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Lufax Seeks $1 Billion at $15 Billion Valuation




By Guglielmo de Stefano on 4th December 2015


The company was valued at $10 billion during its last fundraising round in March. 

 

Chinese peer-to-peer lender Lufax is said to be seeking about $1 billion in a new funding round that would value the company at approximately  $15 billion. According to Bloomberg, a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named, revealed that the Shanghai-based company has begun approaching possible investors and wishes to end the process by early next year. 

 

Launched in 2012, Lufax is one of the largest peer-to-peer lenders in China, focusing on consumer loans of around $10,000. To date, the platform has arranged more than 200,000 peer-to-peer loans worth a total of around $2.5 billion. 

 

Only last March, Lufax completed a funding round at a valuation of close to $10 billion – making it a “decacorn”, in Silicon Valley-speak. The US$485 million investment round was led by BlackPine Private Equity Partners, which provided the bulk of the financing , with participation also coming from CDH Investments and China International Capital Corp.’s private equity division. 

 

Lufax was said to be looking to stage a “pre-IPO stake sale”, last month. According to the Wall Street Journal, Lufax aims to raise around $5bn through a late 2016 IPO. The platform intends to list in Hong Kong and Morgan Stanley, together with Goldman Sachs, appear to be preparing the launch. Furthermore, Chairman Gregory Gibb has indicated that the funding will be used to expand Lufax’s products and services beyond peer-to-peer loans.

 

China’s sprawling peer-to-peer lending space seems to be witnessing a substantial influx of equity capital at the moment. Indeed, Lufax isn’t the only platform seeking to raise money. Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Dianrong.com is reportedly looking to raise as much as $500m in a round that will likely take place early next year. Similarly, CreditEase’s consumer lending offering Yirendai is planning to raise $100m through an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. 

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