greece-based Stellar Acquisition in late December
“The shares ended 2018 at US$14.26 and closed at a record US$220 on Wednesday, after initially extending its meteoric rise on Thursday, surging as high as US$550, the stock subsequently turned sharply lower, ending down 29 percent on the day at US$157,” the report said.
At current levels, Phunware has a market capitalisation of about $4.4 billion, up from $56.5 million at the end of last year.
Its volume on Wednesday amounted to 29,170 shares for a total traded value of US$2.2 million.
Incorporated in 2009, Phunware raised some US$84 million from a group of investors such as Central Texas Angel Network, Wild Basin Investments, Wavemaker Partners, Samsung Ventures and oKhazanah.
It had planned to issue cryptocurrency tokens called PhunCoins in 2018, which was expected to generate US$10 million to US$100 million, but it is unclear if the firm had done just that.
Khazanah’s investment into innovation and technology (tech) companies inclusive of Phunware, currently stands at four per cent, out of its total portfolio.
However, not all of its investment in tech worked out as its United Kingdom-based Blippar Inc had in December 2018 went into administration due to its inability to raise emergency funding.
Founded in 2011, Blippar which specializes in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and computer vision has grown rapidly from start-up to becoming a “unicorn”.
In 2016, Khazanah became one of Blippar's biggest funder when it led a Series D funding round amounting to US$54 million.