Weekly Roundup: Chinese Fintech Deals
Due to the Chinese New Year holiday in mid-February, which is similar to Christmas/New Year’s in the Western world, everything slowed down, and nothing eventful took place in the fintech space. As a result, we’ll round up the whole month of February in this one post.
Financial news website Wall Street News received RMB 100M Series C Investment by China Media Capital
Wall Street News (WSN) (www.wallstreetcn.com) is an online news outlet focused on the financial market. It was originally founded in 2010 as a blog by a Chinese journalist who was sent to Wall Street in New York to cover financial news. As its following grew and the blog evolved into a full-fledged news website, WSN received investments and formed strategic partnerships with financial institutions, including Ping An Insurance and Haitong Securities. While most of China’s financial media outlets are focused on interpreting regulation trends, hosting exclusive interviews and selling ads, online news websites like WSN are unusual, standing out by providing relevant market information that helps investors navigate the global financial markets. Recognizing that all of its online visitors are potential investors, WSN plans to expand from being a news provider to also offering investment and trading services down the road. Its vision to transform into a financial services provider was what attracted China Media Capital (CMC) to invest RMB 100M last month. With funding and support from CMC, WSN will be able to partner with other financial institutions and provide individual investors with financial services enabling them to invest in the Chinese and international securities markets.
MobP2P received USD 35M Series B Investment
Available only on mobile devices, MobP2P is a lending platform focused on providing short-term personal loans. Its USD 35M Series B Investment was led by China Renaissance Capital, followed by Sequoia Capital and Blue Lake Capital. According to its website, it has 3 million registered users and averages RMB 200M in loans issued per month. MobP2P’s target audience is young personal borrowers that have little to no credit record but growing consumption needs. All loans on MobP2P are short term (under 30 days) and under RMB 5000. The application process is completely online, and approval processes have been said to be as short as 30 minutes. According to the numbers on the APP, cost of borrowing is 9% per month, fairly high comparing to other P2P platforms. No investor information is available as that functionality has yet to launch.
P2P platform STLC.CN received RMB 50M Series A Investment by Capital First Partners
Founded in April 2015, STLC is a P2P platform focused on providing financing to bulk commodity trades and has managed over RMB 900M in investments. Assets on STLC are offline and mostly originate from regular personal and business loans in the bulk commodity industry. For example, the majority of STLC’s assets are related to supply chain financing for importers of copper, nickel, rubber and plastic and other bulk commodities. On the investor side, the returns range from 7% to 30%. Neither lender information nor risk management measures is disclosed.
STLC’s new investor Capital First Partners (CFP) may have been carefully chosen for its experience and resources in under-performing assets. STLC has stated that it recognizes the growing risks in the P2P industry, and CFP introduced risk management experts from its offline associates. On the other hand, the growing risks can also be seen as an opportunity, especially when bad debt for sale flows into the market. CFP not only brings funding but also prospects for expansion into the non-performing assets market.