By Guglielmo de Stefano on Monday 30 November 2015
The two Asian businesses sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to sell financial services products.
Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Dianrong.com and the Asian global leader in solar power Hanwha S&C have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), setting out a new strategic partnership to offer loans and other online financial services in South Korea.
Both companies started to discuss the agreement back in April 2015. According to the MOU, they will incorporate a joint venture company targeting Internet finance solutions and marketplace lending business in South East Asia. The new company will leverage both Dianrong's advanced technologies and Hanwha's profound knowledge of finance. Operations are expected to begin during the first half of next year and financial details of the partnership have not been determined yet.
The Hanwha Group is Korea's 9th largest conglomerate, generating over $42.6 billion in sales in 2014 and with total assets equating to $156 billion. The group - a global leader in solar power and itself a financial powerhouse in Asia - counts 56 subsidiaries and 190 affiliates spread across the globe belonging to a wide array of industries.
Moonho AHN, the CMO of Hanwha S&C, commented:
"Dianrong is the most qualified marketplace lending platform due in part to it boasting the latest Internet finance technology and also being led by an accomplished and diverse team. We're hopeful that Dianrong and Hanwha will achieve synergy and growth by integrating Hanwha Group's strength in financial services and ITO, and Dianrong's expertise in marketplace lending."
Founded in 2012, Dianrong is one of the most influential market based Internet finance businesses in China. Following on from its $207m equity investment in August of this year, the joint venture would represent Dianrong’s first overseas business. The platform is also looking to raise as much as $500m in a round that will likely take before March next year with the cash presumably used to expand across China and other emerging markets.
Soul Htite, founder and CEO of Dianrong.com, added:
"Dianrong always looks for high quality partners. A good partner for Dianrong is one that truly believes that Internet finance is the future. The partner should also be very large and have a good understanding of local traditions of finance in the location where we are considering. We like Hanwha a lot because they have been doing business in Korea for a very long time. The company is at a stage where its management believes that the next step is about to happen. We would like to be part of the next step."
The platform appears also to be in the process of raising as much as $500m in a round that will likely take place some time before March next year, as its boss revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. But Dianrong is not alone in raising vast sums of equity capital. As AltFi recently reported, the Chinese P2P space is awash with equity capital at present – and Dianrong is amongst the main beneficiaries.