Futu Securities, a Chinese online brokerage, reportedly has raised $145.5 million in Series C funding. Tencent led the round, and was joined by return backers Matrix Partners China and Sequoia Capital China.
- Why it matters: This deal comes as Futu continues to work toward obtaining a U.S. brokerage license, and as more and more Chinese retail traders get comfortable using mobile apps to trade local and U.S. securities (the company claims $44 billion of 2016 transaction value).
- Risk factor: "The China Securities Regulatory Commission said last July that Futu's online platform provided unauthorized overseas stocks trading services and gave no legal protection to investors. [CEO Li Hua] said his company was 'hit by mistake' and the regulator gave positive feedback after understanding its business." ―Bloomberg