In an interesting development, Hong Kong-based trade financing platform Qupital announced on Wednesday that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding round led by CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (CEFIF), with participation from returning investors Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and MindWorks Ventures, according to a report by TechCrunch.
As per the report, till now Qupital has raised $17 million including the seed round two years ago. The company is planning to use the fund to expand its supply chain financing products, expand its presence in mainland Chinese cities and pay more attention to tech development and risk management teams.
The company that provides loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China, CreditEase will act as a strategic investor, aiding with Qupital’s geographic expansion. One of the other investors, Alibaba has already helped Qupital in its endeavor of reaching small businesses on its platform.
The report further goes on to add that Qupital is planning to expand its base in China and is planning to open offices in Chinese cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. It is also planning to set up a new technology center in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area for talent and tech development. The company is also set to add 100 more people to its Hong Kong office this year.
Founded in 2016, the company has been providing loans to SMEs that that frequently have cash flow issues because they are in a cycle of waiting for invoices to be paid. As of now, Qupital has processed 8,000 trades, totaling HKD $2 billion in value.
According to co-founder and chairman Andy Chan, Qupital is not planning to compete directly against traditional financial institutions, because its main focus is to finance the Hong Kong business entities of Chinese companies in the U.S. and Hong Kong currency, rather than onshore renminbi which is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China.