Qudian Inc., a Chinese online loan provider, raised $900 million in its initial public offering, the fourth-biggest U.S. share sale so far this year.
The company sold 37.5 million American depositary shares for $24 apiece, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after marketing them for $19 to $22 each.
Founded by Min Luo in 2014, Qudian lends to consumers in China who can’t get credit from traditional financial institutions. The amounts borrowed are relatively small: Cash loans averaged the equivalent of $136 in the six months through June, while merchandise credit averaged $184. The loans had a weighted average term of about two months and eight months, respectively.
Over the same period, Qudian facilitated about $5.6 billion in transactions to 7 million active borrowers, with the average customer drawing on their credit line six times. Qudian has a partnership with Alipay — an online payment platform operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s financial affiliate Ant Financial — to distribute cash to consumers and collect repayments.
Qudian became profitable on an annual basis in 2016, posting net income of $85 million on total revenue of $213 million. In the first six months of this year, net income was $144 million on revenue of $270 million.
The micro-lender joins a cluster of Asian companies seeking to sell shares on U.S. exchanges. Sea Ltd., the Singapore-based parent company of gaming platform Garena, is scheduled to price its IPO this week. It’ll be joined by Bain Capital-backed Rise Education Cayman Ltd., which offers immersive American English lessons at its network of after-school learning centers in China.
The activity is helping push October toward being one of the biggest months for new share sales in the U.S. this year.
Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc., China International Capital Corp. and UBS Group AG led the offering. Qudian will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol QD.