A member of the top 100 from the Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist
Jun Yu, director of corporate development covering mergers and acquisitions and strategic investments at social network operator RenRen, has had a busy time since joined the China-based social media network nearly two years ago.
The big activity in financial technology last year revolved around online lending platforms and RenRen went as far as to reposition itself as a financial technology firm, building on the back of investments such as alternative lending platforms SoFi and LendingHome.
SoFi is currently the most valuable company in the sector, having closed $1bn in series E funding in October at a $4bn valuation, following it a few weeks later with an additional $150m from RenRen.
In April last year, US-based mortgage marketplace lending platform LendingHome revealed a total of $109.3m of funding, including a $70m series C round led by RenRen. This came three months after RenRen invested $40m in US-based stock trading platform Motif Investing.
Other deals are built round the shift of RenRen to its new focus area of work and money. In February, US-based big data analytics provider FiscalNote raised $10m in a series C round from a consortium including RenRen, which had also been part of its $10m B round 12 months earlier. In November, Shiftgig, the US-based operator of a mobile short-term employment marketplace, closed a $22m series B round led by RenRen. It is a strategic pivot for RenRen and an ambitious one to target US venture deals to help it do so.