International Finance

Alibaba-backed WeLab secures $156 mn funding to invest in R&D

WeLab funding
The fintech startup has received the funding from Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and China Construction Bank

Hong Kong-based and Alibaba backed fintech startup WeLab has announced that it has raised around $156 million in a fresh funding round. The startup will use the fund to invest in research and development and further broaden its platform.

The investors who participated in the funding round for WeLab include Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and China Construction Bank.

With regard to the funding round, Simon Loong, founder and group COO at WeLab told the media, “This financing will be used to further develop and broaden our platform as a fintech enabler. Further investment in technology research and development will enable us to apply these innovative technologies around the region and roll out additional products and services for our customers to provide holistic financial services digitally.”

He added, “With technological advancement, fintech has gradually been integrated into our daily lives over the last decade, transforming the traditional world of banking as we know it. 2020 marks the inflection point where the calls for supervision and governance are necessary, starting with regulated digital banks.”

WeLab is a virtual bank that uses risk management technology and AI to analyse unstructured mobile big data within seconds and provide financial services.

The startup received its licence from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and is planning to launch WeLab bank in 2020. The fintech unicorn operates in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and China under different brand names.

In China, it operates under the brand name WeLab Digital and runs a microlending platform, while in Indonesia; it operates the Maucash brand which was launched through a joint venture with local conglomerate Astra International.

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