I first became aware of CreditEase back in June 2013 at the inaugural LendIt conference in New York. We met with some of their management team back then and when they told me their loan origination volume I couldn’t believe it. I really thought they must have got something wrong in the currency conversion. Even back then they were much larger than Lending Club or any other platform I knew.
Today, they are one of the leading lending platforms in China having issued over US$15 billion in loans last year. But they are far more than a lending platform. Wealth management is now a major focus as their clients have sought out their expertise in making investments beyond their P2P lending platform in China – in 2015, approximately 50% of all CreditEase revenue came from non-P2P products.
Which brings us to the focus of today’s article. CreditEase has raised $80 million from their wealth management clients to invest on international marketplace lending platforms. Over the last several months they have conducted a thorough due diligence process where they looked at around 60 different lending platforms from all over the world.
I chatted with Richard Williamson, an Australian who is running corporate strategy for CreditEase, and has been leading this effort. Given the background of their investors in P2P lending the goal was to deploy this capital on similar consumer or small business lending platforms.