Lake House Group Chairman Donates 2.5 Million Masks to European Governments
In response to the impact of COVID-19 on European communities, Lake House Group Chairman Charles Brown has donated and coordinated delivery of 2.5 million masks to three European nations in order to stem the spread of the virus. He said “Masks are a low-cost, effective intervention for stopping the spread of the virus and getting people back to work safely.”
A Hong Kong native with European roots, Brown has donated one million masks each to the Kingdom of Spain and the Federal Republic of Germany, with an additional 500,000 masks designated for Région Sud in France. “The masks landed in Spain and Germany on 15 and 19 April, respectively, and the masks bound for southern France are currently in transit,” reported Torsten Hartmann, Managing Director for Europe in Lake House’s London office.
While traveling in Europe prior to widespread lockdowns, Brown noted with concern that few European citizens wore masks in public. Regarding Hong Kong’s low number of confirmed cases since the outbreak began there on 23 January, Brown stated “The 2003 SARS epidemic taught Hong Kongers to be vigilant about wearing masks, and that experience shows.”
The donation efforts have been spearheaded by Brian Lu, Venture Partner at the Japanese venture capital firm Infinity Ventures, in which Charles Brown is a Limited Partner. The firm’s portfolio company, Hong Kong-based logistics startup Buyandship, has worked to ensure the masks are delivered with as little burden as possible on the governments receiving the donations.
According to Lu, “We’ve seen how tough it’s been for governments to obtain masks from trusted sources and get them delivered efficiently, so we’re proud to be able to help these countries get masks into people’s hands as quickly as possible.”
“Giving money is an easy thing if you have it, but a more effective thing is to deliver the goods to the point where they are needed, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve here,” added Lake House’s Charles Brown. “I hope our efforts are able to spark other private donors to use their resources and connections to make similar efforts,” he said.
About Lake House Group
Established in 1995, Lake House Group is a private investment company founded by Hong Kong native Charles Brown, who is also Chairman Emeritus and Founding Board Member of the United Nations Peace Development Foundation in China. Lake House is led by CEO David Timblick, and invests in businesses across the globe at every stage. With offices in Hong Kong and London, the firm is involved in projects and investments in excess of US$15 billion across 15 countries.
About Infinity Ventures
Infinity Ventures is a venture capital firm, focused on early stage Internet companies, founded in Japan in 2008, with offices in Tokyo, Taipei, and Beijing. The firm manages $255M USD, and has invested in 91 startups and produced 9 IPOs. Since its founding, Infinity Ventures has grown alongside its portfolio companies to build category-leading innovators and unicorns including Groupon, Farfetch, freee, Yeahka, WealthNavi, and 17 Media.
Buyandship is a cross-border e-commerce logistics company established in 2014. The company provides a one-stop transit service for goods bought in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and China. Buyandship currently maintains warehouses in multiple countries, with daily scheduled flights to Hong Kong and other markets in Asia.
Holly Harrington, Infinity Ventures
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