Standard Chartered and others have invested $207 million in peer-to-peer lender Dianrong.com, the Chinese company said on its website on Thursday.
The consortium of investors in the platform, which matches small businesses and savers, was jointly led by the private equity arm of the British bank and China Fintech Fund. China A-share listed Bohai Leasing participated in the financing.
"Standard Chartered barely invests in early-stage projects. We generally focus on enterprises at the middle and late stages. This is an exception,” said Zhu Wei, a managing director at Standard Chartered said in the news release.
Dianrong’s Series C-round of funding comes as China’s fast-growing P2P industry is coming to terms with a clampdown by regulators.
On July 18, the People’s Bank of China, in conjunction with the nation’s banking, securities and insurance regulators, issued stricter guidelines in reaction to the country’s stock market crash.
The rules stipulate that client funds be held at recognised banks, and that traditional bank accounts be used to channel large payments. The regulatory bodies also increased the disclosure requirements for online lending and crowdfunding platforms.
Many P2P players are likely to fold as a result.
The regulators clarified areas of supervision as well, with the PBoC to regulate payments, the China Banking Regulatory Commission to oversee internet lending and peer-to-peer platforms, and the China Securities Regulatory Commission to cover crowdfunding and the online sale of funds.
Dianrong.com was founded by Lending Club former employee Soul Htite and lawyer Guo Yuhang with $2.5 million dollars in seed capital in 2012.
Dianrong.com completed its Series B funding round in January when New York-based Tiger Global Management invested an undisclosed amount. Tiger Global has also invested in Alibaba and JD.com.
Additional reporting by Julie Zhu