Sun, May 14, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Fintech firm backed by Chinese stars plans IPO


QuantGroup (量化派), a financial technology company backed by Chinese movie stars, is planning a US initial public offering that could raise about US$200 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Beijing-based firm has asked banks to pitch for a role on the potential offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The deal is at an early stage, and details are yet to be finalized, they added.

QuantGroup joins other Chinese fintech companies in seeking funds in the US equity market as consumers in the world’s most populous nation increasingly turn to non-traditional lenders.

Fenqile (分期樂), a Chinese online mall that lets buyers pay in installments, picked banks to work on a planned IPO that could raise about US$600 million, people familiar with the matter said in March.

SmartFinance (智融), a Chinese Internet loans business that judges borrowers on factors including how often they charge their phones, has also consulted banks about a possible US listing that could happen as soon as this year.

They would follow China Rapid Finance Ltd (信而富), which has risen 31 percent in New York trading since its US$69 million IPO last month.

A representative for QuantGroup did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Backers of QuantGroup include Star VC, the venture capital firm started by a group of Chinese celebrities.

Li Bingbing (李冰冰), an actress who appeared in Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Ip Man 2 actor Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明) are among partners at Star VC, according to the Web site of fellow portfolio company (韓都衣舍).

Other QuantGroup investors include Fosun International Ltd (復星國際) and Guosen Securities Co (國信證券).

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