Chinese fintech company 9F Group has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The company is aiming to raise $150 million from the IPO.
Why it matters: After a series of regulatory shocks that started in 2017, fintech is one of the main industries from which US-listed Chinese companies hail. Known as Jiufu, 9F Group is one of several Chinese companies that are seeking to raise capital from a US IPO this year.
Details: The company said the proceeds from the IPO will be put toward broadening its product offerings, including consumption loans and online wealth management, as well as international expansion efforts in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
- Credit Suisse, Haitong International, and 9F Primasia Securities are joint bookrunners on the deal.
- The company plans to list under the symbol “JFG” on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, according to its latest prospectus. The company did not disclose pricing terms.
Context: Fintech regulators have been cracking down on fraudulent activities and risky financial practices especially in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector, leading to the collapse of many smaller platforms. Survivors, like 9F Group, are under increasingly tight oversight.
- The company has been pivoting away from P2P lending and expanding into other consumer financial services, a common move among online lenders in China as regulation tightens.
- Founded in 2006 in Beijing, 9F Group has become one of the major online consumer lending service providers in China and now says that it has more than 76.7 million registered users on its platform. It owns several fintech brands including 9F Puhui, 9F One Card, and Wukonglicai.
- At the end of last year, the company was seeking a license to operate virtual banking service in Hong Kong.
- Chinese fintech companies including online lending marketplace Jiayin Group and Xiaomi-backed online brokerage Tiger Brokers both debuted on US stock exchanges earlier this year. IPO rumors have been swirling about Ping An-backed Lufax, Ping An’s fintech arm OneConnect, and Alibaba’s Ant Financial.
- Online lender Lufax, which was valued at $38 billion after its latest funding round, reportedly shuttered its P2P lending service earlier this week, which may help facilitate its US listing, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources.