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Asia venture capital deal volume shows strong uptick in Q3 2019 but total investment declines, according to KPMG analysis

Photo source: scitecheuropa.eu

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The number of venture capital (VC) deals in Asia saw a sharp increase in the third quarter of 2019 to 922 deals, up from 839 in the second quarter, while global VC deal volume dipped from 5,138 deals in the second quarter to 4,154, according to KPMG report, Venture Pulse Q3’2019. VC investment in Asia remained subdued, falling from USD 18.61 billion in the second quarter of 2019 to USD 14.92 billion in the third quarter, which was consistent with the fall in VC investment globally from USD 64.96 billion to USD 55.71 billion in the same period.

Egidio Zarrella, Partner and Head of Clients and Innovation, KPMG China, said, “There is a lot of interest in the Asian market, but investors have really slowed down their activity. They are being conservative, waiting to see where things go from an economic and geopolitical perspective. This does not mean activity is not happening at all.”

Chinese companies accounted for seven of the top 10 VC deals in Asia Pacific, taking the top four spots in the ranking. These comprise entertainment software company NetEase Cloud Music, which raised USD 700 million, as well as automotive companies Didi Chuxing (USD 600 million), CHJ Automotive (USD 530 million) and Byton (USD 500 million). Information services company Zhihu (USD 434 million), transportation firm Hellobike (USD 400 million) and office services provider D&J China (USD 300 million) ranked sixth, seventh and tenth respectively.

Investors to focus on strong business models and profitability in mainland China

With transportation and mobility sectors in mainland China accounting for five of the top 10 deals in Asia Pacific, it is clear that they have become the hottest sectors for VC investment in mainland China. AI and healthcare are also continuing to attract investment as both sectors start to see some consolidation. Health and biotech companies focusing on R&D in innovative drugs continue to benefit from regulatory reforms in mainland China, while the long-term prospects for companies developing drugs with differentiated profiles and meaningful supportive clinical data remain strong.

Philip Ng, Partner and Head of Technology, KPMG China, said, “Despite the challenges in the market, a number of sectors continued to attract investment, including fintech, autotech and biotech. Start-ups also need to focus on profitability and cashflow planning to build a sustainable business.”

Looking ahead, the VC market in mainland China is likely to feel the positive effects of the central government’s plans to forge ahead with policy reforms aimed at improving and modernising regulations across a wide range of industries, including insurance, finance, capital markets and healthcare.

Hong Kong capital market steady with IPO pipeline looking strong

Despite the short-term slowdown in IPO activity, the pipeline of companies applying for IPOs in Hong Kong has remained strong. The city saw Anheuser-Bush’s InBev Asia Pacific unit launch its IPO locally in the third quarter of 2019, the second largest globally behind Uber this year.

Irene Chu, Partner and Head of New Economy & Life Sciences, Hong Kong, KPMG China, said, “We continue to see economic volatility in Hong Kong this quarter which has affected a number of industries and investor sentiment. While the amount of funds raised for IPOs have dipped, the number of Main Board deals in the first three quarters is similar to that of last year and Hong Kong remains a top destination for IPOs. The pipeline of companies applying for IPO in Hong Kong is still very strong – but whether they will go out before the end of the year will depend on changing market conditions. InBev’s successful IPO could help spur activity.”

 

SOURCE KPMG China

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Harmonate Launches Next Generation Data Operations for Funds

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Harmonate announced today the launch of its data operations platform for funds, having demonstrated at full scale deployment the capacity to provide 20 percent cost savings in year one of implementation, and 80 percent savings in ensuing years. Harmonate has also demonstrated a capability to reduce reporting delivery timelines by more than 80 percent.

“Harmonate now provides funds with agile yet exceptionally strong software architecture and services for data operations,” said Kevin Walkup, President and COO of Harmonate. “Our systems, and the combination of both the soft and technical skills needed to migrate organizations to data driven operations, allows the domain expertise and ideas of our clients to shine through. As data fluent investors press for more transparency, Harmonate allows the middle office to break through the limits of complex pre-digital approaches. Brilliant ideas shouldn’t go wanting for funding because investors’ demands for transparency can’t be met.”

