JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN): Investments continued to pour into financial technology (fintech) firms in the last week of February, which are leading Indonesia’s start-up funding scene.
Expert projections see even greater expansion for the sector in a continuation of last year’s growth trend.
Investment and wealth management platform FUNDtastic raised US$7.7 million in series A funding from a group of investors, among them American financial advisory firm Ascend Capital Group and Indonesian investment holding company Indivara Group.
“We are going to expand our market and diversify our products and features so we can better serve consumer needs, ” FUNDtastic cofounder and CEO Harry Hartono said on Feb. 22 as quoted by Bisnis.com.
Last year during the pandemic, the company acquired investment fintech Invisee to expand its user base to 110,000, an increase of five times its 2019 figure.
Indonesians have recently started exploring investment. Google data showed that keyword searches for “reksa dana” (mutual funds) increased 210 per cent in 2020, suggesting that Indonesian consumers are learning about financing and financial management or looking for investment options.
Meanwhile, Singapore-based education loan fintech ErudiFi raised $5 million in its series A funding round, co-led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Qualgro, also based in Singapore.
ErudiFi, which offers education financing options, operates in Indonesia as Danacita and in the Philippines as Bukas.
“At present, nearly two-thirds of Indonesian and Filipino youths are unable to enrol in higher education [institutions] due to lack of affordable financing. We are excited to further our goal of expanding access to quality education in the region and help build a better tomorrow, ” said ErudiFi CEO and cofounder Naga Tan.
ErudiFi has onboarded more than 50 leading universities and vocational schools in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Its partnering institutes in Indonesia include President University, Tarumanagara University (Untar), the PLN Technology Institute (IT PLN) and Wall Street English.
According to the Danacita website, ErudiFi’s Indonesian arm has disbursed loans totalling Rp 25.3 billion (US$1.8 billion) to around 2,200 borrowers to date. Danacita is among the few education players in the fintech sector, along with Pintek, Edufund and Dana Didik.
The Venture Capital Association for Indonesian Start-ups (Amvesindo) data show that 52 start-ups in Indonesia have raised $1.9 billion in capital as of September 2020.
Fintechs have led start-up fundraising with a total of eight deals, followed by education technology firms with six.
“Fintech growth will be better, seeing that investors and big companies are tapping into the sector, ” Amvesindo chairman Jefri Sirait told The Jakarta Post by text message on Tuesday.
He added that the potentials of the fintech market was large, as many people in Indonesia were still financially underserved. - The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network