South Korean online lending platform PeopleFund announced Monday the successful completion of a KRW75.9 billion ($64 million) Series C round of funding raising from global financial institutions, including Bain Capital, Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Fund, and 500 Global.

Including the Series C financing, the company has raised a total KRW100 billion ($85 million), the largest amount of funding among all lending platforms in Korea, PeopleFund said in a statement.

According to the statement, KakaoPay is also a backer for the company. Goldman Sachs and Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Fund will also lead financing for a debt warehousing facility for the platform.

PeopleFund said it will spend the raised fund hiring artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and acquiring alternative data to further upgrade its credit-scoring algorithm while focusing on credit scoring technology with the acquisition of MyData license set for late this year.

“While leading online lenders in the U.S. have grown to worth billions out of lending platforms such as Upstart and SoFi, Korea’s online lending is only just beginning. We strongly believe that PeopleFund will grow to become a clear winner with its proven track record, accelerating tech-driven innovations in the non-bank lending sector in Korea,” said Tim Chae, Managing Partner of 500 Global that participated in all fundraising rounds since the seed round.

Meanwhile, PeopleFund Founder and Chief Exeuctive officer Joey Kim said today’s milestone reflects that the world’s top financial institutions see opportunities in the Korean lending market as well as the growth potential of PeopleFund.

“For the past 6 years, we have been focusing on proving the performance of our data-driven risk management technology, which is the essence of consumer lending. Our ambition is to grow into the number one player in the Korean non-bank lending market to provide better loan options for average Koreans that are underserved by the banks,” he said.

Established in 2015 to address the structural problem involving the risk of high interest-rate loans in the near-prime loan sector with its technology and data-driven financial services, PeopleFund has been one of the first online lenders in Korea and was granted a marketplace lending license by Korea’s financial regulators on June 10, 2021.

As of the end of October 2021, the company’s loan originations were KRW1.1666 trillion ($986 million), with a delinquency rate of only 2.06 percent. The company accounts for 57 percent of the personal loan in the marketplace lending market based on loan balance. With its proprietary alternative credit-scoring system and risk management, it has maintained the industry’s lowest level of delinquency rates.

As a platform financing player that connects borrowers and investors, PeopleFund generates revenues from charges it receives from both sides, and it expects to turn a profit in 2022.

PeopleFund said it hopes that financial innovation backed by advanced technology will bring about innovation in essential values in the financial sector beyond mere convenience of use.

It said its ultimate goal is to provide more reasonable, personalized financial products to sub-prime to near-prime borrowers, based on targeted alternative data and technology and it is believed that PeopleFund will grow to be the top non-bank financial company in Korea through its innovation in the traditional tier 2 non-bank market.

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