South Korean fintech startup PeopleFund bags $11m Series B

The PeopleFund team at headquarters in Seoul, Korea (October 2018) Source: PeopleFund

South Korean fintech startup PeopleFund has raised $11 million in a funding round led by kakaopay corp, a subsidiary of internet firm Kakao, in what it claims is the largest Series B investment for a Korean P2P lending company.

The round was joined by return backers DAYLI Financial Group, 500 Startups, and D3 Jubilee, per a company announcement.

Founded in 2015, PeopleFund offers loans and diversified alternative investment products. The fresh capital infusion brings its total funding raised to date to $17 million.

The startup said it plans to use proceeds to accelerate the growth of its customer base and further invest in technology capabilities and top talent.

“The company is upgrading its automation processes and credit analysis models in order to deliver a more seamless experience to fulfil financing needs. Going forward, PeopleFund also has plans to partner with other fintech companies to share capabilities and leverage each other’s extensive customer base to grow its pool of investors and borrowers,” the announcement said.

PeopleFund claims to have recorded 823 per cent growth in 2017 over the previous year. It further added that September this year marked a record high for loans issued, with 69 per cent of investments totalling $21.5 million coming from institutional investors.

The firm had secured $5.7-million Series A funding in June 2017 from 500 Startups, Wooshin Venture Investment Corp, D3 Jubilee, and DAYLI Financial Group.

The announcement comes at a time when fintech is changing the face of traditional banking in Asia. Another Korean internet firm, Naver-owned Line Corporation, has mounted a bid to acquire a 20 per cent stake in lender Bank KEB Hana Indonesia to expand digital banking services in Indonesia.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.