Asia's leading financial technology platform Qupital today announced it has raised US$150 million in a combination of Series B equity funding and a receivables-backed securitization facility.
The equity funding will reinforce Qupital's ambitions to scale its cross-border e-commerce lending business into international markets and further strengthen its technological capabilities, whilst the facility will provide a lower cost of funding for Qupital to offer exclusive products to its present and future clients.
The securitization facility entered with global investment bank Citi, supported by Integrated Alternative Credit Fund, marks the first e-commerce merchant financing securitization in Asia. This coincides with the closing of Qupital's Series B round, led by the Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund (GBA Homeland), with additional capital injections from investors including the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF) of the Hong Kong SAR Government, MindWorks Capital, Silverhorn and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.
Qupital harnesses the power of sales data to streamline credit underwriting for sellers on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Lazada and Shopee, offering a win-win solution to both sellers and investors. The platform empowers creditworthy merchants that are traditionally underserved in the commercial lending market, and hews out an alternative asset class with attractive yield opportunities for both professional and institutional investors. As of October 2021, Qupital has achieved over US$500 million in loan advancement to some 7,000 merchants onboarded on its digital platform, tracking an annualized gross merchandise value (GMV) of over US$3 billion.
On top of the Series B funding, Qupital's strategic placement within the GBA Homeland portfolio more importantly reflects the depth and breadth of its integration into the GBA ecosystem. As a global-scale alliance dedicated to promote the new economy in China's GBA, GBA Homeland's established network serves as a springboard for Qupital to augment local partnerships and on-the-ground knowledge to assist further expansion in the GBA and Greater China. With China cross-border e-commerce sustaining a 20% year-on-year growth, the rapid industry expansion renders extra confidence for Qupital to grow its customer base beyond its existing force which concentrates in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
UK-based Nordstar's e-commerce focused fund joins the round as a new investor. As a leading investment adviser focusing on international growth and scaling, Nordstar will lend its network to broaden Qupital's customer base in Western markets and share the team's expertise to expedite the company's global expansion.
The majority of funds raised will be used to accelerate Qupital's core lending business to support e-commerce sellers. As part of its five-year plan, the company is set to tap into its abundant network and grow its "buy now, pay later" product model to build an all-encompassing marketplace tailored for B2B transactions. It will assign resources to enhance its R&D capabilities in terms of artificial intelligence, big-data technology and MLOps. The company also has plans to extend its footprint across mainland China, as well as international markets including Southeast Asia, North America and Europe. It expects to triple the size of its team by 2022 to support expansion needs.
"This funding round reinstates the boundless synergy agglomerated in the region", said Winston Wong, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Qupital. "the GBA comprises multiple world-class manufacturing bases, where goods are produced and capital needs arise; this is where we step in as a solution to bridge the financing demand gap. It also reaffirms the unparalleled role of Hong Kong as an international financial hub - where innovations are met with opportunities to flourish. We believe Hong Kong will continue to play an indispensable role within the GBA as a financial powerhouse."
"As we aspire to improve financial inclusion and increase global trade ultimately, we are committed to back SMEs that have limited access to capital. Being able to work with Citi on this credit facility has fueled our business with a stable pool of funds and improved cost of capital. It is the cornerstone for us to sharpen our product features, build exclusive relationships with clients and win over market share to gain even stronger foothold in the global market", said Andy Chan, Co-Founder and President of Qupital. "Our ambition is to become the go-to digital financial institution for e-commerce sellers trading across the globe in the New Economy."