Posted on Monday, Dec 4th 2017
In the second half of the year, there has been a flurry of Chinese FinTech companies going public in the US. Jianpu Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Billion Dollar Unicorn Rong360 is the latest to list on the NYSE under the ticker JT.
Beijing-based Jianpu Technology Inc. offers an independent, open, 360-degree platform for discovery and recommendation of financial products in China. It was founded in 2011 as Beijing Rongshiji Information Technology Co., Ltd. by CEO Daqing (David) Ye, COO Jiayan Lu, and CTO Caofeng Liu. RONG360 Inc. was established in 2012 as the offshore holding company for this business.
Jianpu uses its proprietary technology and data insights to provide users with recommendations tailored to each user’s financial needs and credit profile. It also offers access to a wide range of information and content on its platform in the form of short videos, audio, online articles, and offline booklets. Its Big Data risk management solutions to financial service providers help them improve their customer acquisition, application approval, fraud detection and prevention, and other credit underwriting processes.
Jianpu has over 56 million registered users. In the first half of 2017, over 2,000 financial service providers offered over 100,000 financial products on its platform, including consumer and other loans, credit cards and wealth management products.
Jianpu generates its revenue mainly from fees for its recommendation services on a cost per action or success basis. For loan products, it charges fees on the completion of a loan application, and for credit card products, it charges fees on the issuance of a credit card.
It introduced loan recommendation services in Q1 2012, credit card recommendation services in Q3 2013, wealth management information services in Q2 2014, and Big Data risk management solutions in Q2 2015.
Its revenues increased 112% in 2015 to RMB 356.4 million (US$52.6 million) in 2016, while net loss narrowed 7.2% to RMB 182.1 million (US$26.9 million). Revenues increased 170% to RMB 393.4 million (US$58.0 million) in the first half of 2017 over first half of 2016, while net loss narrowed 53.2% to RMB 49.0 million (US$7.2 million). Its average MAU increased substantially from 34.8 million in 2016 to 63.6 million in the first half of 2017. Its sales and marketing expenses accounted for 156%, 107%, and 86% of our total revenues in 2015, 2016, and the first half of 2017, respectively.
Jianpu Technology Inc went public on 16 November and raised $180 million. Jianpu’s IPO of 22.5 million American Depository Shares (ADS) was priced at $8 per ADS, below its proposed range of $8.50 to $10.50. Its stock is currently trading at $5 with a market cap of $824.6 million.
Prior to listing, it had raised $258 million from investors including Chenchao Zhuang, Pavillion Capital, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sailing Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Qunar.com, StarVC, YF Capital, and Zero2IPO Ventures. It raised $158 million in October 2015 in a Series D round that valued them at $1 billion.
Peer-to-peer online lending platforms in China have grown rapidly from fewer than 10 to over 2,000 in just over seven years. Last week, China’s financial regulators introduced new measures to restrict the industry and regulate online lending practices.
The viability of the peer-to-peer lending industry faces serious challenges and doubts both inside and outside of China. Stocks of US P2P companies On Deck Capital and Lending Club are trading at $5 with a market cap of $368.9 million and $4.3 with a market cap of $1.8 billion, down from a market cap of $7.4 billion in 2015.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
Photo Credit: bfishadow/Flickr.com
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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