Sequoia China’s first Hong Kong deal raises $14m for peer-to-peer lending site


shanghai_chinaSequoia Capital China has made its first start up investment in Hong Kong by taking part in a Series A funding round with Chinese media company TOM Group.

The pair invested in internet finance technology provider WeLab as part of a $14m funding round.

WeLab was behind Hong Kong’s first peer-to-peer lending site, aimed at individual savers and borrowers looking to get better deal by cutting out the middle man.

The online finance company hopes the investment will help to expand the service beyond Hong Kong with the help of strategic investor TOM Group.

Founder and chief executive Simon Loong said TOM will help the company to “facilitate our fast expansion into mainland China, Greater China and Asia”.

Sequoia China’s managing partner Neil Shen said that WeLab will particularly target the younger consumer base with its online financial services.

He said, “Sequoia also hopes that WeLab can offer convenient, innovative and attractive financial services to more borrowers and investors in Asia, especially China.”

Companies providing this style of lending are looking healthy overseas, with peer-to-peer finance provider SoFi announcing that it raised $80m in Series C funding led by Canadian venture capital firm Discovery Capital Management in April.

WeLab was launched by a team of senior professionals from Standard Chartered, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs in 2013.

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