Alibaba, IFC back WeLab amid 'frenzied demand'

Hong Kong fintech start-up, which already boasts Li Ka-shing as a backer, upsizes latest funding round as it bags $220m. But its founder is coy on whether it has hit unicorn status.

Explosive growth in lending volumes has helped WeLab Holdings, a Hong Kong-based fintech startup which already boasts  Li Ka-shing’s Tom Group among its backers, raise $220 million from investors including Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

The succesful fundraising for the company, which is tapping gargantuan demand for small loans from Chinese borrowers with no credit history, underscores strong interest in Asia's fintech innovators. But its founder and CEO declined to state whether the fundraising had pushed WeLab to unicorn status a valuation above $1 billion.

Other investors in the Series B financing round included Credit Suisse and International Finance Corp IFC,...

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