Dianrong, a Chinese peer to peer lending platform, has received a new funding round in the amount of $207 million led by Standard Chartered with participation from China Fintech Fund and Bohai Leasing. The Series C funding was declared the largest ever for the direct lending industry in China. The funding was also notable as Standard Chartered, a multi-national bank based in London, represents a merging of internet finance with a high street bank, Dianrong called the investment a “new chapter” in the burgeoning peer to peer lending sector. Standard Chartered Managing Director Zhu Wei qualified P2P lending as an important direction for global financial reform. He said the bank must “actively embrace this new financial service”.
This funding round was revealed in a report earlier this summer. At that time, the funding was pegged at $150 million with a valuation of $1 billion. Sout Htite, CEO and founder of Dianrong stated at the time;
“It’s a lot of money….it’s enough for us to build what we wanted to build. I can tell you Internet finance is going to the next level, and we’re going to have even bigger rounds coming up.”
Htite is one of the founders of Lending Club. He left the company in 2010 after being the Vice President of Engineering at Lending Club. During his tenure at Lending Club, Htite led technical development and operations, ensuring that online capabilities of the Lending Club operations. He remains an advisor to the marketplace lending platform.
China is the world’s largest peer to peer lending market. One estimate placed the amount of internet lending at about $40 billion for all of 2014.