Ping An-backed P2P lender Lufax hits $39.4b valuation after Series C

Moonrise Capital
Chinese Yuan notes. Photo: Reuters

Ping An-backed Chinese online lending and wealth management platform Lufax has reached an estimated post-money valuation of $39.4 billion after completing its Series C funding that raised $1.3 billion in December, according to Ping An’s annual report released Tuesday.

The Chinese insurance giant, which is Lufax’s parent company, said the online lender maintained steady profit growth in wealth management, retail lending, and government finance by seeking innovations and ensuring compliance.

Lufax has established extensive asset partnerships with over 300 institutions, and provided over 11 million active investor users with over 5,000 products and customized financial services, Ping An said.

As at the end of 2018, Lufax had 40.35 million registered users on its platform, up 19.3 per cent from the beginning of 2018. Assets under management dropped by 20 per cent from the beginning of 2018 to Rmb369.4 billion ($54.9 billion) due to the asset structure adjustment and active product cleanup. Its balance of loans under management hit Rmb375 billion ($56 billion) as of the end of last year.

In December, Lufax raised $1.33 billion in its Series C funding round from a dozen investors. The round was led by Primavera Capital Group and backed by Macquarie Group, UBS, SBI Group, Qatar Investment Authority, UOB Venture, All-Stars Investment, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Goldman Sachs.

Lufax is seeking external capital to fund growth even as its Hong Kong IPO is on hold due to changing regulation in online consumer lending – a core business. Lufax hired five banks to work on an IPO in Hong Kong to raise up to $5 billion in the first half of 2018 but postponed the listing as regulators tightened online lending rules.

Lufax was launched in 2011 as Ping An began to build its presence in fintech and healthtech. In 2018, the firm embraced changes in the industry and regulations by adjusting the business lines and product mix for wealth management, retail lending, and government finance.

It enables purely online loan application processes without physical outlets by applying facial and voiceprint recognition to customer identification and micro-expression recognition to loan underwriting.

“This greatly improves customer experience and operational efficiency,” the Ping An report said.

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