WeLab Raises $156 Million in Series C Funding Round

WeLab - C Funding RoundWeLab, the Hong Kong based fintech firm recently revealed in an announcement the success of its strategic series C funding round. As per statement, the firm had managed to raise US$156 million as part of its strategic funding round aimed at boosting its functions shortly before launch of its virtual banking services. The firm had managed to acquire a virtual banking license from Hong Kong earlier this year to begin its mobile banking and lending operations. The funding round saw participation from both new investors as well as five of the firm’s existing investors who have been backing its operation so far. Two of its most well-known backers are Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and China Construction Bank. The firm which was founded in 2013 is currently well known for its B2B and B2C market services which it caters to clients from Hong Kong, Mainland China and Indonesia.

The firm made headlines in 2017 for its funding round in which it managed to raise USD 220 Million in the form of equity and debt financing. The funding round saw participation from several well-known figures in global banking and investment industry such as Alibaba, Credit Suisse, ING and the world bank’s international finance corporation. Having acquired its banking license, the firm is now working to make its debut in Hong Kong retail banking market. Given the intense competition in the market, it hopes to achieve success using its new philosophy dubbed “3I” by the firm. The three I’s stand for instant, interactive and intelligent – a mobile banking system which makes use of these three features to deliver next gen banking services.

The firm hopes to achieve this philosophy by using AI, machine learning and big data which it managed to create from funds acquired via its earlier funding rounds. The statement revealed that the bank now has three near term growth targets:

  • To launch WeLab bank in 2020 and Further expand China’s B2B business partners to over 1000
  • Offer its proprietary privacy computing solutions to enterprises on the cloud platform in 2H 2020
  • To enter another South East Asian market beyond Indonesia within next two years.

Speaking about their new plans for the year ahead, Simon Loon – Founder and Group CEO of WeLab said, “With technological advancement, fintech has gradually been integrated into our daily lives over the last decade, transforming the traditional world of banking as we know it. 2020 marks the inflection point where the calls for supervision and governance are necessary, starting with regulated digital banks”.