Alibaba, Credit Suisse, and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation have joined in a $220 miliion Series B and debt financing round for Hong Kong-based mobile lender WeLab.
The financing brings WeLab’s total funding to US$425 million and marks a significant milestone for the Hong Kong-based company whose early backers included CK Hutchison’s TOM Group, Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Sequoia Capital, and Dutch bank ING.
Founded in 2013, the mobile lending company has processed applications for US$28 billion in loans to 25 million users across Hong Kong and China. WeLab analyses unstructured mobile data within seconds to make credit decisions for individual borrowers. The company also licenses its technology to banks and telecommunications companies.
“WeLab has demonstrated its ability to effectively make credit decisions based on non-traditional, but otherwise reliable data, for millions of Chinese borrowers without prior credit history,” says Andi Dervishi, fintech investment group head of IFC. “We believe the firm’s strategic partnership with banks will result in a sustainable competitive advantage to the company. Similarly, consumers will benefit from improved access to credit and from building a credit history, an important step towards financial inclusion.”
WeLab founder and CEO Simon Loong says the funds will be used to advance its technology platform and to move into new products and geographies.