Shanghai-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Dianrong announced that it has completed a new funding round led by Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), the Asian investment arm of Standard Chartered, with the participation of Affirma Capital, the newly-created GP spinout of SCPE.
Financial details of the investment were not disclosed but DEALSTREETASIA reported in April that Dianrong was looking to raise $100 million in fresh funding to give it enough buffer to meet China’s strict capital requirement – Rmb500 million ($74.5 million) for P2P players nationwide.
On its official WeChat account, Dianrong said Dalian Finance Industry Investment Group, a multi-sector financial business backed by Japan’s ORIX Group, also joined the investment round. The fresh funds will be used to keep the business afloat until Chinese regulators give the company accreditation.
Dianrong‘s existing investors also included CMIG Leasing, a unit of China’s biggest private investment conglomerate, China Minsheng Investment Group (CMIG), Tiger Global Management, and CLSA, part of China’s CITIC Securities.
Founded in 2012, Dianrong offers loan origination, investment products, and marketplace lending solutions. The startup claims that it is facilitating $500 million worth of loans each month for four million retail borrowers.
According to Crunchbase data, Dianrong has raised a total of $549 million in funding over seven rounds since December 2013. It raised the most funding – at $290 million – during its Series D round.
In a statement, Kevin Guo, founder and co-chairman of Dianrong, said China’s internet finance industry “is undergoing a reshuffle”.
“Over the next three years, we will harness our technological strength to provide more high-quality, high-performing services,” Guo said.
Chinese regulators have been cracking down on fraudulent P2P platforms, leading to panicked investors pulling their investments out of the platforms and causing them to lose confidence in smaller lending platforms.
According to a Fitch Ratings report, China’s tighter regulation and weak investor sentiment are likely to cause the country’s P2P lending to continue to shrink or consolidate.
The number of P2P platforms in the country reached 1,872 in May 2018. It then shrank to just 1,009 in January of this year and the number could further decline to as few as 300 within 2019, according to Shanghai-based research organisation Yingcan Group.
In March, Reuters reported that Dianrong was shutting down 60 of its 90 offline stores and laying off an estimated 2,000 employees.