When services scale in China, they go big.
Beijing-based credit-scoring platform Wecash recently counted more than 35 million users. Not too shabby, and even better considering that little more than a year ago, it had just eight million. Its most recent boost came from the Hong Kong-based accelerator Supercharger. Wecash took part in its 12-week program and gained five million users — that’s almost 420,000 new users a week.
Wecash, not to be confused with the similarly named WeChat, was previously heard from in March 2015, when it raised a cool $20 million in a round led by SIG Ventures. Wecash was founded in April 2014, and received $6.6 million in July 2014 in a Series A raise led by IDG Capital.
Wecash is said to use “machine learning algorithms to provide credit assessments within 20 minutes for amount of less than CNY6000 (USD $977),” according to Pivotl.com. Larger amounts are also determined quickly– in less than two hours.
SuperCharger and founding sponsor Standard Chartered Bank held a demo day of the accelerator, which featured eight startups, on April 7.
Credit scoring is a major issue in China, where a fast-rising middle class often lacks a credit history. For that matter, increasing loans to thin-file customers is a problem everywhere. Wecash’s story also shows the value of the accelerator process, or at least this accelerator process. Many (if not most) fintech startups struggle to sign users — 420,000 a week would sound pretty good to them.