World Bank Group member IFC is looking to boost financial inclusion and literacy in Southeast Asia through a $15 million investment into local online marketplace CompareAsiaGroup.
IFC lead a $50 million Series B funding round which was also joined by Alibaba Group, SBI Group and H&Q Utrust, as well as existing investors Goldman Sachs, Nova Founders Capital and ACE & Company.
Hong Kong-based CompareAsiaGroup provides an online bridge between consumers looking for cards, loans and insurance and providers. The company says that it makes accessing products and services easier for consumers while helping banks cut distribution costs.
It now operates in seven markets, including the Philippines and Indonesia. Last year, 28 million consumers used the platform, which has partnered with over a hundred FS players, including American Express, HSBC, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, and DBS.
IFC says that it has now invested in over 30 fintech firms in emerging markets, backing them as a valuable way to promote financial inclusion.
"At IFC, reaching the unbanked and under-banked is a priority and we believe the best way to do this is through technology," says Vivek Pathak, regional director, East Asia and the Pacific, IFC.
"CompareAsiaGroup leverages technology to increase pricing transparency for financial products and improve financial literacy. Our support for innovative fintech companies like CompareAsiaGroup encourages disruptive technologies and new business models that create markets for other private sector players to engage."