Korea based life insurance company Hanwha Life Insurance has purchased a 4.1% equity stake in San Francisco peer-to-peer lending group Lending Club. The stake cost Hanwha Life Insurance $66.25m and comes after Kim Dong-won's appointment to lead the company's FinTech initiative.
Hanwha has opened Dreamplus 63, a Fintech incubator in Seoul. The decision to open the Hanwha Life FinTech Center is part of the company’s efforts to nurture the “Creative Economy” and to help alleviate persistent unemployment among youth while creating a robust Fintech ecosystem in Korea. Lending Club shares have been bouncing around the 52 week low ever since its founding CEO departed the marketplace lender under a cloud of questions. After a spectacular IPO at the end of 2014, Lending Club shares have dropped dramatically. The entire online lending industry has been going through a period of challenges and introspection as easy funding channels dried up forcing management to scramble for alternatives. Lending Club is expected to announce Q3 earnings results later this month alongside an update on expectations for 2017.