Harnessing potential: Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report

Asia-Pacific Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report

This report is based on a survey of over 500 alternative finance platforms in 17 ASPAC countries and regions.


Online alternative finance is developing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region. It is characterised by innovative financial instruments and channels that fall outside the traditional avenues of capital raising and financial intermediation. From reward-based crowdfunding to peer-to-peer consumer and business lending (i.e. marketplace lending), to invoice trading and equity-based crowdfunding, these online alternative finance activities are directly connecting lenders to consumer and small business borrowers, raising venture capital for start-ups, funding the creative industries and creating new ways for individuals and institutions to choose how and to whom money is distributed, lent and invested.

This benchmarking research is the first comprehensive study of the Asia-Pacific online alternative finance market. It has been conducted by an international research team from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, the Tsinghua University Graduate School at Shenzhen and The University of Sydney Business School, in partnership with KPMG and with the support of the ACCA and CME Group Foundation. Working with over 20 industry research partners, together we have systematically collected survey data from 503 leading alternative finance platforms operating in 17 Asia-Pacific countries and regions, out of which, 376 were from mainland China.

Our definition of online alternative finance focuses on the provision of finance to individuals and businesses through alternative channels via online marketplaces outside of the banking system. It excludes activities such as peer-to-peer insurance, online money market funds or third-party payments. The report captures an estimated 70% of the visible market, and estimates that the total Asia-Pacific online alternative finance market grew 323% year-on-year to reach $102.81 billion USD in 2015.

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