Welab nets $180m from top strategic investors

18-Jun-2014 Intellasia | The Standard | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong-based internet finance firm Welab has altogether raised HK$180 million from investors including TOM Group (2383) and Sequoia Capital.

Welab launched Welend – the first local peer-to-peer lending platform for lenders and borrowers – last June.

But founder Simon Loong Pui-chi said the firm’s model can be used for other internet finance business, and a new product will be launched next quarter in the mainland.

He said TOM, a Hutchison Whampoa (0013) joint venture focusing on e-commerce and mobile internet services, is a strategic investor in Welab, which can help analyse data from TOM’s subsidiaries to make them more useful.

It is also in discussion with e-commerce firms, telecom operators and other finance companies that are interested in tapping into the online finance business.

The deal also marked the first time Sequoia, the California-based venture capital firm that invested in Google, Apple and Yahoo, has invested in a local firm.

Proceeds will be mainly used for business expansion, in which the firm will at least double its staff size to about 50. Still the firm will focus on consumer and small to medium enterprise lending business.



Category: Hong Kong

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