“Nearly 70 percent of enterprise information technology implementations fail according to research on digital transformation,” said Michael Halloran, CEO of Harmonate. “We have focused on this performance gap. Harmonate is addressing the frustration fund leaders experience knowing where they want to get, but becoming overwhelmed with the process of decoupling from legacy systems that are holding them back. Our process and technology has shown funds don’t have to be held back.”

Until this launch, Harmonate’s services were only available exclusively through a single fund administrator. Harmonate now provides a standalone service available to all funds, fund administrators, systems integrators and funds of funds including those it already serves through its pre-launch engagements.

While legacy fund administrators are experiencing increasing pricing pressure, and are being challenged to provide value-add services that represent new sources of revenue, Harmonate is supporting the rise of new advanced fund administrators. These advanced fund administrators have developed a reputation for focusing on process efficiencies and margin enhancement, including data operations to drive business improvement. They are less likely to off-shore personnel as an alternative to efficiency gains and they enhance margins on high volume data-related activities while improving delivery timelines and accuracy.

Harmonate does this through proven automated data extraction from general ledger systems, statements and balances, providing data normalization, creating specialized data warehouses, and intelligently feeding client dashboards, reports and service level agreements. Outputs are also configured for internal general ledger administration, enterprise resource planning and reporting. Harmonate’s data aggregation process encompasses configuration of schedules, data sources, reference data and master data. This provides reporting on expected and actual results to support management through straightforward dashboards.

“Harmonate was developed in response to transactions that can be abnormally high velocity, complex, involve thousands of limited partners or all of the above within the EB-5 fund and Opportunity Zones fund space,” said NES Financial Executive Vice President and General Manager of Specialty Financial Administration, Reid Thomas. “Their track record of transforming traditional fund administration and fund of funds environments has driven demand for their services and we welcome the opening of their platform to a larger community.”

 

SOURCE Harmonate

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Harmonate Launches Next Generation Data Operations for Funds

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Photo source: nextgenerationdata.co.uk

 

Harmonate announced today the launch of its data operations platform for funds, having demonstrated at full scale deployment the capacity to provide 20 percent cost savings in year one of implementation, and 80 percent savings in ensuing years. Harmonate has also demonstrated a capability to reduce reporting delivery timelines by more than 80 percent.

“Harmonate now provides funds with agile yet exceptionally strong software architecture and services for data operations,” said Kevin Walkup, President and COO of Harmonate. “Our systems, and the combination of both the soft and technical skills needed to migrate organizations to data driven operations, allows the domain expertise and ideas of our clients to shine through. As data fluent investors press for more transparency, Harmonate allows the middle office to break through the limits of complex pre-digital approaches. Brilliant ideas shouldn’t go wanting for funding because investors’ demands for transparency can’t be met.”

“Nearly 70 percent of enterprise information technology implementations fail according to research on digital transformation,” said Michael Halloran, CEO of Harmonate. “We have focused on this performance gap. Harmonate is addressing the frustration fund leaders experience knowing where they want to get, but becoming overwhelmed with the process of decoupling from legacy systems that are holding them back. Our process and technology has shown funds don’t have to be held back.”

Until this launch, Harmonate’s services were only available exclusively through a single fund administrator. Harmonate now provides a standalone service available to all funds, fund administrators, systems integrators and funds of funds including those it already serves through its pre-launch engagements.

While legacy fund administrators are experiencing increasing pricing pressure, and are being challenged to provide value-add services that represent new sources of revenue, Harmonate is supporting the rise of new advanced fund administrators. These advanced fund administrators have developed a reputation for focusing on process efficiencies and margin enhancement, including data operations to drive business improvement. They are less likely to off-shore personnel as an alternative to efficiency gains and they enhance margins on high volume data-related activities while improving delivery timelines and accuracy.

