Tech

Hong Kong-based Qupital raises $150m to boost expansion plans

Partners in Series B include Citi, GBA Homeland and Nordstar. ...

Hong Kong-based e-commerce lending specialist Qupital has raised $150 million in a combination of Series B equity funding and a receivables-backed securitisation facility.

Qupital automates credit decisioning and monitoring

The equity funding will support Qupital’s ambitions to move into international markets and strengthen its technological capabilities.

The securitisation facility was led by Citi, supported by Integrated Alternative Credit Fund. It is claimed to be the first e-commerce merchant financing securitisation in Asia.

The Series B round was led by the Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund (GBA Homeland), with additional capital injections from investors including the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF) of the Hong Kong SAR Government, MindWorks Capital, Silverhorn and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. UK-based Nordstar’s e-commerce focused fund also joins as a new investor.

Qupital uses sales data to streamline credit underwriting for sellers on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Lazada and Shopee.

Its platform is meant to empower creditworthy merchants that are traditionally underserved in the commercial lending market. The alternative asset class provides yield opportunities for both professional and institutional investors.

As of October 2021, Qupital had $500 million in loan advancement to around 7,000 merchants on its digital platform, tracking an annualised gross merchandise value (GMV) of over $3 billion.

Qupital’s placement within the GBA Homeland portfolio reflects its integration into the GBA ecosystem in Greater China.

With China cross-border e-commerce sustaining a 20% year-on-year growth, the hope is for Qupital to grow its customer base beyond its existing strongholds in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

In turn, Nordstar is intended to lend its network to broaden Qupital’s customer base in Western markets and provide expertise to expedite the company’s global expansion. North America is also in its sights.

As part of its five-year plan, Qupital is set to tap into its existing network and grow its buy now, pay later (BNPL) product model to build a broad marketplace tailored for B2B transactions.

It will assign resources to enhance its R&D capabilities in terms of AI, big data technology and machine learning. It expects to triple the size of its team by 2022 to support expansion needs.

Andy Chan, co-founder and president of Qupital, says: “Our ambition is to become the go-to digital financial institution for e-commerce sellers trading across the globe in the new economy.”

Qupital was established in 2016, and has offices in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou.

The company specialises in cross-border e-commerce trade finance and makes use of big data, machine learning and predictive analytics capabilities to automate credit decisioning and monitoring.

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