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香港网贷平台WeLab再获2.2亿美元融资,阿里、世行参投

享有亿万富豪李嘉诚支持的香港金融科技公司WeLab Ltd.在新一轮融资中募集2.2亿美元,投资者包括瑞信集团和世界银行旗下的国际金融公司

据创始人暨首席执行官龙沛智介绍,在WeLab最新一轮股权和债务融资中,支持者还有中国电子商务巨头阿里巴巴旗下的非盈利性创业支持项目--阿里巴巴创业者基金。他说,今年实现盈利的WeLab将“密切关注”可能的首次公开募股(IPO)。

龙沛智在电话采访中说,公司已经来到了转折点,需要新加入投资者把公司带到下一个层次。

他拒绝评论公司是否已经达到了所谓的独角兽规模(估值10亿美元)。福布斯在2016年初报道,当时的1.6亿美元融资已使公司估值接近该水平。

WeLab拥有两个移动借贷平台,中国内地的我来贷和香港的WeLend。据公司公告,其拥有2,500万用户,自从2013年成立以来已经处理了280亿美元的贷款。

据WeLab,在其2015年完成的2,000万美元融资之中,TOM集团是投资者之一,而李嘉诚旗下长和是TOM集团的最大股东。

WeLab Ltd., a Hong Kong-based financial technology firm backed by billionaire Li Ka-shing, has raised $220 million in new funding from investors including Credit Suisse Group AG and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.

Other backers in the company’s latest round of equity and debt financing included the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, the Chinese e-commerce giant’s non-profit startup sponsorship outfit, according to WeLab’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Simon Loong. WeLab, which turned profitable this year, will “keep a close eye” on a possible initial public offering, he said.

“We are hitting an inflection point,” Loong said in a phone interview. “We need new investors to take this company into the next level.”

He declined to comment on whether the company had achieved the so-called unicorn valuation of $1 billion. A $160 million fundraising at the beginning of 2016 had taken WeLab close to that level, Forbes reported at the time.

Garnering a unicorn would be a boost for Hong Kong’s property- and finance-focused economy, which has struggled to create major startups. No companies from the city make the CB Insights list of privately owned technology unicorns, though the South China Morning Post reported in August that GoGoVan Ltd. became its first billion dollar-plus firm after a merger with China-based 58 Home’s freight unit.

The money from WeLab’s latest funding round will be used to bolster its credit technology, increase market share and expand into Southeast Asia, Loong said. He said he sees potential in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam because of their young populations and high levels of mobile penetration.

WeLab has two mobile lending platforms: Wolaidai in China and WeLend in Hong Kong. The firm has 25 million users and has processed $28 billion of loans since it was founded in 2013, according to a company statement.

Billionaire Li’s CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. is the largest shareholder in TOM Group Ltd., which was among investors in a $20 million fundraising by WeLab that was completed in 2015, according to WeLab.


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