HK fintech player WeLab secures $25m credit support from existing investor ING Bank

Hong Kong-based fintech company WeLab has secured a credit facility of $25 million from ING Bank, after the European financial institution participated in a $160 million funding round for the mobile lender earlier this year.

The credit facility will provide WeLab’s Hong Kong operation with lending capital to meet the rapidly growing demand for its loans in this market, it said in a statement.

WeLab’s business volume in Hong Kong more than doubled from the first to second quarter of 2016. The fintech firm has attracted over 8 million registered users and processed a total amount of $4.9 billion worth loan applications since its inception in 2013.

The company said, it was planning to tap the bank loan market for another $50 million in the coming months.

“We believe this credit facility is one of the first completed by a major bank to fund the portfolio growth of a fintech company in Asia and are confident that this will open more doors to institutional funding in the near future,” said WeLab founder and CEO Simon Loong.

In January 2016, along with China’s state-owned Guangdong Technology Financial Group, ING Bank participated in the $160-million series B investment led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad in WeLab. The financing was the fourth largest fintech deal in the first quarter of 2016 globally, according to KPMG and CB Insights.

The firm’s previous backers include CK Hutchison’s TOM group, TOM Group’s and Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund Sequoia Capital.

WeLab currently operates two largest online lending platforms in China and Hong Kong, Wolaidai and WeLend. The company is mulling a foray in the under-tapped insurance services space.

“Our investment in WeLab is in line with our strategy for constant innovation and building the bank of the future. We therefore look forward to opportunities of further collaboration,” said ING Bank Hong Kong’s managing director of corporate clients Shalini Sujanani.

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