Korean fintech startup HonestFund raises $12 million Series B funding to expand its market share in the lending industry and accelerate its AI capabilities
HonestFund, one of the largest marketplace lending players in South Korea that operates an alternative investing platform for individuals and institutional investors, raised $12 million Series B financing to expand its market share in the lending industry and revamp its alternative investment platform, while recruiting top talents and developing core technologies based in AI. The investment round was led by Korea’s leading VCs and investment companies, such as Dunamu & Partners, MurexPartners, KB Investment, TL Asset Management, Bass Investment and HB Investment. This brings HonestFund’s total investment to $21 million, making it one of the most valuable Fintech companies in South Korea.
Founded in 2015 by, HonestFund provides individuals and institutional investors access to alternative investment opportunities across a wide range of asset classes, such as residential/commercial real estates, infrastructure financing and unsecured personal loans. Due to its unique capability of providing a fully transparent and frictionless process for both investors and private issuers, HonestFund raised funds from leading financial institutions, including Shinhan Bank, Hanwha Investment, KB Investment, Shinhan Capital and Daily Financial Group.
HonestFund is a marketplace lender that uses a proprietary credit assessment model based on big data to provide lower interest rates to individuals and corporates that have difficulties securing loans from traditional banks. HonestFund is one of the largest and fastest growing marketplace lending companies in Korea with more than $300 million cumulative loans. In Q3 2018, the company announced that its Q/Q growth rate surpassed 400% while the average quarterly growth rate exceeded 54%. HonestFund aims to build a health and sustainable lending ecosystem in Korea.
In 2016, Shinhan Bank, the largest commercial bank in Korea, invested equity in HonestFund, an unprecedented move for a conservative financial institution. In Series A, HonestFund attracted even more investments ($9 million) from the leading financial institutions, including KB Investment and Hanwha Investment, the investment arm of Korea’s leading bank and insurer, respectively.
With the newly attracted capital, HonestFund plans to aggressively expand its market share in the lending industry and revamp its alternative investment platform, while recruiting top talents and developing core technologies based in AI.
“I believe sharing our vision and finding collaborative opportunities with the top investment firms is extremely valuable,” said HonestFund’s CEO Sanghoon Seo. “HonestFund will continue to be a technology-based finance platform that innovates the financial industry by getting rid of high-interest loans for borrowers and offering attractive investment opportunities for investors. HonestFund will be at the forefront in brining disruptive innovation to the financial industry in the midst of the ongoing big data revolution.”
Director Ji-seong Oh of Murex Partners, a lead investor in this round, spoke on the company as well, saying “HonestFund is one of the best Fintech companies we can find in the market that is blurring the line between finance and technology. We made our investment decision based on the belief that HonestFund has possessed unrivaled capabilities and vision that will use technology to solve the biggest problems in both the distorted lending and unattractive investment market in Korea.