BEIJING, April 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 9Fbank.com (hereinafter referred to as "9Fbank"), a leading company in mobile finance, held a press conference for major financing at China National Convention Center in Beijing on April 8, 2015. Sun Lei, the founder and CEO of 9Fbank, announced that 9Fbank and its subsidiaries had accomplished a major financing of 110 million USD (equivalent to about RMB 700 million) in the first quarter, among which, 20 million USD were attributable to old shares and the rest to new shares. It is reported that this financing hits a record high for non-bank Internet-based financing platforms for the year 2015, becoming a new industry benchmark.
The core team of 9Fbank and the representatives of the investors were present at the conference. The conference was witnessed by Prof. Jiang Minghua, the Associate Chair and Ph. D Supervisor with Guanghua School of Management (GSM), Peking University, the senior executives of Investment Banking for Greater China of Barclays Bank and the senior executives of the Financial and Capital Market Department of JPMorgan Asia Pacific, as well as more than 100 guests from other organizations including the People's Bank of China, Tencent, Ant Financial, the head office of China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. (CMBC), China Unicom, China Telecom, the Entrepreneur Club of Peking University, Yiche.com, 58.com, Ganji.com, China Renaissance and China Orient Asset Management Corporation.
The mobile finance layout of 9Fbank is highly favored by international capital.
Founded in 2006, 9Fbank has kept a low profile but achieved astonishing performance in Internet finance.
Being well-grounded, 9Fbank has made remarkable achievements by developing 6 mobile finance products successively in the process of development from the establishment of the on-line financial supermarket in the beginning, to the provision of individual wealth management and small and micro finance services for tens of thousands of banks and then to the formulation of the strategy of boosting mobile finance in 2013.
9Fbank ranks among the top three in an overall ranking of on-line lending platforms and the first in a ranking of AA-rated platforms by a national authority. It boasts the largest number of registered users in the industry, and also is the first among its peers to see the number of registered users exceeding 10 million, of which mobile users account for 93%. 9Fbank comes top in the industry not only by the number of users, but also by the popularity of its WeChat account. The big data evaluation firm under 9Fbank is the only one in China to be listed among "Global Top 50 Fintech Companies". Wukonglicai (WeChat account: wukonglicai), the first WeChat-based wealth management product in fans operation mode, is so amazing that the number of fans exceeded 2.6 million with the transaction amount approaching 3 billion in only a few months after the launching of the account. Since its growth is fast enough to rank the first in the industry, it is called the "Mi" in mobile Internet finance industry. (Translator's note: "Mi" is the short name of an emerging player in Chinese mobile phone industry, which saw soaring growth and popularity in recent years.)
Thanks to a solid foundation and great industry influence, 9Fbank was invited by the Financial Research Institute of the People's Bank of China to jointly form an Internet finance research team in 2014, for the purpose of researching the competitiveness development indexes for on-line lending industry. 9Fbank has also been active in the discussions over the regulatory standards for on-line lending industry organized by relevant authorities such as China Banking Regulatory Commission.
The fast-growing 9Fbank is highly favored by international capital. Due diligence for this financing was carried out in the second half of the year 2014, and contract signing and delivery were completed in early 2015. Later, domestic and foreign investment giants paid visits to 9Fbank, including Soros Fund Management LLC, investment funds of BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) and famous PE funds.
The "ecosystem" concept is used to construct the "Internet + Finance + Industry" portfolio.
Different from newly established companies, 9Fbank enjoys a clear commerce pattern and definite development concepts in the 9th year since its founding. Therefore, this financing was mainly targeted at PE and industry investors who invest in well-established companies.
The strategic positioning of 9Fbank is mobile finance plus, primarily promoting the Link Ecological-chain mode. The "Internet + Finance + Industry" portfolio adopted in this financing also fully manifests the strategic planning of 9Fbank to construct an ecosystem through win-win cooperation among different partners.
To the extent of this financing, those investing in subsidiaries of 9Fbank included IDG and SIG, which are famous VC funds highly active in the Internet industry, but the lead investor was Mr. Xu Yu as an industry investor, who is the founder and chairman of Trendy Group (a leading company in China's fashion industry) and also the founding shareholder and chairman of VIP.com. The financial investor was Guangjie PE Fund, which was sponsored jointly by Dr. Tianjun (the president of Fortune Oil PLC and the director of Tianhong Asset Management Co., Ltd. involved in Yu'ebao project), Mr. Fu Gang (a famous quant and hedge funds manager, the founding partner of River East Fund and the partner of DISON Fund) and other senior financial professionals. Co-investors included two USD funds, i.e., Incorp Capital and Union Fortune, sponsored by director(s) of PingAn and financiers from Tsinghua PBCSF. Other previous investors included Grandis Capital, a USD PE fund highly active in the financial circle of Hong Kong and the industry investment field.
The auditor for this financing was one of the Big Four companies (PwC, DTT, KPMG and EY). The most famous law firm on Wall Street was employed as the legal advisor to co-work with two Chinese law firms for this financing. According to the representative of investors, what the investors mainly valued were the development mode of mobile finance and the excellent team of 9Fbank, as well as the confidence in the future of 9Fbank and the Internet finance market valued at trillions.
