Bitcoin News Vietnam (BTCNEWS.VN) has recently published an article about HPQ (High Purity Quartz) project – https://btcnews.vn/cong-ty-singapore-dang-goi-von-qua-hinh-thuc-ico-de-xay-dung-mot-nha-may-o-viet-nam.
The article is in Vietnamese so here is the translation:
Singaporean company is fundraising via ICO to build a factory in Vietnam
From a university lab in Moscow, to an industrial park in Ho Chi Minh City, meet HPQ (https://hpq.io), the first industrial commodity-backed ICO in South-East Asia
A team of finance professionals and chemical and industrial engineers have teamed up to launch the first industrial commodity-backed ICO in South-East Asia. The team is raising USD1.65 million to introduce a novel and environmentally-friendly approach to produce high purity quartz (HPQ) from Vietnamese sand.
The jurisdiction of the ICO is Singapore. For the time being, Singapore is one of the most ICO-friendly countries. After the ICO, the Singaporean company will use the total amount raised to build a factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It will be the 1st high purity quartz production facility in Vietnam, and one of the most novel HPQ production lines in the world.
The HPQ token is being launched at USD2 with the company promising to buy back the token at a price of USD4 in 18 months’ time. Alternatively, what could be more interesting for investors is the possibility of redeeming the token from month 13 for 1kg of high purity quartz. At current market prices, this could provide investors a return in excess of 2x, and potentially as much as 5x. The fact that each token is guaranteed by a physical commodity is what makes this ICO such an exciting and lower risk prospect for investors.
High purity quartz (HPQ) is a key raw material used in the semi-conductor, solar, lighting and optical industries. It is a white powder and essentially a very pure version of quartz, defined as having at least 99.995% SiO2 content. HPQ is a necessary element for the production of any modern gadget, such as solar panels and mobile phones.
Instead of the classic method of quartz purifying (taking out the impurities through chemical processes step by step), the team, founded by Vladimir, a chemist and inventor, Alexander, an equipment engineer and factory design specialist, and Sergei, an Economics graduate and equipment and technologies engineer from Russia, “pull” only the needed element, SiO2, out of the raw quartz-containing material which can be quartz sand of any purity. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to completely disrupt the global HPQ monopoly and team is very confident that it can thrust the company to immediately become a global player in the billion-dollar industry.
The initial idea came up through a university research project. After many years of testing in the laboratory, the project’s team finally produced a pilot production line in 2012-2013. Following this, the team spent time conducting market research, obtaining feedback from buyers, and building up the demand. The team considered various locations to base the project, including Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Canada. Eventually though they decided Vietnam would be the best fit for a variety of reasons, such as low utilities cost, cost of raw materials, labour cost etc. Sergei was the first team member to move permanently to Vietnam. However, the team still lacked funding to move the project forward. The team contacted nearly every local bank in Vietnam, but none of the banks were willing to finance “green field” projects without full collateral.
Then in mid-2017, Sergei met Sami on a flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and the pair immediately struck up a chord. Unlike many foreign investors who did not understand Vietnam or who were put off by the anti-Russian sentiment in the news, Sami, who was already based in Vietnam, was very excited about the project, and things started to move much faster. Sami, who had previously worked as an analyst for a leading global private equity group, pulled in some investment from ex-colleagues in London, Zachary and Henry, and together the team built a second pilot production line. Henry who previously built JustEat in the UK from startup to $2.44Bn IPO will be leading Business Development, along with Zachary who previously co-founded private equity firm, TLG Capital.
Unlike other industrial mineral markets, there is limited competition in the global HPQ industry with two producers handling more than 80% of global production, mainly sourcing their raw material from one location in Spruce Pine, USA. For most buyers there is simply not enough availability of ultra pure and high purity quartz. If there is any product available, then it is only affordable to big buyers such as Samsung.
In the next several years, the team have plans to expand production to 30,000 tonnes per annum, grow revenue beyond USD$100 million, and continue R&D in order to expand into other industrial technologies.