Qupital, a Hong Kong-based online, small and medium enterprise (SME) trade finance technology company, has raised $15m in a Series A funding round led by CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (CEFIF).
Operating on a user-driven online platform, Qupital gives SME businesses the scope to raise capital within a few clicks by linking them with professional investors and thereby providing equitable opportunities.
Through its credit control technology, the company caters to various businesses in general trading, service sectors, and also e-commerce merchants.
Qupital’s Series A round also saw additional capital injections from the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and MindWorks Ventures, which made initial investments in the seed round.
The fintech startup intends to utilize the Series A funds to grow its footprint in mainland China. In addition, the company will use the capital for enlarging its technology development and risk management teams, and consolidating its cross-border e-commerce expansion.
The company is looking to open branches in major cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou with plans to establish a technology center for talent sourcing and development in the Greater Bay Area.
Qupital founder Winston Wong said: “Qupital has accomplished remarkable results since 2016. Since the completion of the seed round financing, we successfully handled over 8,000 transactions, totaling HKD 2 billion.”
CreditEase, which has invested in the trade finance technology company through its fund CEFIF, is a Beijing-based fintech conglomerate. Providing finance and wealth management services, CreditEase is expected to offer marketplace lending access and networks to the trade finance technology company, thereby enabling its geographical expansion.
The Chinese conglomerate is also expected to offer its ground operational expertise to the Hong Kong firm. CreditEase said that its wealth management team is also considering a proposal to offer new capital to fund the trading of SMEs.
CEFIF managing director Dennis Cong said: “The growing volume of SME and cross-border trading drives a huge demand for alternative financing for SMEs which are underserved in the market and opportunities for investors to earn a decent risk adjusted return.
“We look forward to working with Qupital to broaden its source of capital base and create an unparalleled investment opportunities for CreditEase. We will be working with Qupital to further utilize the technologies to enhance risk management, user experience and operational efficiency.”