The large amount of financing facilitates the integration of mobile finance and industries through the platform "Link + Plus".
9Fbank is one of a few Internet finance companies that have survived the financial crisis. It acquired Angel Investment of RMB 10 million in 2006 and an investment of 3 million USD from a company listed on the Main Board of HKEx in 2009, to develop small and micro finance businesses. After that, 9Fbank entered into a period of sound development.
In 2013, the strategy of 9Fbank turned from PC to mobile finance with the promotion of the eco-link mode, to quickly expand business via a WeChat public account in social APP scenarios. Twp points emphasized inside 9Fbank were that all the new businesses started must be based on mobile Internet, and that product innovation should be realized by making HTML5 before APP. The Chinese Premier once mentioned the concept of Internet plus and spoke highly of the rising of Internet finance at CPPCC and NPC Sessions. It turned out 9Fbank took a step ahead to the forefront.
In 2015, based on the previous eco-link financial mode, 9Fbank released officially the "Link + Plus" strategy. "Link" means 9Fbank will connect all the application scenarios of wealth management, borrowing and installment payment, to provide mobile finance services in consumption areas of clothing, food, housing and transportation, which are closely related to the lives of the people, in a way of being deeply embedded as plug-ins in industry and consumption scenarios. "Plus" means 9Fbank will keep adding new points of innovation by the mode of internal and external incubation acceleration.
With only 800 employees, 9Fbank has achieved such productivity as should have required the efforts of over tens of thousands of people, which is definitely the outcome of its mobile finance strategy and eco-link mode. The Xiangyanghua channel partner mode first innovated by 9Fbank has already expanded to 183 cities, with 15~30 more cities to be covered every month. Previously, the layout of 9Fbank in consumer finance application scenarios was reinforced by the strategic cooperative partnership between 9Fbank and businesses like Digitone, which had more than 2,000 stores, and Yiche.com and 58.com. This is also the aim of introducing industry investors to this financing. By using the upstream and downstream resources of shareholders which are corporate champions, 9Fbank will have chances to be deeply involved in industry application scenarios, for the purpose of gaining the upper hand in the key fields of mobile finance such as scenario, portal, data and account.
"Compared to the introduction of purely financial investors, we expect the shareholders to support 9Fbank not only through capital contribution, but also through business collaboration. What we need are investors who share the same values and are willing to cooperate with us to further develop Internet finance industry," said Sun Lei, the CEO of 9Fbank.
9Fbank is favored not only by capital, but also by world-class elites.
9Fbank has welcomed both the large amount of financing and the joining of world-class elites.
At the conference, Sun Lei, the CEO of 9Fbank, also announced the good news of two world-class talents joining 9Fbank. One is Mr. Lin Yanjun, who will soon be the CSO of 9Fbank, responsible for capital operation and strategic planning. Mr. Lin Yanjun, graduated from GSM of Peking University, once worked for famous investment banks including Credit Suisse and BOC International and is a director of Barclays Bank. The other is Dr. Mu Yuan, who is already the CRO of 9Fbank. Dr. Mu Yuan graduated from Peking University and acquired his doctor's degree in the U.K., and once worked as the senior credit risk modeler at the head office of Barclays Bank in London, the credit card risk analyst for SANTANDER CENTRAL HISPANO S.A. and the credit modeling strategy director of FICO China.
Mr. Lin Yanjun has been engaged in investment bank for a dozen years and has a profound insight into industries, finance and the Internet, etc. His joining to 9Fbank will be a major drive for the implementation of the "Link + Plus" strategy and for the next step of capital operation of 9Fbank. The joining of Dr. Mu Yuan fully shows the importance attached by 9Fbank to risk control for big data modeling. With Dr. Mu Yuan, while 9Fbank develops consumer finance fast, a leading risk control system will be further developed and improved to set up an industry benchmark for fast and sustainable development.
9Fbank highly values the introduction of world-class elites. In 2014, Dr. Jiang Zhenyu joined 9Fbank as the CFO, who holds a Bachelor's degree and a master's degree of Tsinghua University and a doctor's degree of Cornell University and had been doing legal and financial work on Wall Street for many years; Mr. Wang Zhicheng joined 9Fbank as the CMO, who is a Chinese American once worked as a senior executive of Citibank - Chicago and the retail banking director at the head office of CMBC.
Sun Lei said, "This financing is an important move taken by 9Fbank in the capital market. The raised funds will be mainly spent on big data credit evaluation, the building of eco-link and the introduction of talents for nothing else but mobile finance plus, in order to enlarge the gap between 9Fbank and its peers and to establish the superiority of 9Fbank. The joining of world-class talents fully reflects the wide acceptance of 9Fbank. 9Fbank will take greater moves in the capital market soon. The mode adopted by 9Fbank and the growth rate realized by Wukonglicai will be an essential part of the future Internet finance industry."
SOURCE 9F Inc.