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Startups

Korean P2P lending platform 8Percent raises near $40 mn

BRV Capital Management, an early investor in PayPal, led the latest funding round

By Oct 15, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Korean P2P lending platform 8Percent raises near  mn

South Korea-based online peer-to-peer lending platform 8Percent has secured 43.5 billion won ($38.3 million) in an investment round led by the Silicon Valley-based BRV Capital Management, an early investor in the world's biggest online payment service PayPal.

BRV was the lead investor, injecting 40 billion won in 8Percent while domestic venture capital firms Glint Partners and SBI Investment accounted for the remaining 3.5 billion won, according to 8Percent on Oct. 14.

8Percent is the first domestic fintech company in which BRV has invested. Founded in 2014, the startup connects borrowers and lenders with a focus on medium-interest rate loans. According to a BRV official, 8Percent is highly scalable because it has the best credit rating model for medium-interest rate loans among domestic companies.

8Percent plans to use the proceeds to hire employees well versed in data technology and concentrate on offering products that will allow borrowers with poor credit to switch over from high-interest loans to medium-interest loans.

“Our goal is to strengthen services for customers who haven't been able to enjoy certain financial benefits -- namely startups, small businesses, platform operators and gig workers," said Lee Hyo-jin, the chief executive of 8Percent.

In addition to PayPal, BRV has invested in Affirm Holdings Inc., a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service provider, and Kabbage Inc., an online lender for small and medium-sized companies. The investment firm has also invested in the navigation startup Waze and social media analytics service Topsy, which were eventually acquired by Google and Apple, respectively.

FINTECH FIRMS EMERGE AS ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT TARGETS

BRV's investment into 8Percent comes amid a rising number of VC firms at home and abroad investing in the fintech industry.

Earlier in July, domestic P2P lending platform Lendit secured 50.4 billion won from H&Q Korea while artificial intelligence robot advisor startup Fount Co. raised 40 billion won in a Series C round from Hana Financial Investment, Shinhan Capital and KT Investment.

In September, core banking fintech solution provider Bankware Global Co. also raised 15 billion won in a Series B round.

Amid the fintech investment boom, Chai Corporation, the operator of mobile payment service Chai, has been looking to raise over 50 billion won. Founded in 2018, Chai Corporation is led by Shin Hyun-sung who previously founded e-commerce platform Tmon Inc.

The Chai payment service currently has over 2.5 million users. It is used on various platforms including grocery delivery service Market Kurly, game company Nexon Co., food delivery service Yogiyo and e-commerce platform WeMakePrice. 

Write to In-hyuk Lee and Jong-woo Kim at jongwoo@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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