WeLab said Monday that it has closed $14 million in Series A funding. The investors included TOM Group and Sequoia Capital. Headquartered in Hong Kong, WeLab is an internet finance tech firm.
Hong Kong, 16 June 2014 – WeLab, the internet finance technology company behind HongKong’s first peer-to-peer lending business, WeLend.hk, has announced initial Series A financing from a group of strategic and financial investors, including TOM Group and Sequoia Capital.
WeLab plans to use the funding to build broader internet finance technology services for the region, including a new product launch in Mainland China later in 2014 that will use big data for credit risk modeling. WeLab is establishing strategic partnerships with a variety of mobile, e-commerce, and financial companies that will enable unprecedented analytical insights into consumer behavior in the fast-developing China market.
TOM Group focuses on technology-enabled, value-added services in China’s e-commerce and mobile Internet sector. Sequoia Capital is the Silicon-valley based venture capital fund with a remarkable history of investments in technology companies such as Google, Apple and Yahoo.
“This round of financing validates our mission to use internet technologies to enable massive disruption and innovation in Asia’s financial industry, which began with WeLab’s launch of WeLend.hk in Hong Kong last year,” said Simon Loong, Founder and CEO of WeLab. “As we look beyond WeLend.hk, we are particularly excited by the network of our strategic investor, TOM Group, to facilitate our fast expansion into mainland China, Greater China and Asia.”
Internet finance is experiencing explosive global growth, improving access to credit for mainstream consumers and SMEs. “In Asia, the market opportunity is huge as banks remain constrained by dependence on legacy businesses, while the traditional lending model is generally both inefficient and misaligned with the interests of consumers,” according to Loong. “But the internet changes everything and gives market participants an opportunity to find ways to serve the consumer better.”
Founded in 2013 in Hong Kong, WeLab was launched by a team of senior professionals from leading financial institutions, such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs. “WeLab is Sequoia Capital China’s first start-up investment in Hong Kong. We are optimistic that the WeLab team, with its extensive internet and finance experience, can offer superior services targeting a young consumer base. Sequoia also hopes that WeLab can offer convenient, innovative and attractive financial services to more borrowers and investors in Asia, especially China,” said Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China.
Mr Ken Yeung, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director of TOM Group said, “We are very excited about WeLab’s cutting-edge risk and fraud control technology, which has the ability to leverage Big Data, a massive untapped opportunity in the region. We look forward to working closely with the company to launch its technology and services throughout Mainland China, Greater China region and Asia.”
Founded in 2013 by a team of financial professionals, WeLab is Asia’s leading internet finance technology company. WeLab is transforming traditional credit services by creating seamless online and mobile lending experiences for the Asian market. WeLab’s sophisticated credit risk management tools leverage the latest internet technologies and big data analytics.
WeLab is headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in China and India. The company operates WeLend.hk, the first online social (or peer-to-peer) lending platform in Hong Kong, regulated under the Money Lenders Ordinance in Hong Kong (License No.：293/2014 |(c) 2013).
Visit www.welab.co for more information.
About TOM Group
TOM Group (stock code: 2383) is listed on The Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. A leading Chinese-language media conglomerate in Greater China, TOM Group has diverse business interests in E-Commerce, Mobile Internet, Publishing, Outdoor Media, Television and Entertainment and across markets in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2010, TOM entered a joint venture agreement with China Post to establish Ule, a unique offline-to-online/mobile e-commerce platform, to jointly tap the nation’s fast-growing e-commerce market. The Group was founded in October 1999 as a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, and other strategic investors. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Group has regional headquarters in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei with about 2,600 employees in about 20 cities.
About Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital was founded in 1972 in Silicon Valley and is a leading global venture capital firm. Sequoia Capital focuses on early-stage investments and has invested in Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo, Google and many other successful companies.