China Rapid Finance is getting one step closer to reportedly becoming a publicly traded company with a fresh round of Series C funding under its belt.
As one of China’s top online consumer lending marketplaces, the company recently closed a $35 million funding round, led by global private equity firm Broadline Capital, giving it a valuation of $1 billion, according to a July 27 press release. That’s a signifiant milestone for a company that is run under China’s strict regulatory pressures that have recently loosened up.
Alternative online lending platforms in China have also recently grown in popularity in the country because many Chinese consumers don’t have the benefit of the same standardized credit scoring systems as seen in the U.S. And China Rapid Finance, which dates back to 2001, is taking advantage of that opportunity.
“We welcome the substantial financial and strategic support of Broadline Capital and our other investors – new and old,” stated Zane Wang, Founder and CEO of China Rapid Finance, in the release. “There are an estimated 500 million consumers in China who are economically active but never have had access to bank credit. This latest funding will be used to pursue our goal of socially inclusive finance by accelerating the expansion of our online consumer lending marketplace to the most creditworthy individuals.”
The company claims to have conducted 2.5 million loans on its marketplace that aims to connect borrows and lenders in a more seamless fashion than traditional lending.
“Our robust growth was achieved with significantly low borrower acquisition costs, demonstrating both the exceedingly strong demand for our services as well as the unique scalability of our marketplace offering,” Wang said.
Major Internet companies like Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Tencent — which China Rapid Finance partnered with in February to introduce pre-approved loans to pre-screened users — have been two of the companies that have created their own credit scoring systems to help consumers verify their credentials.
Loans at the company start small but, depending on credit histories, consumers have the abilities to apply for significantly larger loans, with typical ranges being between $5,000-$10,000. Wang said that China Rapid Finance uses proprietary technology known as “Automated Credit Decisioning” and “Risk Based Pricing” to help it determine a consumer’s creditworthiness.
““We are pleased to lead this pivotal financing round and further fuel the growth of China Rapid Finance,” commented Broadline Capital Founder and Chairman Christopher Thorne. “Broadline Capital is dedicated to collaborating with leading innovators like CEO Zane Wang – companies and entrepreneurs who revolutionize industries and become either category leaders or category creators. In the case of China Rapid Finance, Zane Wang and his team have created a unique marketplace to address the burgeoning consumer credit demands of China’s emerging middle class – the world’s largest untapped market.”