Open Banking Platform Yacai Collects USD 7 Million in Pre-Series A
With a foothold in Hong Kong, Yacai is set to step into the overseas financial service business.
Yacai (亚财) has recently completed its pre-Series A round of funding, led by Zhongrun Capital (中润资本), landing USD 7 million.
Yacai is the international business segment of Bicai (比财), a platform for the selection of direct bank financial management. Yacai was launched on December 12, during ‘The Third Open Banking Wealth Management Festival,’ (第三届开放银行节) hosted by Bicai.
The business is positioned as a digital banking platform focusing on providing financial services in the Asia-Pacific region. It is co-invested in and co-operated on by Bicai, First Eastern Investment Group (第一东方投资集团) – its existing investor – and Youdu Wealth Management (优度财富).
Talking about the logic behind initiating Yacai, Wang Weidong (王卫东) – Founder of Bicai – shared some details during an interview with 36Kr, explaining that with the three-year development of Bicai in the field of financial service, the company already has an accumulation of experience and users.
At present, it covers more than 90% of direct-selling bank products, with nearly six million users and tens-of-billions-of-yuan levels of monthly transaction volume. Among these, about 10% are high-net-worth individuals, who tend to have greater demands for overseas asset allocations.
The project of Yacai started its preparations in August 2018; its business mainly consists of two parts:
One is to bring the business model of Bicai in the mainland market into Hong Kong, i.e., to collaborate with the incumbent banks in Hong Kong through API (Application Programming Interface). This allows Yacai to integrate the demand deposits, term deposits and wealth management products across the traditional banks in Hong Kong, while providing price comparison and analysis service.
The other is to provide some fintech services – for example, biometrics and blockchain – to incumbent banks. According to Mr.Wang, Bicai has already built up its own open banking cloud platform, which allows its newly launched international segment to offer technical support for digital transactions.
According to the company, the development of Yacai is on a two-stage basis:
First, to build a financial service cloud that allows individuals to easily move their money and get access to financial products between the mainland and Hong Kong markets.
Secondly, to apply for valid financial licenses in Hong Kong, which enables the company to develop and import its self-operating deposit and lending products in the market.
Up to now, Yacai has connected with 13 incumbent banks in Hong Kong. With the fresh money, it is going to further expand it's business development, product, technical and risk control departments, all to improve the construction of its digital banking system.