(Bloomberg) -- WeLab Ltd., backed by investors including Sequoia Capital and billionaire Li Ka-shing, is weighing a new funding round that could value the Hong Kong-based fintech firm at about $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is looking to raise $200 million to $250 million in the new round to accelerate its growth plans, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. WeLab has sounded out existing and new investors for the fundraising, the people added.
WeLab, founded in 2013, operates consumer credit platforms WeLend in Hong Kong and WeLab Digital in the Chinese mainland, according to its website. It also runs WeLab Bank, a virtual lender in Hong Kong. The company has seen 1.5 times year over year growth in its loan balance in Hong Kong since the beginning of Covid-19, one of the people said.
Considerations are at an early stage and details of the funding round could still change, the people said. A representative for WeLab declined to comment.
In September, the company completed the acquisition of Indonesian commercial bank PT Bank Jasa Jakarta, alongside PT Astra International. It also has a joint venture with Astra to operate a licensed online lending app.
WeLab has more than 50 million individual users and over 700 enterprise customers, its website shows. Its investors include Khazanah Nasional Bhd. and Allianz SE. TOM Group Ltd., which counts billionaire Li’s CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. as its largest shareholder, is also backing the venture.
The fintech firm in 2018 filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, but it was postponed amid market volatility. Simon Loong, an ex-Citigroup Inc. retail banker who founded WeLab, said in an interview last year that the company could restart the IPO process in 2022.
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