Hong Kong-Based Financial Startup WeLab Raises $14M Series A From Sequoia And TOM Group

TechCrunch

WeLab, the startup that runs WeLend, Hong Kong’s first peer-to-peer lending site, has raised a $14 million Series A from TOM Group and Sequoia Capital. The company says it plans to launch a new product in mainland China later this year that will use big data for credit risk modeling, as well as establish strategic partnerships with mobile, e-commerce, and financial companies.

TechCrunch first profiled WeLab last October. The startup told us that barriers to entry for peer-to-peer platforms in Hong Kong include strict financial regulations and competition from dominant players in the banking industry such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Citicorp. WeLab overcame obstacles with a money lenders license in Hong Kong, as well as stringent standards–for example, at the time we talked to them, WeLab only approved 20% of loan applicants in order to optimize its portfolio. In return, borrowers got lower interest rates than from…

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