Sponsored primarily by Guohe Capital, IceKredit, Inc. has recently acquired $47 million in pre-Series C funding, surpassing the cumulative amount of funding of $44 million generated from all previous funding rounds, which include Angel round, Pre-Series A, Series A, and Series B funding from Frees Fund, Yunqi Partners, China Creation Ventures (CCV), and Youzu Interactive, among others. Moreover, a current stockholder, Yunqi Partners, has become a dedicated sponsor in this round. Other current stockholders also joined the funding. Founder, chairman, and CEO Lingyun Gu plans to utilize these funds in 3 sectors – enlarge the business analytics, big data engineering, and AI teams in R&D; expand business outreach to international markets; and introduce new merge-and-acquisition campaigns with upstream and downstream enterprises to augment and optimize the IceKredit’s ecological composition and operational structure.
IceKredit, Inc. has become a leader in credit risk and credit management. Their team is composed of fintech scientists and engineers who come from ZestFinance, Lending Club, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Capital One, Discover, GE Capital, Barclays, Kabbage, Microsoft, Ant Financial, Tencent, Baidu, and other industry-leading companies in data and finance. 85% have technical expertise among the team of 270+ members at IceKredit. In addition, IceKredit has built 2 AI laboratories located in the United States and China for R&D, composed of Ph.D. graduates from Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Purdue University, UC Berkeley, and many more highly-ranked academic institutions. Research-wise, they engage in deep learning, natural language processing, knowledge graph, voice recognition, computer vision, and other contemporary applications of data science and ML.
Yi Song, a staunch advocate of IceKredit and executive director of Guohe Capital, stated that, “IceKredit is an extraordinary and technologically-affine team of business analysts and engineers. They cultivate and motivate the relatively-unexplored application of artificial intelligence to contemporary finance. In addition, they have unparalleled experience in customizing risk management models for a variety of financial-technology enterprises. In the future, we believe that IceKredit could very well become a leader in the developing field of credit risk and credit management driven by AI technologies.”
Chengyu Mao, founder and partner of Yunqi Capital, has also shared some of his aspirational views pertaining to IceKredit. “Yunqi has been a continual pioneer in the fintech industry since early 2014. Ever since its angel investment round, IceKredit has caught and kept our attention and business, and we confidently continue to invest in them. IceKredit has continuously developed novel techniques in AI, big data processing, risk modeling, and business appliances. IceKredit R&D is equipped with in-depth experience and game-changing technology. Influenced by dynamic updates in business regulations as well as unprecedented shifts in consumer behavior, banks are reallocating focus to consumer finance and SME loans. That’s the market in which IceKredit can shine – a 3rd party risk control company can utilize AI technology to improve both the efficacy and efficiency of various financial companies and institutions. Fortunately, there is still a lot of room for IceKredit to develop in the future.”
Since it was founded in 2015, IceKredit has been dedicated to providing service for subprime customers that have not been covered by FICO and other credit bureaus using AI technology, in order to help them get loans with relatively low interest rates. IceKredit’s clients include many regional banks, community banks and credit unions. In recent year, IceKredit also entered Southeast Asia market. After the successful corporation with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation in Singapore, IceKredit gradually expanded its reach to market of Indonesia and Thailand. IceKredit has worked instantly with banks in Southeast Asia such as United Overseas Bank and Siam Commercial Bank. In China, IceKredit’s clients include Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of Communications and other large financial institutions.
Supported by state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology, IceKredit provides universal risk-management systems for banks and other financial institutions that counteract fraud, admit trustworthy customers, compute and approve financial transactions, enforce security through real-time monitoring and functional alerts, and much more, to accelerate and augment various contemporary business infrastructures and services. Outstanding products such as the IceKredit credit score, integrated enterprise risk control service, intelligent risk decision engine, and knowledge graph computing platform are crucial platforms necessary for any financially-resilient enterprise. IceKredit is in the process of applying artificial intelligence to expedite the development of Inclusive Finance that works for everyone.
In the future, IceKredit will continue to strengthen its technical advantages, optimize its business models, and broaden its overseas market. With the mission of Inclusive Finance, IceKredit will always provide efficient and convenient services for its worldwide partners using advanced artificial intelligence technologies.
Wirex Launches Enhanced Cryptoback™
Today, payments platform Wirex launched a supercharged update of their revolutionary Cryptoback rewards programme. Customers can now earn up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin on Wirex Visa card purchases.
Released in 2018, Cryptoback was the world’s first rewards programme that paid out 0.5% in cryptocurrency for all in-store spending with the Wirex Visa card. Thanks to the recent launch of the Wirex Token (WXT), customers can now triple the amount of BTC they earn – making investing in cryptocurrency easier than ever before.
