Hong Kong-based Digital Financial institution ‘WeLab’ Secures $156M in Funding

WeLab, one of many eight corporations licensed by the Hong Kong financial authority to function a digital financial institution, introduced on December 13th that it had raised the equal of $156 million in Sequence C strategic financing spherical. In accordance to native media outlet Fintech Information, the spherical was “one of many largest fintech fundraising rounds in Larger China.”

Buyers who contributed to WeLab embrace Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneur’s Fund and the China Building Financial institution.

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Simon Loong, Founder and Group CEO of WeLab, mentioned that “this financing might be used to additional develop and broaden our platform as a fintech enabler.”

“Additional funding into know-how analysis and growth will allow us to use these progressive applied sciences across the area and roll out extra services and products for our prospects to offer holistic monetary providers digitally,” Loong defined, cited by Fintech Information.

Loong initially introduced the corporate’s intention to open as a digital financial institution in July, following the HKMA’s determination to grant the corporate a digital banking license in April.

Simon Loong, Founder and Group CEO of WeLab. (Supply: Fintech Information)

The announcement got here throughout an interview with Bloomberg when Loong additionally mentioned that he hopes to have the platform up and operating by the tip of this 12 months. Nonetheless, more moderen statements have indicated that WeLab will launch in 2020.

The benefits of being “cellular first”

Loong has beforehand acknowledged that he believed that WeLab and different digital banks have a bonus on account of being “cellular first” as a result of they’re free from coping with legacy techniques.

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Equally, Nischal Shetty, CEO and founding father of India-based cryptocurrency trade WazirX, mentioned in a current interview with Finance Magnates that on-line monetary platforms have the facility to succeed in corners of India that extra conventional, brick-and-mortar banks had been by no means in a position to set up themselves in.

“Once you have a look at India as a [financial] market, India may be very heavy on the cellular facet of issues,” reasonably than brick-and-mortar establishments, comparable to banks,” Shetty instructed Finance Magnates.

“India has, I feel, skipped the tech-stop revolution and moved on to the cellular revolution. Everybody has a cell phone right here,” he continued. “On the time once we had been launching, you’ll be stunned to know that there was no [exchange] that had cellular apps on each platforms–both that they had it on iOS or Android, and these had been all buggy, with actually low rankings.”

In an interview with CNBC performed in November, Loong mentioned that “fintech corporations are providing newer know-how and higher customer support experiences, and banks must catch up.”

“Fintech corporations are providing newer know-how and higher customer support experiences, and banks must catch up.” – Simon Loong of Hong Kong digital financial institution WeLab

— Scarlett Sieber (@ScarlettSieber) November 17, 2019

Finance Magnates beforehand reported in 2016 that WeLab raised $160 million in a Sequence B spherical led by Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad and together with investments from ING Financial institution and state-owned Guangdong Expertise Monetary Group (GTFG)

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