Dutch lender ING has taken a stake in a Hong Kong-based fintech startup WeLab that offers consumer loans in China and Hong Kong.
The bank participated in a Series B $160m fundraising, along with Chinese state-owned fund Guangdong Technology Financial Group and Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
The new fundraising follows a $20m Series A round, which was completed in January 2015 and saw participation of various strategic and financial investors such as CK Hutchison’s TOM Group and Sequoia Capital.
ING said that the investment in WeLab is in tune with its strategy to boost innovation by collaborating with internal teams, external partners and startups.
The bank had previously acquired an equity stake in Kabbage, a US-based fintech firm offering automated lending to small and medium enterprises. In September 2015, the banking group had also acquired a Belgian digital loyalty platform known as Qustomer.
Commenting on the latest investment, ING CEO Ralph Hamers said: "The stake we have taken in WeLab and the other investments prove that we are determined to transform banking to further improve the customer experience. We will look at the possibilities of starting a partnership with WeLab in ING markets."