Hong Kong P2P lending site closes $20m Series A round

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Hong Kong’s first peer to peer lending platform WeLend has closed a $20 million Series A funding round to fund further expansion into China.

The round saw investment from TOM Group, Sequoia Capital, Yuri Milner (Founder of DST Global), ICONIQ Capital, and Ule.com.

WeLend started the funding by gaining a $14 million investment in June, and confirmed an additional $6 million earlier this week.

The funding will also be used to enhance the WeLab’s credit risk technology, the company said.

WeLend was created by parent company WeLab in 2013, and made a push into mainland China in 2014. Since then, the lending platform has facilitated over $120 million in loans, Crowdfund Insider reports.

WeLend also operates a unique lending platform for university students. Wolaidai is a mobile platform that offers smaller loans ranging from $50 to $500. The average loan size offered by WeLend proper is HK$100,000, and borrowers need at least HK$8,000 in monthly income to apply.

Peer to peer lending is a growing funding alternative for small businesses in China. Regulations bar Chinese banks from lending money to smaller businesses and individuals at interest rates that bankers say would justify the loans, given the lack of proven cash flows and collateral, a Financial Times report noted. regulations that are out of touch with the funding needs of the Chinese economy.

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