Since the Russo-Ukraine war started in February this year, the energy shortage, inflation, and soaring food prices have caused the people at the grassroots level to suffer more. A new start-up company composed of Taiwanese, with an innovative fishery financial model, was listed on Nasdaq in the United States in August this year. What kind of solution did they propose to combat global inflation and food crisis? Why can it be successfully listed in the United States? How can Dong Zuo Zheng Yingjie, who was born as an accountant, further assist Taiwanese SMEs to enter the world?
Thoughts inspired by climate disasters
On September 29, 2022, a group of Taiwanese, led by Zheng Yingjie, the chairman and CEO of Nocera, performed the closing bell ceremony on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York, USA. When he pressed the button of the tablet computer Afterwards, the screen at the back sprinkled water in an instant. Accompanied by the sound of the bell and the cheers of the crowd, this fishery financial start-up from Taiwan announced its existence to the world.
Zheng Yingjie led the Taiwanese team out of the outdoors. The ultra-high screen wall on the busy corner of Fifth Avenue in New York has played the bell ringing ceremony that was just completed in a loop, attracting many tourists to take photos with the Taiwanese team with the big screen as the background. The atmosphere is lively and jubilant. "This is just a small step for me, but it may be a big step for Taiwanese companies to go global!" Zheng Yingjie said excitedly.
On September 29, 2022, Nocera held a closing bell ceremony at Nasdaq in the United States. The ultra-high screen on the bustling street corner of Fifth Avenue in New York was broadcast synchronously in a loop. Dong Zuo Zheng Yingjie (middle) said, "This is just a small step for Nocera, but it may It is a big step for Taiwanese companies!"
Back to 2018, Zheng Yingjie, who had held high-level positions in the Big Four accounting firms and the Sinan Group, decided to press the pause button and return to his hometown of Taiwan after working in the United States for many years.
In that year, the 8.23 flood occurred in Taiwan, and TV news reported that aquaculture was seriously damaged. He, who has always been concerned about people's livelihood issues and climate change, was very impressed. "The increasingly serious climate disasters will further expand the global food crisis. This will be our The future we must face together," he thought to himself. Not long after, he saw a TV broadcast about the new technology of fish farming developed in China, and immediately he was tempted to fly to Guizhou, the mainland, to learn about this "Land-based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems" (RAS) .
Economic and environmental win-win aquaculture system
After on-site understanding, he found that the RAS system is not affected by natural disasters and is a good project that balances environmental protection and economy. Zheng Yingjie said happily, "I think I have found a dual solution to combat climate change and food problems." Therefore, he quickly decided to acquire this smart aquatic technology company and move towards the road of fish farming.
The seemingly impulsive decision is actually the result of his years of in-depth research on various industries as a certified public accountant in the United States.
The food crisis is an issue that is relevant to everyone. As an important key component of the global food chain, fish is one of the healthiest food types with relatively low impact on the environment, so it plays an important role in global food and nutrition security-related strategies.
More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on fish as their main source of protein, and the reliance on fish is even higher in high-income countries. However, climate disasters, marine pollution, overfishing and other factors have all depleted marine resources, which is why global aquaculture has continued to expand in recent years.
He made such an analysis of the global fish market. Therefore, RAS is regarded by him as a good opportunity to enter the aquatic product market, and it is also a good model to help traditional fish farmers. He said: "This circular economy model, which is a win-win situation for economy and environmental protection, is one of the most popular industrial themes nowadays."
Launched the road to listing in the United States and returned to Taiwan for development
"After a deeper understanding of the technological aquaculture industry, I discovered the importance of vertical integration of upstream and downstream. If we want to help traditional fish farmers and have an impact on the world, we need more capital, so going public is an inevitable path. Only by listing in the United States can the world see it and raise funds from all over the world,” he said without hesitation.
In 2018, through OTC over-the-counter transactions, he took a stake in Nocera, Inc., a company in the United States that has no major business. In January 2019, he reversed the acquisition and completed the audit. Nocera became a holding company and became an over-the-counter on the OTC market. Public fundraising is expected to be officially listed on Nasdaq in the United States in one and a half years.
Unexpectedly, at the end of 2019, a sudden COVID-19 epidemic disrupted his plan and rhythm. Under the background of strict cross-strait blockade and the government's encouragement of Taiwanese businessmen to return, in October 2020, Zheng Yingjie decided to cut off his business in China and return to Taiwan for development. That year was the first year that the Taiwan government promoted the policy of co-existence of fishery and electricity. Inspired by the symbiosis of fishery and electricity, he cooperated with Yunlin farmers to try to combine fish farming tanks with green energy, and also made preparations for future integration with the policy .
In December 2020, the Taiwan branch was established, anchored in providing a complete solution for the aquaculture industry from engineering design, equipment procurement to construction, and developing towards the SDGs of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with clean water and clean environment Fish, providing a more economical choice to the market.
Upgraded the RAS system in Taiwan to discover the formula for listing success
During the fundraising period in the United States, Zheng Yingjie continued to upgrade and add value to the RAS system in Taiwan, and introduced Taiwan's latest AIoT and breeding technology.
He proudly said that the Taiwan version of RAS has three major features: (1) It is simple and fast to set up, occupying less space than traditional farms, and it takes about 6 months from development to production of marketable fish. (2) The use of scientific and technological equipment and precise calculations ensures that the water quality of the tank is clean, so that the fish grow healthy and vigorous, and the breeding efficiency is quite high. A round tank can produce 20,000 catties of fish per year, which is the best in traditional fish farms. 80 times productivity. (3) This system can recycle 90% of water, which maximizes the energy efficiency cycle and reduces the waste of water resources and environmental pollution.
