SEOUL, South Korea, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PeopleFund, a leading Korean marketplace lender, announced today that it has secured US$35M as an extension to its Series B financing round, led by Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Fund ("Lending Ark"), a secured private credit strategy of CLSA Capital Partners, headquartered in Hong Kong. New and existing investors including Shinhan Invest Corp. and D3 Jubilee also participated.
The funding will help PeopleFund to pursue international expansion as part of its strategic plans. The investment by Lending Ark, composed of secured debt and equity financing, confirms PeopleFund as the leading marketplace lender in Korea. PeopleFund is the first, and currently the only, marketplace lender in Korea to receive foreign funding, signaling investor confidence in the company and the Korean market, where the government has designated Fintech growth as a top priority on the nation's economic agenda.
Lending Ark's equity financing extends the US$11M Series B round funding announced in October 2018, led by Kakaopay corp., bringing the total equity raised to date to approximately US$21M. The US$30M debt financing will allow PeopleFund to scale up its lending business. Lending Ark has taken a minority equity stake in PeopleFund with Carol Lee Park, Managing Director of Lending Ark, joining the board of the Company.
PeopleFund is uniquely positioned as the first and only player in Korea to fully integrate with a top-tier commercial bank to process consumer loans securely within the national financial system. Leveraging a tier one bank as an origination vehicle is a business model widely used in international markets such as the U.S. and U.K. and is a key attribute that has attracted foreign capital.
"Lending Ark is proud to support the tremendous growth of PeopleFund," said Carol Lee Park, Managing Director of Lending Ark. "As a debt investor and an equity shareholder, Lending Ark is looking forward to working with PeopleFund as a strategic partner to help the company achieve long term growth and success."
In conjunction with this fundraising, PeopleFund has appointed three new advisors to provide strategic counsel for its plans to grow the company beyond Korea.
- John Chang, formerly a Managing Director at Barclays Investment Bank and Deutsche Bank. Currently he is a General Partner at Access Ventures LLC.
- Gregory Park, formerly the Fund Head of Carlyle Asia Structured Credit Opportunities Fund at The Carlyle Group. Currently he is the Managing Director and Fund Head of Lending Ark at CLSA Capital Partners.
- Sam Rhee, formerly CEO & CIO of Morgan Stanley Investment Management Asia. Currently he is the CEO of Voveo Capital, a fintech focused investment company, as well as, the founding partner & CIO of Endowus, a WealthTech company based in Singapore.
"PeopleFund welcomes our new advisors as we look towards global opportunities in order to accelerate and expand our business," said Joey Kim, Founder of PeopleFund. "These new appointments and the overseas capital coming into our platform from a prestigious global institution are a validation of our company and the quality of our loans."
PeopleFund has demonstrated an impressive growth track record and is the fastest growing marketplace lender in Korea in terms of loan volume. It has also been recording the highest monthly loan volume for personal consumer loans with a 150% growth rate consistently each month.
In addition, PeopleFund announced a strategic partnership with Kakaopay corp. in 2018, making it the first marketplace lender to offer investment products directly on the popular messaging app.
PeopleFund is Korea's fastest growing marketplace lender that is opening doors to more financial freedom through affordable loans and attractive alternative investment opportunities. It is the first and only Korean marketplace lending platform to fully integrate with a top-tier commercial bank to process personal and business loans securely within the national financial system. It was also the first marketplace lender to form a strategic partnership with Kakaopay corp. to offer investment products directly on KakaoTalk. PeopleFund has been transforming the Korean financial system with its automated proprietary credit model which can determine optimal rates within a minute and with greater accuracy. The tech-driven platform has the advantages of better predictive capabilities to evaluate borrowers and provide loans to more near-prime borrowers who are capable of repaying, but may not be adequately serviced by traditional commercial banks or lenders. The CEO and Founder of PeopleFund, Joey Kim, is also currently serving as the President of the Korean Fintech Industry Association. Visit https://www.peoplefund.co.kr and follow @People.Fund to learn more.
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