Harmonate does this through proven automated data extraction from general ledger systems, statements and balances, providing data normalization, creating specialized data warehouses, and intelligently feeding client dashboards, reports and service level agreements. Outputs are also configured for internal general ledger administration, enterprise resource planning and reporting. Harmonate’s data aggregation process encompasses configuration of schedules, data sources, reference data and master data. This provides reporting on expected and actual results to support management through straightforward dashboards.

“Harmonate was developed in response to transactions that can be abnormally high velocity, complex, involve thousands of limited partners or all of the above within the EB-5 fund and Opportunity Zones fund space,” said NES Financial Executive Vice President and General Manager of Specialty Financial Administration, Reid Thomas. “Their track record of transforming traditional fund administration and fund of funds environments has driven demand for their services and we welcome the opening of their platform to a larger community.”

 

SOURCE Harmonate

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Qudian Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2019 Unaudited Financial Results

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Qudian Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2019 Unaudited Financial Results

Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE: QD), a leading technology platform empowering the enhancement of online consumer finance experience in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended Sep 30, 2019.

Third Quarter 2019 Operational Highlights:

  • Total number of registered users as of Sep 30, 2019 reached 78.3 million, representing an increase of 11.8% from Sep 30, 2018
  • Number of outstanding borrowers[1] from loan book business and transaction services business as of Sep 30, 2019 increased by 3.4% to 6.3 million from 6.1 million as of June 30, 2019
  • Cumulative number of borrowers[2] from loan book business and transaction services business as of Sep 30, 2019 increased by 3.6% to 19.0 million from June 30, 2019
  • New active borrowers[3] from loan book business and transaction services business for this quarter increased by 15.2% to 669,111 from 580,727 for the third quarter of 2018 as a result of incremental user growth driven by transaction services business
  • Total outstanding loan balance including transaction services business[4]as of Sep 30, 2019 increased by 151.2% to RMB38.4 billion from Sep 30, 2018
  • Weighted average loan tenure for our loan book business was 10.4 months for this quarter, compared with 8.4 months for the second quarter of 2019; Weighted average loan tenure for transactions serviced on open-platform was 13.0 months for this quarter, compared with 14.1 months for the second quarter of 2019
  • Cumulative number of users for transactions serviced on open-platform as of Sep 30, 2019 increased by 153.3% to 1,057,497 from June 30, 2019 Cumulative amount of transactions serviced on open-platform in 2019 was RMB15.7 billion as of Sep 30, 2019

[1] Outstanding borrowers are borrowers who have outstanding loans as of a particular date, including outstanding borrowers from both loan book business and transaction services business. Transaction services business, relates to various services, including credit assessment, referral and post-origination services, provided through our open-platform, which was launched in the second half of 2018.

[2] Cumulative number of borrowers are borrowers who have drawn down credit on or prior to a particular date, on a cumulative basis, including outstanding borrowers from both loan book business and transaction services business.

[3] Active borrowers are borrowers who have drawn down credit in the specified period from both loan book business and transaction services business. New active borrowers are active borrowers who had never drawn down credit on our platform prior to the specified period.

[4] Includes off and on balance sheet loans directly or indirectly funded by our institutional funding partners or our own capital, net of cumulative write-offs. Includes loan balance facilitated through our open platform to funding partners which Qudian does not undertake credit risks and does not include auto loans from Dabai Auto business.

Third Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights:

  • Total revenues were RMB2,590.9 million (US$362.5 million), increased by 34.3% from same period last year, primarily due to the ramp up of the open-platform initiative
    • Loan facilitation income and other related income increased by 72.6% year-on-year to RMB583.3 million (US$81.6 million) from RMB337.9 million for the same period last year
    • Transaction services fee and other related income which relate to transaction services and traffic referral services provided by our open-platform, substantially increased to RMB993.3 million (US$139.0 million) from nil for the same period last year
    • Financing income decreased by 16.9% to RMB797.9 million (US$111.6 million) from RMB960.2 million for the same period last year as a result of decrease in average on-balance sheet loan balance
  • Net income increased by 52.6% year-on-year to RMB1,043.4 million (US$146.0 million), or RMB3.29 (US$0.46) per diluted ADS
  • Non-GAAP net income[5] increased by 52.9% year-on-year to RMB1,061.8million (US$148.6 million), or RMB3.34 (US$0.47) per diluted ADS

 [5] For more information on this Non-GAAP financial measure, please see the table captioned “Unaudited Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results” set forth at the end of this press release.

