Finantier, a Southeast Asian Open Finance startup providing an (Application Programming Interface) API platform for financial institutions to access and analyse consumer financial data, has raised a 7-figure seed funding round led by Global Founders Capital (GFC) and East Ventures (EV).
The round was oversubscribed, and funds were raised at a post-money valuation of more than 20 times its pre-seed valuation in November 2020.
Participating in the round were Future Shape, an investment and advisory firm founded by Tony Fadell, the co-inventor of the iPhone, Partech Partners, Taurus Ventures, Saison Capital, and GMO VenturePartners, among other high profile global fintech investors. Strengthening its board of advisors, Finantier welcomed Francesco Simoneschi, Co-Founder and CEO of Truelayer, to its stable of advisors.
Existing investors AC Ventures, Y Combinator, Genesia Ventures, Two Culture Capital and prominent angels also participated. Finantier was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 batch. Since the beginning of the year, the company has expanded its team by more than 5 times to 50 employees, while growing its clients and partnerships by over 50 per cent month-on-month.
“We believe the team's relevant expertise, together with their transparent approach, will bring Open Finance into Southeast Asia where millions of unbanked and underserved lack access to proper financial services, accelerating financial inclusion,” said Oliver Samwer, Founder and Managing Partner at GFC.
"In order to accelerate financial inclusion and to increase innovation in financial services across Indonesia, collaboration is key among regulators, associations and the private sector. The Finantier team is doing a great job by proactively engaging all the parties while building a Fintech platform and a sustainable ecosystem aligned with the vision of a more inclusive country," said Pandu Patria Sjahrir, Founding Partner at AC Ventures and Chairman of Indonesia FinTech Association (AFTECH).
“Finantier is bringing financial freedom to everyone across Southeast Asia. Individuals now can easily share their digital transaction data, from various merchants, to help them build their creditworthiness. This is a significant step to create an open and inclusive banking ecosystem for all,” said Tony Fadell, Principal at Future Shape.
The fresh funds will go towards scaling and enhancing Finantier’s product offerings, continue its expansion within Indonesia and the region, and double the size of its team.
According to Bain, over 70 per cent of adults in Southeast Asia lack access to financial services, while millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region face large funding gaps. This can be attributed to the high unbanked population and inadequate financial infrastructure within Southeast Asia.
Many Indonesian financial institutions lack access to consumer financial data, handicapping them in providing financial services such as payments, lending, and insurance, among others. This is due to the high unbanked rate within Indonesia. According to Bank Indonesia data in East Ventures Digital Competitiveness Index (EV-DCI) 2021, over half of the population or 90 million adults remain unbanked. This limits financial institutions’ ability to assess their banking data for product or service eligibility.
“Accelerating financial inclusion within Indonesia is crucial given the high unbanked rate. With access to better financial services, these underserved segments of the population can lead better lives and drive growth for the Indonesian economy. We had a leap of faith in Finantier since their early days and believe they play a key role in making that a reality by connecting the unbanked to fintechs and financial institutions across the country,” said Willson Cuaca, Co-founder and Managing Partner at East Ventures.
Founded in 2020, Finantier solves this problem by aggregating data from alternative data sources such as gig economy platforms and telcos. The company works with over 150 companies, giving clients access to a comprehensive range of datasets.
After user consent is obtained, these datasets are then analysed to provide detailed insights on consumers for financial institutions, allowing them to provide financial services for the unbanked. This significantly reduces the number of people who lack access to basic financial services, accelerating financial inclusion within Indonesia, which the government has identified as a key priority.
“Finantier democratises access to financial services by allowing the millions of unbanked - from roadside warungs (SMEs) to gig economy workers - to benefit from their digital data footprint. By unlocking access to basic financial services for the unbanked, we are enabling them and their loved ones to lead better lives,” said Edwin Kusuma, Co-founder and COO of Finantier.
Finantier is the only Open Finance firm within Southeast Asia working closely with regulators and advising in Open Banking and Open Finance standards. The company is led by fintech veterans with decades of combined experience.
CEO Diego Rojas worked closely with the co-founders of NYSE-listed LendingClub and was the Technical Lead at the founding team of GIC-backed Dianrong, a Chinese online lending marketplace that has raised more than US$550 million in funding. Diego was also a former CTO and Advisor for other fintech startups within Southeast Asia. COO Edwin Kusuma was previously from Google. He was also formerly CEO of P2P lending firm 360Kredi and Director of Operations at Kredinesia. CPO Keng Low was the Technical Lead for a payments startup in Silicon Valley and previously an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at East Ventures.
“Open Finance is an extension of Open Banking. Through Open Finance, non-banking financial data are now securely aggregated too. With Open Finance facilitating the open exchange of consumer data, companies can leverage it to reach more customers while creating more personalised financial services,” said Diego Rojas, Co-founder and CEO of Finantier.
“We seek to back entrepreneurs with a visceral mission and broad vision. The Finantier team understands that Open Finance in Southeast Asia is about improving financial services customer experience and accelerating financial inclusion. They bring both passion and expertise to building an essential foundation to an increasingly fast emerging economy,” said Nicolas El Baze, General Partner at Partech.