China Peer-to-Peer Lender Yirendai Said to Plan $300 Million IPO

Yirendai.com, a Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform, plans to raise about $300 million in a U.S. initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Beijing-based company, whose name means “convenient lending and borrowing” in Chinese, aims to list this year, according to the people. It could be valued at about $2 billion in the share sale, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Yirendai may become be the first Chinese online-loan platform to obtain an overseas listing, following offerings last year from similar U.S. companies LendingClub Corp. and On Deck Capital Inc. The largely unregulated industry in China surged almost 13-fold since 2012 to $41 billion last year as the number of platforms multiplied, data compiled by Yingcan Group show.

The company is owned by CreditEase, which has received investment from Morgan Stanley’s Asian private-equity arm and venture-capital firms IDG Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. CreditEase, run by former investment banker Tang Ning, has expanded from online loans into wealth-management services, credit ratings and rural financing since its 2006 founding.

Online peer-to-peer platforms allow members of the public to lend directly to small businesses or individuals. Wang Yinyin, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for CreditEase, declined to comment.

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