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Chinese Personal Loan Startup Yongqianbao Raises $67 Million, Declares War on Human Loan Officers

The Beijing-based personal loan platform, whose name means “needing money, pal?” apparently had a really interesting week. Here’s China Money Network:

Beijing- and Hong Kong-based private equity firm Golden Brick Capital Management Ltd. and CICC Alpha, an investment arm of the China International Capital Corporation Ltd (CICC), have led a RMB466 million (US$67 million) round in Yongqianbao, a Beijing-based personal loan mobile app operator.

A number of investors including Source Code Capital, Sinovation Ventures, and GX Capital also participated in the round, according to a company announcement.

Aside from scoring another excellent funding round, Yongqianbao also announced that it would be providing additional services in the future. Besides the company’s app, it will soon provide a risk control system and a credit management platform – both of which will be driven not by pesky, fallible humans, but by the firm’s big data and artificial intelligence programs.

Crowdfund Insider reports that Yongqianbao’s AI “evaluates over 1,000 different elements, including how often the applicant charges their phone or whether or not their contacts return their phone calls,” which in turn helps the company figure out a client’s “willingness and capability to repay debts.” This, purportedly, “will render loan officers obsolete.”

I don’t know about that but anyway, here’s what one of its investors had to say:

“This is a golden age of artificial intelligence, and I hope our investment in artificial intelligence will account for half of our total investment,” said Kai-Fu Lee, founder at Sinovation. “Artificial intelligence will be first applied in the field which requires big data and can generate high value, and I think financial technology will be one of the best industries of artificial intelligence application.”

Yongqianbao was launched in 2013 to provide small loans to lenders for up to 30 days at a time. It allows users to complete all forms online and thus, receive the money within half an hour. It currently boasts thousands of registered users.

Photo: chupacabra runner

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