Tencent leads $45m Series B round in French mobile payment platform Lydia

Lydia App. Source: Visuals from the company website

Tencent has led a €40 million ($45 million) Series B funding round in Paris-based mobile financial services platform Lydia as the Chinese social and gaming giant continues to actively invest in the technological innovation space around the world.

Previous investors Open CNP, the corporate venture programme of French insurance firm CNP Assurances, investment management company New Alpha, and XAnge, the venture capital arm of France-based private equity firm Siparex Group, also participated in the new round.

The transaction took the total capital raised by Lydia to over €60 million ($67 million).

Lydia will use the investment to scale its mobile financial services platform and expand across Europe, per a company statement.

The Series B round is the latest investment made by Tencent in the global technological innovation space. The operator of Chinese ubiquitous social networking products WeChat and QQ injected capital into at least 104 companies worldwide in 2019, which translates to an average of 9.5 investments every month, according to statistics from Chinese market research publication TMTBase.

Hong Kong-listed Tencent made 26 investments in overseas companies in 2019, accounting for nearly one-fifth of its total investments with most of these overseas portfolios located in Japan and Britain. These companies include Indian fintech startup Policybazaar, Indian video streaming service MX Player, American social media site Reddit, and Everledger, a London-based startup developing and maintaining an immutable ledger for asset ownership.

Started by Antoine Porte and Cyril Chiche as a money management app in 2013, Lydia has recently expanded its product offering to become a one-stop-shop application that allows users to get accounts, loans, insurance, money pots, mobile P2P payment, gift cards and more in a single interface.

Some products are developed in-house, while others are provided by third-party partners through a marketplace. The company currently has 3 million users in France, and 25 per cent of people aged between 18 and 30 in France have a Lydia account, according to the statement.

The company closed a €13 million ($14 million) round led by CNP Assurances, with participation from XAnge, New Alpha, Franco-German financial services group Oddo BHF, and French real estate firm Groupe Duval in February 2018, shows the company website.

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.