SmartFinance could be soon following in China Rapid Finance's path and is consulting investment banks about a potential US listing this year. The rapidly expanding company, which anticipates it will reach a $1 billion valuation by the end of 2017.
“Only 200 million people here have credit cards,” Morningside Venture Capital partner Yu Cheng said, adding that WeChat Wallet and Alipay users were often included in that figure. “So the market potential is huge.” IDC China research director Kitty Fok said the future of the industry remained unclear with looming government regulations that could potentially clamp down on lenders and a wave of similar startups claiming to use AI the same way. Giants like Baidu Inc. and Alibaba-linked Ant Financial are also using AI to assign credit scores.