Qupital Secures US$150 Million Round to Accelerate Global Expansion and B2B "Buy Now, Pay Later" Product
Asia’s leading e-commerce financing platform launches merchant financing securitization facility with Citi, first deal of its kind in Asia
HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 9 November 2021 - Asia's leading financial technology platform Qupital today announced it has raised US$150 million in a combination of Series B equity funding and a receivables-backed securitization facility. The equity funding will reinforce Qupital's ambitions to scale its cross-border e-commerce lending business into international markets and further strengthen its technological capabilities, whilst the facility will provide a lower cost of funding for Qupital to offer exclusive products to its present and future clients.
Qupital's Co-Founder and President Andy Chan with Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Winston Wong (from left to right)
Qupital's ambition is to become the go-to digital financial institution for e-commerce sellers trading across the globe in the New Economy.
The securitization facility entered with global investment bank Citi, supported by Integrated Alternative Credit Fund, marks the first e-commerce merchant financing securitization in Asia. This coincides with the closing of Qupital's Series B round, 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.
Qupital harnesses the power of sales data to streamline credit underwriting for sellers on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Lazada and Shopee, offering a win-win solution to both sellers and investors. The platform empowers creditworthy merchants that are traditionally underserved in the commercial lending market, and hews out an alternative asset class with attractive yield opportunities for both professional and institutional investors. As of October 2021, Qupital has achieved over US$500 million in loan advancement to some 7,000 merchants onboarded on its digital platform, tracking an annualized gross merchandise value (GMV) of over US$3 billion.
Series B round led by GBA Homeland Development Fund, joined by the ITVF of HKSAR Government
On top of the Series B funding, Qupital's strategic placement within the GBA Homeland portfolio more importantly reflects the depth and breadth of its integration into the GBA ecosystem. As a global-scale alliance dedicated to promote the new economy in China's GBA, GBA Homeland's established network serves as a springboard for Qupital to augment local partnerships and on-the-ground knowledge to assist further expansion in the GBA and Greater China. With China cross-border e-commerce sustaining a 20% year-on-year growth, the rapid industry expansion renders extra confidence for Qupital to grow its customer base beyond its existing force which concentrates in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
UK-based Nordstar's e-commerce focused fund joins the round as a new investor. As a leading investment adviser focusing on international growth and scaling, Nordstar will lend its network to broaden Qupital's customer base in Western markets and share the team's expertise to expedite the company's global expansion.
The majority of funds raised will be used to accelerate Qupital's core lending business to support e-commerce sellers. As part of its five-year plan, the company is set to tap into its abundant network and grow its "buy now, pay later" product model to build an all-encompassing marketplace tailored for B2B transactions. It will assign resources to enhance its R&D capabilities in terms of artificial intelligence, big-data technology and MLOps. The company also has plans to extend its footprint across mainland China, as well as international markets including Southeast Asia, North America and Europe. It expects to triple the size of its team by 2022 to support expansion needs.
"This funding round reinstates the boundless synergy agglomerated in the region", said Winston Wong, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Qupital. "the GBA comprises multiple world-class manufacturing bases, where goods are produced and capital needs arise; this is where we step in as a solution to bridge the financing demand gap. It also reaffirms the unparalleled role of Hong Kong as an international financial hub – where innovations are met with opportunities to flourish. We believe Hong Kong will continue to play an indispensable role within the GBA as a financial powerhouse."
"As we aspire to improve financial inclusion and increase global trade ultimately, we are committed to back SMEs that have limited access to capital. Being able to work with Citi on this credit facility has fueled our business with a stable pool of funds and improved cost of capital. It is the cornerstone for us to sharpen our product features, build exclusive relationships with clients and win over market share to gain even stronger foothold in the global market", said Andy Chan, Co-Founder and President of Qupital. "Our ambition is to become the go-to digital financial institution for e-commerce sellers trading across the globe in the New Economy."
Established in 2016, Qupital is a financial technology company headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou. The company specializes 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.
Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund was jointly established by international large-scale industrial institutions, financial institutions and new economic enterprises. It aims to grasp the historical opportunities of the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the construction of an International Innovation and Technology Hub, focusing on technological innovation, industrial upgrading, quality of life, smart city and all other related industries. The Fund covers venture capital, private equity investment, listed company investment, M&A investment and so on to offer financial support for outstanding entrepreneurs and enterprises, connecting industrial and financial resources, achieving long-term returns for shareholders and investors, and contributing positively to economic and social development.
The ITVF is a HK$2 billion fund established by the HKSAR Government in 2017 with a view to attracting more private capital to invest in local I&T start-ups and creating a more vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem in Hong Kong. The ITVF will co-invest with selected co-investment partners at a matching investment ratio of approximately 1 to 2.
MindWorks MindWorks invests in and empowers Asia's brightest entrepreneurs to build transformational companies. The venture capital firm utilizes a Pan-Asia strategy to source direct investments in technology companies across both Greater China and Southeast Asia. Founded in 2013, the firm is headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Jakarta.
MindWorks has been recognized by Preqin as a top-performing venture capital firm and is also a signatory of the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment.
The firm currently manages over US$1 billion in total net asset value across its funds and is a co-investment partner of the Innovation Technology Venture Fund initiated by the Hong Kong Government.
Silverhorn Founded in 2010, Silverhorn Group is an owner-managed, Asian multi-asset specialist delivering intelligent investing solutions that bridge the gap between Europe and Asia. Silverhorn offers flagship products in private debt, private equity and multi-asset classes as well as access to key opportunities in the region. The 50+ team members are across the headquarters in Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and a research hub in India. www.silverhorngroup.com
Nordstar Nordstar is an investment and advisory platform that partners with growth companies seeking strategic and operational expertise, tailored advice, and smart capital. Founded by Ole Ruch and Eugen Miropolski, the firm provides founders access to first-hand insights gained from expanding and growing some of the most transformational businesses of the past decade internationally. Find us at www.nordstar.com.