Depending on the amount of WXT held, in-store Wirex card purchases now generate up to 1.5% in Bitcoin. There are three levels of crypto rewards available:
- 500,000 WXT = 1.5% Cryptoback
- 100,000 WXT = 1.0% Cryptoback
- 50,000 WXT = 0.75% Cryptoback
Wirex have calculated that the average UK consumer stands to earn more than £300 in Cryptoback every year, just by using their Wirex Visa card for day-to-day spending. Unlike many other cashback programmes, Wirex doesn’t impose restrictions on what customers can do with their rewards. Cryptoback can be redeemed instantly into their Bitcoin accounts, or quickly and easily exchanged into fiat for spending.
Enhanced Cryptoback is just one of the ways that holding Wirex Tokens allows customers to get even more out of their account. They can also enjoy heavily discounted fees based on the same structure, with access to premium products, merchant offers and airport lounges coming soon. As Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev explains:
“We created the Wirex Token to be something that provides tangible value and benefits for holders beyond its market trajectory. Enhanced Cryptoback is the perfect example of this, as it allows customers to earn and invest in digital currency with a minimum of fuss. We’re looking forward to introducing even more benefits for WXT holders soon.”
Aegis Capital Corp. is pleased to announce its commitment to Equity Research
Aegis Capital Corp. continues to expand its equity research platform with the addition of Benjamin Zucker and James Jang. Benjamin joined in May 2019 as Head of Specialty Finance and James joined in June 2019 to head up the Maritime & Special Situations. These new coverage areas will bolster Aegis’ existing research footprint in the Internet/TMT and Healthcare sectors.
Mr. Zucker joined Aegis from BTIG LLC, where he was a Director and lead analyst covering Mortgage REITs and real estate finance companies. Prior to BTIG, Mr. Zucker was a Vice President at JMP Securities LLC where he covered similar sectors. Benjamin began his career in equity research at Pritchard Capital Partners. At Aegis, Mr. Zucker’s coverage will span across several Specialty Finance sub-sectors including Mortgage REITs, Equity REITs, Business Development Companies (BDCs) and Financial Technology firms (FinTech). Benjamin’s current coverage list includes: Medalist Diversified REIT (MDRR), Sachem Capital Corp. (SACH), and Saratoga Investment Corp. (SAR).
Mr. Jang joined Aegis from Maxim Group LLC, where he was a Senior Vice President and lead analyst covering the Industrials, Infrastructure and Clean-Technology sectors. Previously, Mr. Jang was a senior analyst at Sidoti & Co. covering furniture and textiles and was an equity research associate at Canaccord Genuity covering Maritime and Upstream E&P companies. Since joining, Mr. Jang has expanded Aegis’ research platform into the Agriculture, Oilfield Services, and Industrial Technology sectors with coverage of Profire Energy (PFIE), Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII), Yield10 Bioscience (YTEN) and Sigma Labs (SGLB).
Michael Pata Aegis’ Head of Business Development commented: “Hiring Benjamin and James continues to show Aegis’ commitment to equity research, which brings institutional quality analysis to the small and mid-cap universe.”
SOURCE Aegis Capital
LexinFintech Announces US$300 Million Private Placement of Convertible Notes with PAG
LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: LX) (“Lexin” or the “Company”), a leading fintech platform for educated young adults in China, today announced that it has entered into a convertible note purchase agreement with PAG, a leading Asia-focused private equity firm with over US$30 billion in capital under management, pursuant to which the Company will issue and sell convertible notes in an aggregate principal amount of US$300 million to PAG through a private placement. The private placement is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close on or around September 16, 2019. The gross proceeds raised from this placement will be approximately US$296.4 million.
The convertible notes will mature in seven years, bearing interest at a rate of 2.0% per annum. The notes will be convertible into fully paid Class A ordinary shares of the Company or ADSs at a conversion price of US$14 per ADS at the holder’s option from the date that is six months after the issuance date. The holder of the notes will have the right to require the Company to repurchase for cash all or any portion of the notes on the fourth anniversary of the issuance date.
At closing, the Company will appoint to its Board of Directors one person designated by PAG.
Mr. Jay Wenjie Xiao, Founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Company, said, “We are excited to have PAG as our new investor. This investment will enable Lexin to further develop and enhance our consumption-based ecosystem, improve product offerings to our educated adult customers, continue to invest in technology, build up additional consumption scenarios, and provide more consumer benefits to our customers.”
“PAG has a strong commitment to and deep understanding of China’s financial services industry, and we have a demonstrated track record of seeking out and engaging with the industry’s leading companies,” said PAG Chairman & CEO Weijian Shan. “Lexin has an unparalleled platform for meeting young consumers’ credit needs while strictly controlling and minimizing credit risks, which makes it unique, and we are looking forward to supporting the company as it embarks on its next stage of growth.”
Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., BofA Merrill Lynch and China Renaissance acted as the private placement agents to Lexin on the transaction.
SOURCE LexinFintech Holdings Ltd.
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