Cashing in on P2P
Start-up watch: Yet another wannabe market ‘disruptor’ to keep an eye on. No, not a new taxi app – please – but a financial services company. Hong Kong-based WeLab has pulled in a total of $20 million in funding from the likes of Access Industries, TOM Group and Sequoia Capital, and plans to use the cash to improve its credit risk technology and to support its expansion into China - two or three new Chinese products are apparently on the slate for the first half of 2015. The company first entered China with mobile app Wolaidai, offering loans of between $50 and $500 to students.
However, WeLab’s core business to date has been its peer-to-peer online lending platform WeLend, which uses money from high-net-worth individuals to make loans to Hong Kong consumers. WeLend was the first Hong Kong P2P lender to come to market and a typical loan amount is between $10,000 to $20,000 over 24 months, offered at rates lower than mainstream financial institutions.