The "Land-based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems" (RAS) that introduces Taiwan's latest AIoT and aquaculture technology has the characteristics of low cost and high production capacity, and is a sustainable development plan that is economically and environmentally friendly.
However, from 2020 to 2021, the United States is experiencing the once-in-a-century pandemic of the new crown epidemic, and the fundraising has not reached the expected goal. He decided to switch to Taiwan for private placement. After 3 years, Nocera was successfully listed on Nasdaq in August 2022 (Nasdaq stock code: NCRA), twice as long as expected, "But for me, it is more valuable experience, and it also allows me to discover the success formula of Nasdaq listing", Zheng Yingjie said confidently.
In the past 3 years, he discovered that there is a golden ratio, "As long as the company's annual net profit exceeds 30 million Taiwan dollars (about 1 million US dollars), and it has a good theme, it has a great chance to go public on Nasdaq in the United States. In addition, A, The B round of fundraising is recommended to be privately placed in Taiwan, after all, Taiwan has a small circle and is familiar with the way, and the initial fundraising goal can be achieved quickly,” he shared with his own success stories.
So, he thought again, now that he has mastered the know-how of listing on Nasdaq, why not use his expertise and experience to help more Taiwanese SMEs list in the United States?
Nocera's innovative model for the financialization of fisheries
Relying on his financial, accounting and legal team, Zheng Yingjie successfully listed Nocera on Nasdaq through the financial innovation model of backdoor listing and IPO transfer.
This reverse operation mode of financializing fish farming has attracted investment consulting firms from countries other than the United States. They hope to use his financial know-how to assist new companies to list in the United States. However, since he cares about Taiwan, he hopes Can guide Taiwan SMEs.
He revealed that he is currently doing his best to assist a Taiwan-based chocolate factory that supplies Starbucks ingredients to go public in the United States. This financial innovation model, because it lacks the tedious and lengthy procedures of traditional IPOs, is expected to be launched within 18 months after the OTC listing. IPO is possible, so he schedules the foundry to be listed on Nasdaq in August 2024.
He bluntly said that due to potential geopolitical risks in Taiwan, foreign funds are afraid to invest in Taiwan. Now hot money is pouring into the United States because it is safer to invest. Small and medium-sized enterprises in Taiwan are mainly engaged in foreign trade. If they decide to go public, Nasdaq in the United States is undoubtedly the best place to go in terms of the capital market.
Zheng Yingjie, who was born as a certified public accountant in the United States, hopes to use his own successful experience to guide Taiwanese companies to list in the United States and enter the world.
Benefit everyone and help the Taiwan team go to the world
United Nations economists and experts recently pointed out that the global food crisis in 2022 is not a shortage, but high food prices that people cannot afford. As early as 2018, Zheng Yingjie, who was the first to understand the candle, grasped this pain point that is related to people's livelihood, and also reversed the operation in the market, using the core strategy of economical benefits to capture the dining tables of American and Taiwanese families.
As a U.S. holding company, in line with the U.S. government’s request to bring aquaculture back to its homeland, Nocera acquired a 229-acre fish farm in Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in June 2022, and plans to continue investing and Promote RAS fish farms, help not only American fish farmers, but also provide American families with cheap and high-quality seafood options.
In Taiwan, it is developing towards upstream and downstream vertical integrators. "Taiwan is small and densely populated, so it is very suitable for regional experiments. After constructing a demonstration module, this model can be copied and adjusted to the United States or other countries . " He said that currently Nocera has completed the acquisition of companies in Taiwan, including construction, trading, central kitchen and AIOT companies, covering everything from ingredients, food processing to cooked food and beverages, and even sales channels, firmly controlling all derivative costs , To advance towards cheap, fresh and healthy retail food.
He is currently promoting the retail food of " Yingjie Tuhao " in full swing, and has acquired group meals and AIOT companies. He is also focusing on developing the retail battlefield and increasing cash flow. In the future, it is planned to launch a variety of cheap and healthy meals, including coffee at NT$25, fresh fruit juice at NT$30, Taiwanese snacks at NT$35, boxed rice and vegetables at NT$40, and seafood porridge at NT$60. The latter two will go on sale in succession in 2022.
How to make a profit so cheap? He said frankly that in the early days of food retailing, the goal was not to make a profit, but to build a brand. "Cost is our competitive advantage. With value-added food rewards, in the era of high inflation, it will benefit everyone and let more people know "Yingjie Tuhao" ’, to achieve the multiple purposes of accumulating fans, building brand and market value.”
Nocera is developing into an upstream and downstream vertical integrator in Taiwan, and has launched the "Yingjie Tuhao" brand to promote affordable, fresh and healthy retail food.
Nocera's first physical retail and catering store in Taiwan is located next to the Nangang Software Park. It will start trial operation in December 2022, and will launch 500 "Heart-giving Bento Events" for three days before the Christmas holiday, giving priority to low-income, the elderly, and children. , as long as it meets the content of the event, a box of vegetable and rice bento will be given away.
The first physical store is located next to the Nangang Software Park. During the trial operation period before Christmas, the "Heart-giving Bento Activity" was launched, giving priority to low-income, the elderly, and children. As long as it meets the content of the activity, a lunch box will be given away.
Starting from his own Nocera holding company, Zheng Yingjie used the innovative financial model of reverse operation all the way to raise funds for his anti-global inflation and food crisis solutions. The experience of Nasdaq's successful listing made him determined to guide Taiwan's potential enterprises to go abroad. US listing. He is very happy to share this new path of listing on Nasdaq in the United States, and encourages small and medium-sized enterprises in Taiwan to bravely build their dreams and enter the world. "It is not difficult to obtain funds from all over the world to realize their dreams!"
Excerpted from Issue 237 of the 2022 Winter Issue of "Science and Technology Life Magazine" Text/Editorial Department Photo/Provided by Nocera
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