APE starts metaverse biz, seeks issue of shares
Hong Kong-listed Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings Ltd, which has been mainly known as a distributor and technical support provider for third-party casino equipment sold into Macau and other Asia Pacific markets, says it has formed a new unit to develop business related to the “metaverse”.
In information technology, a metaverse is a network of virtual worlds presented via 3D imagery, and focused on social connection. Such technology is already used by retailers and other service providers to offer an alternative to simply either in-person shopping or browsing a service provider’s standard website.
“The company believes the metaverse and its emerging technologies can provide a platform of engagement for the travel and hospitality sectors and for our customers in Macau and Asia,” said Asia Pioneer in a Wednesday filing.
The company added: “Blockchain technologies and non-fungible tokens that allow digital items or properties to be owned, sold and transferred within the digital world may further engage the traveller/user and advance the commercial application of the metaverse.”
Asia Pioneer said in utilising its new unit – APE Digital Creations Ltd – the parent had “engaged a team whose members are equipped with vast experience and technical know-how in development of metaverse and related businesses”.
But it noted to investors that – as of the date of the announcement – “the new subsidiary has not yet completed development on any projects”.
The group said in a separate filing the same day that at its annual general meeting due in Macau on May 11, it would put to the vote, a proposal to raise up to HKD2.0 million (US$255,500) by issuing up to 200 million shares at a nominal value of HD0.01 per share, with the number of such shares to equal 20 percent of the total number of shares in issue as at the date of the resolution.
In late March, Asia Pioneer reported a total comprehensive loss of approximately HKD23.1 million for 2021, an improvement compared with a loss of HKD32.0 million a year earlier.
Its 2021 revenue was approximately HKD7.6 million, down 81.1 percent from the prior year.
The company said the “sharp fall” in revenue was mainly due to the decrease in revenue from its electronic gaming equipment business.