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StanChart PE arm invests in Chinese lender Dianrong

Soul Htite, founder and chief executive officer of Dianrong.com.
SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Soul Htite, founder and chief executive officer of Dianrong.com.

A consortium partly led by the private equity arm of Standard Chartered 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.

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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.