“The third quarter marks our successful evolution to a balance sheet independent, technology services fee driven business. Our transaction services fee overtook as the largest in revenue scale and delivered staggering 150% growth from the previous quarter,” said Mr. Min Luo, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Qudian.

“In the face of a complex and evolving regulatory framework over the past several years we have proven our ability to lead and innovate, creating China’s leading regulatory compliant fintech company. Our past efforts in full compliance with Circular 141, restrained use of micro lending license, complete avoidance of P2P business model, 100% institutional funding base, disciplined approach to collection and respect of our customers’ data privacy have all cumulated to our open platform solution. Our open platform where the licensed and regulated financial institutions lend and assume borrowers risk while QD provides a full suite of transaction services using cutting edge technologies to enhance analytics, user experience, reduce customer acquisition and engagement cost, is likely to be the ultimate form of regulatory compliant fintech in China.”

“Our open platform technology enables high speed precision processing of micro loans while simultaneously syndicating each individual user to multiple lenders. This allows all our lender partners to lower risk while providing enhancement in credit size, allowing open platform to focus on the higher quality borrowers. As of the end of third quarter, our open-platform has bridged over 1,020,940 outstanding borrowers and 11 licensed and, regulated financial institutions, both more than doubling from last quarter. Notably, the repeat borrowing ratio was more than 70% for the quarter, demonstrating strong sustainability and user stickiness trends.”

“As a whole, our registered user base grew to 78.3 million and total outstanding borrowers reached 6.3 million, both the highest in our company’s history, illustrating the sustained demand for our services. With the right high-scale, risk-free and regulatory compliant approach to China’s exciting consumer credit opportunity, we believe Qudian remains best positioned to deliver exceptional financial results and returns to our shareholders for the long term.”

“We delivered another quarter of solid Non-GAAP net income of RMB1,061.8 million, a 52.9% year-over-year increase despite the overall industry credit deterioration driven by the macro economic environment and reduced liquidity as non-complaint player exit the credit market,” said Mr. Carl Yeung, Chief Financial Officer of Qudian. “Continuing last quarter’s momentum, our open-platform initiative has become the main growth and profit driver, generating RMB993.3 million revenue for the third quarter, which represents over 90% of our net profit, further boosting our bottom line, as it carries little marginal operational cost and zero credit risk.”

“Attracted by our affordable and seamless product offering, more than 669,000 new borrowers joined the platform with minimal acquisition costs. Our total loan balance including the risk-free open platform business has grown further to RMB38.4 billion, solidifying our strong execution capabilities to drive business development and focus on the higher quality borrowers. Building on the innovation in our open-platform, we will continue to pursue our tech-driven growth strategy to connect China’s over 300 million creditworthy but underserved consumers to more than 5,000 licensed domestic financial institutions.”

“In our risk undertaking business, we implemented a conservative strategy of reducing credit volumes and paused our credit trial program. Our proactive and prompt management of macro driven risk was effective in stabilizing the delinquency rates. To enhance comparability to peers and transparency in our disclosures, our M6+ vintage charge-off rates measured by current receivables at risk stayed below 1.6%. Although risk remains well managed, we believe the recent exit of many smaller players may create further credit liquidity pressure for the Chinese consumption credit sector. As such, we expect to continue a conservative approach on our risk-taking book into the final quarter of 2019 and thus revise our full year guidance accordingly.”

“Given a large disconnect between the strong momentum in our open-platform and  risk-free fee based business model and the market value of our company which is near net assets, we have announced another US$195 million of shares under our forward stock repurchase program, bringing our total buyback amount to US$572 million since we became a public company. This reflects our confidence in Qudian’s growth prospects and upholds our commitment to creating shareholder value.”

