Legend Holdings Corporation, the parent company of PC and smartphone maker Lenovo Group (HK.0992), has invested an undisclosed amount of financing in P2P lending site eLoancn. Some local media has reported that the investment is around RMB900 million (US$147 million).
Founded in 2007 as one of the earliest P2P platforms in China, eLoancn is a Wenzhou-based online lending platform where members can borrow and lend money among themselves at better interest rates than a bank typically offers. eLoancn differentiates itself from peers with a special focus on agriculture, farming and rural areas. Its main business comes from farmers’ personal loans, which are mainly used for agricultural reproduction and breeding.
The company claimed to have set up more than 1,000 operation centers across over 100 cities in China. According to the site, it recorded a turnover of RMB300 million in 2013 and RMB1.72 billion this year as of October.
Although the founding team will lose controlling stakes in the company after the capital injection, Wang Sicong, eLoancn founder and CEO, disclosed that the new controlling shareholder has granted them the right to maintain operations.
Wang added that the funding will be used for market expansion, acquisition and IT system upgrading.
Legend Holdings has initiated a series of measures to explore internet-related business. Lenovo has launched a project for smart hardware, named New Business Development (NewBD, or NBD), and is planning to establish an internet-focused smart device company next year to tap the fast-growing consumer mobile device market in China.
Online finance is also an important part of the company’s long-term development program. Legend Holdings’s current financial units include offline payment company Lakala, Zhengqi Financial, a financial company targeting SMEs, commercial bank Hankou Bank, and insurance company UIB.