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Exits, Venture Capital

Chinese P2P Lending Platform PPdai.com Plans $350M IPO In US

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Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform PPdai.com will seek an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, the company said in a filing, marking the latest Chinese financial technology company to go public. PPdai.com is currently values as a unicorn on China Money Network’s China Unicorn List with a US$2 billion valuation.

The company aims to raise as much as US$350 million through the IPO, though it has not determined the listing price or the number of shares to be offered, according to an IPO prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 2007, PPdai.com, formerly known as Shanghai Paipaidai Financial Information Service Co., is one of China’s earliest P2P lending platforms. It offers unsecured peer-to-peer loans, targeting younger borrowers aged from 20 to 40. As of the end of June, the company had over 48 million registered users, according to its website.

PPdai.com is one of several Chinese P2P lending platforms currently planning public market listings. China Rapid Finance Ltd., also based in Shanghai, completed a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in April, raising US$60 million. Another platform Dianrong, backed by Tiger Global Management LLC and other investors, reportedly is planning to list on a U.S. stock exchange in 2018.

Internet finance company Lufax, another unicorn listed on China Money Network’s China Unicorn List with an US$18.5 billion valuation, is also reportedly seeking an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this year with an aim to raise roughly US$5 billion.

PPdai.com recorded operating revenue of RMB1.21 billion (US$180 million) in 2016, up 530% year-on-year, according to the prospectus. Its operating revenue reached RMB1.73 billion (US$260 million) in the first half of this year, up 400% year-on-year. The company became profitable in 2016, and reported a net profit of RMB1.04 billion (US$160 million) in the first half of this year, up 2,400% year-on-year, the company said.

In March 2016, the firm completed a series C financing round worth nearly US$100 million led by Legend Capital and SIG Asia Investment, along with existing investors. It raised an undisclosed series B round led by Lightspeed China Partners in 2014, and completed a US$25 million series A round from Sequoia Capital in 2012.

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