Hong Kong’s first peer to peer lending platform WeLend has now closed a Series A funding round topping off at $20 million. The funding round was originally started in June when WeLab raised $14 million. The additional $6 million was just added as new investors joined in.
WeLend pushed into mainland China in 2014 and has facilitated over $120 million in loans according to a report from TechinAsia. WeLend also operates a unique lending platform for university students. Wolaidai is a mobile platform that target smaller amounts that range from $50 to $500 that WeLend CEO and founder Simon Loong claims has experienced “over 100 percent month-on-month growth for three consecutive months.”
WeLoan’s average loan size is HK$100,000, and borrowers need at least HK$8,000 in monthly income to apply. Loans are said to be processed within 24 hours. Loans are said to be financed by in house capital, according to a report by the South China Morning Post, at least until the investment portion of the business is operational.
WeLend was created by WeLab in 2013 and since that time the site has garnered over 14,000 members. WeLab, the parent company, is determined to disrupt traditional banking with their online approach.
WeLab lists a solid roster of big name investors in the P2P platform. Global names such as Li Ka-shing’s TOM Group and Sequoia Capital, were joined by DST Global founder Yuri Milner, ICONIQ Capital, and Ule. WeLab is described as being led by a team of experts from financial and technology companies, like Citibank, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Oracle, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu.
The peer to peer lending industry in China is the largest in the world today. The new form of finance has not been without its growing pains and expectations persist for updated regulations to reign in the rapid growth.