Third Quarter Financial Results

Total revenues were RMB2,590.9 million (US$362.5 million), increased by 34.3% from RMB1,928.9 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Financing income totaled RMB797.9 million (US$111.6 million), a decrease of 16.9% from RMB960.2 million for the third quarter of 2018, as a result of decrease in average on-balance sheet loan balance.

Loan facilitation income and other related income increased by 72.6% to RMB583.3 million (US$81.6 million) from RMB337.9 million for the third quarter of 2018, as a result of an increase in the amount of off-balance sheet transactions.

Transaction services fee and other related income substantially increased to RMB993.3 million (US$139.0 million) from nil in the third quarter of 2018, as a result of the ramp-up of the open-platform initiative.

Sales income substantially decreased to RMB135.5 million (US$19.0 million) from RMB586.1 million for the third quarter of 2018, due to the scaling down of the Dabai Auto business.

Sales commission fee increased by 96.0% to RMB69.9 million (US$9.8 million) from RMB35.7 million for the third quarter of 2018, due to an increase in the margins for merchandise credit products.

Total operating costs and expenses increased by 14.0% to RMB1,400.8 million (US$196.0 million) from RMB1,229.0 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Cost of revenues decreased by 70.5% to RMB206.3 million (US$28.9 million) from RMB698.5 million for the third quarter of 2018, primarily due to a decrease in costs incurred by the Dabai Auto business and a decrease in funding costs associated with the on-balance sheet portion of our loan book business.

Sales and marketing expenses decreased by 45.4% to RMB65.5 million (US$9.2 million) from RMB120.1 million for the third quarter of 2018. The decrease was primarily due to the scaling down of the Dabai Auto business.

General and administrative expenses increased by 34.9% to RMB65.1 million (US$9.1 million) from RMB48.2 million for the third quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in service fees.

Research and development expenses increased by 7.0% to RMB44.1 million (US$6.2 million) from RMB41.2 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Provision for receivables increased by 136.4% to RMB691.1 million (US$96.7 million) from RMB292.4 million for the third quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in past-due on-balance sheet outstanding principal receivables compared to the third quarter of 2018 and a write-down relating to the Dabai Auto business of RMB42.7 million (US$6.0 million).

As of Sep 30, 2019, the total balance of outstanding principal and financing service fee receivables for on-balance sheet transactions for which any installment payment was more than 30 calendar days past due was RMB970.6 million (US$135.8 million), and the balance of allowance for principal and financing service fee receivables at the end of the period was RMB1,184.5 million (US$165.7 million), indicating M1+ Delinquency Coverage Ratio of 1.2x.

The following charts display “vintage charge-off rate.” Total potential receivables at risk vintage charge-off rate refers to, with respect to on- and off-balance sheet transactions facilitated during a specified time period, the total potential outstanding principal balance of the transactions that are delinquent for more than 180 days during such period, divided by the total initial principal of the transactions facilitated in such vintage.

Current receivables at risk vintage charge-off rate refers to, with respect to on- and off-balance sheet transactions facilitated during a specified time period, actual outstanding principal balance of the transactions that are delinquent for more than 180 days during such period, divided by the total initial principal of the transactions facilitated in such vintage.

Total potential receivables at risk M1+ delinquency rate by vintage refers to, with respect to on- and off-balance sheet transactions facilitated during a specified time period, the total potential outstanding principal balance of the transactions that are delinquent for more than 30 days during such period, divided by the total initial principal of the transactions facilitated in such vintage.

Current receivables at risk M1+ delinquency rate by vintage refers to, with respect to on- and off-balance sheet transactions facilitated during a specified time period, the actual outstanding principal balance of the transactions that are delinquent for more than 30 days during such period, divided by the total initial principal of the transactions facilitated in such vintage.

Income from operations increased by 73.5% to RMB1,219.6 million (US$170.6 million) from RMB702.8 million for the third quarter of 2018.

