SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A consortium partly led by the private equity arm of Standard Chartered PLC has invested $207 million in China's Dianrong.com, the peer-to-peer online lender said on Thursday, the latest international investor to take a fancy to the firm.
P2P companies and other alternative lenders are growing by servicing small- and medium-sized firms, which are having increasing difficulty raising funds as China's commercial banks veer away from this riskier sector.
The C-round financing for Dianrong was co-led by Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and China Fintech Fund and followed by Bohai Leasing, the firm said in a news release on Thursday.
A spokeswoman from SCPE confirmed the investment, but neither it, nor Dianrong disclosed how much each firm invested.
China Fintech Fund and Bohai Leasing could not immediately be reached for comment.
U.S. investment firm Tiger Global bought into Dianrong.com in January, but did not disclose the size of its investment.
While P2P firms may provide a welcome boost for SMEs, alternative lenders have come under attack as being poorly regulated and engaging in fraudulent behavior.
(Reporting by David Lin and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Additional reporting by Lawrence White in Hong Kong; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)