Entrepreneurship

Tencent-backed financial marketing startup raises $15.3m

Read more at asia.nikkei.com

BEIJING — Shenzhen Tengyin Information Consulting, a Chinese startup that provides marketing solutions to financial institutions, has raised more than 100 million yuan ($15.3 million) in a series A+ funding round led by Tencent Holdings and Gaorong Capital.

The company said it will spend the money on enhancing its product lineups, acquiring personnel, improving R&D skills and on quickly releasing value-added products and related services.

Founded in 2019, Shenzhen Tengyin functions as digital infrastructure for the retail banking sector. The company’s founding members include financial experts and fintech experts from Tencent.

Shenzhen Tengyin was selected as the top partner for Tencent’s WeChat Work in 2020, becoming the only financial service company to receive the award.

Retail finance largely depends on connections with clients. Although WeChat is a powerful platform in terms of connecting people, there are still many hurdles when banks work on marketing through WeChat.

Banks’ marketing representatives usually contact clients through their personal WeChat accounts. Therefore, they often take their clients with them when they leave banks. In addition, conveying internal announcements via WeChat is not only ineffective but also risks information leaks.

It is also difficult to pin down the cause when problems occur. In addition, sending bulk messages is less efficient as it takes a lot of trouble and costs.

Shenzhen Tengyin focuses on these issues in providing professional services to financial institutions. The company has also helped financial institutions build sustainable client management models capitalizing on brand characteristics as they promote digitization.

The company defines itself as a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, tech company.

Shenzhen Tengyin has partnered with a number of state-owned banks and more than 60% of big joint-stock commercial banks. The company provides services to more than 120 financial institutions in China and overseas, including CMB, China Citic Bank, Minsheng Bank and China Everbright Bank.

“By combining Shenzhen Tengyin, Tencent’s industrial internet and WeChat,” a company representative said, “we can offer digitization tools to retail finance and become an ecosystem partner for financial institutions under Tencent’s industrial digitization strategy.”

Said Xiang Gao, founding partner at Gaorong Capital: “Companies’ client acquisition costs are rising, while consumers and companies are becoming closer. Therefore, it has become increasingly important for companies to use private traffic, which enables them to directly reach out to consumers.”

“Shenzhen Tengyin has built efficient one-stop, WeChat-based marketing solutions for financial institutions using their expertise and technical prowess. WeChat ecosystems can be adopted actively in all sectors. We believe that WeChat-based marketing solutions will enable banks to reach out to specific business owners. It will be very encouraging for companies pushing for digitization.”

36Kr, a Chinese tech news portal founded in Beijing in 2010, has more than 150 million readers worldwide. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

For the Japanese version of this story, click here.

For the Chinese version, click here.

Read more at asia.nikkei.com

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