IceKredit (冰鉴科技) announces a Pre-Series C round of funding of CNY 335 million (USD 47.32 million) from Guohe Capital, after People's Bank of China releases the FinTech Development Plan (2019-2021).
IceKredit is a technology company leveraging AI to provide intelligent risk control services including anti-fraud, customer access, loan approval, and so on.
IceKredit targets three directions after the new fundraising. First, it will expand its R&D team, improve artificial intelligence research department, enlarge tech teams such as business intelligence team and big data engineering team. Second, it aims to develop and expand its overseas business. Third, it targets at creating an ecosystem through upstream and downstream investments, mergers and acquisitions.
Previously, the company has closed multiple rounds of financing of CNY 315 million (USD 44.5 million) from FreesFund, Yunqi Partners, China Creation Ventures (CCV) and Youzu Interactive. The nation-backed Guohe Capital injecting money into IceKredit could help the startup with developing businesses in more areas.
The Chinese government is encouraging technology companies to solve problems in the financial sector. In August 2019, China's central bank compiled and released the FinTech Development Plan (2019-2021).
The Plan indicates that technology has promoted innovation in the financial sector, revamping traditional financial services, bridging financial services in real economy, encouraging inclusive finance, and resolving financial risks. The document emphasized the deep integration of AI and financial business: explore the application of mature AI technologies in the fields of asset management, credit financing, customer service, precision marketing, identification, risk prevention and control.
Mao Chengyu (毛丞宇), the founding partner of Yunqi Capital expressed his views, “banks are paying more attention to consumer finance and small loans because of the policy environment, consumption structure and behavior change. Third-party risk control companies are therefore getting the chance to improve the efficacy and efficiency of risk control.”Yunqi Capital started investing in IceKredit since the Angel Round and kept participating in its later fundraising.
According to the 2017 Global FinTech Report from PWC, 48% of Chinese financial institutions have purchased services from FinTech companies. In the next three to five years, 68% of the financial institutions will cooperate with FinTech companies, ranging from front office, middle office to back office.
In addition to the domestic market, IceKredit is also vigorously expanding overseas markets. The company has opened its Los Angeles subsidiary in 2016, helping the 15% of US people who are not covered by credit risk scores such as FICO with loan applications.
Besides, the company has continued to develop its market in Southeast Asia in recent years. After its successful cooperation with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Singapore (OCBC Singapore), IceKredit’s coverage in Southeast Asia has gradually expanded to Indonesia and Thailand, cooperating with the leading banks including United Overseas Bank (UOB), Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).