WeLab Ltd., a Hong Kong-based financial technology firm backed by billionaire Li Ka-shing and the Credit Suisse Group, aims to launch an initial public offering next year, Bloomberg reports.
The online lender has picked banks to advise on a Hong Kong listing that could raise about US$500 million, the report said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
The company is working on a listing, though a final decision is yet to be made, it said.
WeLab runs a mobile app that analyzes users’ phone habits to assess creditworthiness, often making a decision within a day.
According to its website, the company operates the Wolaidai platform in China and the WeLend service in Hong Kong.
It claims to have 25 million users and processed about US$28 billion worth of loans since it was founded in 2013.
WeLab closed a private funding round recently, raising US$220 million from investors including the International Finance Corp and the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, according to Bloomberg.
The company has also drawn investments from Sequoia Capital and Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional.
TOM Group, part of tycoon Li Ka-shing’s business empire, was among the participants in a US$20 million fundraising round for WeLab in 2015.
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