Yesterday China’s second-largest insurer, Ping An announced that its fintech subsidiary OneConnect will begin to offer technology solutions in Europe through finleap connect. OneConnect uses cloud computing, AI, and blockchain in its services, while finleap provides venture funding and R&D for large enterprises.
The Chief Commercial Officer and partner of finleap, Dr Carolin Gabor, stated that the technology offered by OneConnect trumps that provided by existing companies in Europe.
“We are impressed by OneConnect’s technical capabilities and deep understanding of digital transformation in financial services. Asia is clearly at the forefront here; you won’t find that level of maturity in European technology,” she said.
Indeed, OneConnect is expected to have an IPO soon following its expansion of blockchain offerings. Earlier this month, the firm published a whitepaper which outlined the importance of interoperable trade blockchains. As of yesterday, we know that it also plans to expand into Europe.
Ye Wangchun, OneConnect’s Chairman, stated: “We are honored and excited to team up with finleap in this new partnership, which is the first of its kind in the fintech industry. OneConnect will provide finleap with its innovative enterprise technology solutions in AI, blockchain, cloud and biometrics identification to companies in Europe using finleap.”
Berlin-based finleap was founded in 2014 by HitFox, now IONIQ, to develop startups and has already supported 16. It boasts investments including €39 million ($43m) in 2017 from enterprises such as Hannover Re and SBI Group and €41.5 ($46m) last year led by Ping An. The firm will launch finleap connect, its software as a service (SaaS) arm, next month.
Through finleap connect, OneConnect’s blockchain technology will be offered in Europe for the first time. A key focus area for the Chinese company is in supply chain finance, connecting customers, suppliers, banks and business partners. One of its highest-profile solutions is the Hong Kong trade finance platform eTradeConnect. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s project involves a dozen banks such as HSBC and Standard Chartered.
In June, OneConnect announced that it had developed a smart legal contracting system. More recently, in July, OneConnect released details of its partnership with the Philippines Union Bank for SMEs and smaller businesses.