Chinese leading mobile lending platform WeLab announced that it has raised RMB one billion (USD 160 million) in Series B financing led by Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, followed by European ING Bank and Guangdong Technology Financial Group, a Chinese state-owned company, iFeng Tech reported on Wednesday.
Simon Loong, Founder and CEO of WeLab, said the funding will be used for market promotions, improving its technology team, and strategic investments.
Founded in 2013 in Hong Kong, WeLab entered mainland China in 2014. The company provides lending services to young people through online and mobile platforms. It aims to reform traditional credit services by using internet technology and big data analytics. The majority of its clients are students, white-collar workers and rural users aged 20-35. The company has over 2.5 million registered users, and it has issued RMB nine billion in loans. About 50-70% of its loans come from the banks it has partnerships with.
Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Managing Director of Khazanah, said WeLab’s business model is attractive because it works with financial institutions to provide banking services through online and mobile platforms. It provides credit to users who can’t obtain loans through traditional channels, Sohu News reported.
ING Bank CEO Ralph Hamers said ING Bank will explore opportunities to work with WeLab in ING’s own markets.
In January 2015, WeLab received RMB 130 million in Series A financing from Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s TOM Group, Sequoia Capital, and Ule.com, which was jointly launched by China Post and TOM group.
The staff at WeLab are financial professionals from CitiBank, HSBC Bank, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Chinese tech giants Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba.