Genki Forest’s fintech platform bags $140 million

Business & Technology

Fenbeitong, a fintech platform, has just reached unicorn status. Backed by internet investment firm DST Global, the company joins a growing list of firms revolutionizing China's digital payment industry.

Image via Fenbeitong

Fēnbèitōng 分贝通, a platform for organizing business expenditures and other financial management needs, recently secured $140 million in a C+ funding round. Backed by DST Global, an internet investment firm, Fenbeitong has now reached unicorn status in China’s Software as a Service (SaaS) industry.

  • Founded in 2016, the Beijing-based startup, which holds health drink brand Genki Forest among other clients, will use the funds to finance its corporate wallet application. Specifically, the firm seeks to improve talent recruitment and product development for its fintech platform.
  • The corporate spend fintech firm operates on a SaaS model. But unlike traditional SaaS platforms, which focus solely on services, Fenbeitong incorporates a proprietary payment system. This business model offers “SaaS+Payment” solutions to clients.
  • The company has partnered with numerous corporations, including airlines, hotels, and rideshare platforms, to achieve its vision of building a “one-stop corporate spend platform.”

The context: The recent financing round brings Fenbeitong’s total raised funds to $316 million. Other investors include U.S. firms D1 Capital Partners and Whale Rock Capital, as well as Saudi Arabian Oil Company’s P7 Ventures. Fenbeitong has already invested in solutions for budgeting and expense control and established a one-for-all digital account by cooperating with numerous Chinese banks.

  • Now, Fenbeitong is beefing up its online payment system and expense manager. These services will improve the capacity of Chinese corporations to manage cash flows and other work related expenses.
  • Henry Lan (兰希 Lán Xī), founder and CEO of Fenbeitong, expects the number of employees to exceed 1,000. The firm also plans to expand its sales and marketing team into 12 new Chinese cities this year.

The takeaway: Fenbeitong’s recent funding is indicative of two developments. One, the rapid rise of next gen financial platforms promising to revolutionize the digital payment space. Two, the internationalization of the financial backers. Between the widespread unveiling of the digital yuan at the Olympics to 86% of Chinese netizens conducting transactions via online payment methods, China is leading the world in fintech. Foreign investment firms will not sit idly by.

Correction: An earlier version of this piece referred to DST Global as a Russian investment firm. DST has no institutional investors from Russia since 2014 and has no office or investments in Russia.