Net income attributable to Qudian’s shareholders increased by 52.6% to RMB1,043.4 million (US$146.0 million), or RMB3.29 (US$0.46) per diluted ADS.

Non-GAAP net income attributable to Qudian’s shareholders increased by 52.9% to RMB1,061.8 million (US$148.6 million), or RMB3.34 (US$0.47) per diluted ADS.

Cash Flow

As of Sep 30, 2019, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of RMB2,656.1 million (US$371.6 million) and restricted cash of RMB981.6 million (US$137.3 million). Restricted cash mainly represents (i) cash held by the consolidated trusts through segregated bank accounts; (ii) time deposits that are pledged for short-term bank loans; and (iii) security deposits held in designated bank accounts for guarantee of off-balance sheet transactions. Such restricted cash is not available to fund the general liquidity needs of the Company.

For the quarter ended Sep 30, 2019net cash provided by operating activities was RMB1,670.9 million (US$233.8 million), mainly attributable to net income of RMB1,043.4 million (US$146.0 million), adjustment of provision for receivables of RMB691.1 million (US$96.7 million). Net cash provided by investing activities was RMB438.6 million (US$61.4 million), mainly due to proceeds from collection of loan principal of RMB5,779.4 million (US$808.6 million), partially offset by payments to originate loan principal of RMB5,279.4 million (US$738.6 million). Net cash used in financing activities was RMB1,919.4 million (US$268.5 million), mainly due to repayments of borrowings of RMB2,752.5 million (US$385.1 million) and prepayment of forward purchases of RMB1,383.1 million (US$193.5 million), partially offset by net proceeds from convertible senior notes of RMB2,389.0 million (US$334.2 million).

Board Member Changes

We also announced today the replacement of Mr. Lianzhu Lv from Qudian’s Board of Directors by Mr. Long Xu, Qudian’s Senior Vice President.

With extensive experience managing startups, Mr. Xu joined Qudian, Inc. in 2016 and has focused on key operations including products, human resources and customer engagement. Mr. Lv will remain as key management of the company focusing on administration.

Outlook

Due to recent strategy for the company to reduce risk-taking loan balance and focus on higher quality borrowers via open-platform, the Company has adjusted its expected total Non-GAAP net income for the full year of 2019 to RMB4.0 billion, which will represent an approximately 57% increase from RMB2.55 billion for 2018.

The above outlook is based on current market conditions and reflects the Company’s preliminary expectations as to market conditions, its regulatory and operating environment, as well as customer demand, all of which are subject to change.

Qudian to Hold Annual General Meeting on December 30, 2019

Qudian announced that it will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders (the “AGM”) at Level 39, Tower A, AVIC Zijin Plaza, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China, on December 30, 2019 at 11:00AM (Beijing / Hong Kong Time). No proposal will be submitted to shareholders for approval at the AGM. Instead, the AGM will serve as an open forum for shareholders and holders of the Company’s ADSs to discuss the Company’s affairs with management. The chairman of the AGM will conduct and lead the AGM and may accept questions from shareholders at his sole and absolute discretion.

The board of directors of the Company has fixed the close of business on December 6, 2019 (Eastern Standard Time) as the record date (the “Record Date”) for determining the shareholders entitled to receive notice of and attend the AGM or any adjournment or postponement thereof.

Holders of record of the ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share, of the Company (the “Ordinary Shares”), at the close of business on the Record Date are entitled to attend the AGM and any adjournment or postponement thereof in person.

The notice of the annual general meeting is available on the Company’s website at http://ir.qudian.com. The Company filed its annual report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on April 15, 2019. Holders of the Ordinary Shares and the Company’s American depositary shares may obtain a copy of the Company’s annual report on Form 20-F, free of charge, from the Company’s website at http://ir.qudian.com, or from the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov, or by contacting Qudian at Level 39, Tower A, AVIC Zijin Plaza, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China, attention: Mr. Ben Zhao, email: ir@qudian.com.

 

SOURCE Qudian Inc.

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