The Chinese platform's valuation has swollen by more than $3 billion more in just a few weeks.
Chinese peer-to-peer lender Lufax is reportedly close to raising $1 billion in a new funding round that will value the company at approximately $18 billion. According to Bloomberg, Lufax is planning to sell a circa 5 percent stake to a group of Chinese and overseas investors. A few weeks ago the company was said to be seeking the same amount of money, but at the “lower” valuation of $15 billion.
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. Total transactions on Lufax in the first nine months of 2015 have jumped more than ninefold from the previous year to 926.4 billion yuan ($143.4 billion).
Last March, Lufax completed a US$485 million funding round at a valuation of close to $10 billion. After only 10 months, the company has nearly doubled its value, apparently securing its place as the most valuable private financial technology start-up in the world.
Lufax has indicated that it will be looking to run an initial public offering in the second half of next year, aiming to raise approximately $5 billion. Sounds like more details on this blockbuster IPO should be out in the first months of 2016 – watch this space as we chart the remorseless rise of this mega unicorn!