Fintech funding round-up: 23 January 2018
Straight after the fintech funding round-up on 22 January, here’s more news. Stars Anorak Technologies, Funding Societies and Mekar.
London-based insurtech firm Anorak Technologies has secured £4 million seed funding from Kamet Ventures (a €100 million incubator funded by AXA). Anorak has built a suite of APIs to integrate with existing services, like online banking and ecommerce
Its plan is to use data science and machine learning to give people “access to the knowledge and advice of a broker, without having to see one”. The firm collects data about a person’s family, home, income and finances. The service analyses how much cover they need, for how long and why. Then, having scanned and rated policy documents from all insurers, and analysed pages of small print, Anorak “finds the best policy to suit the person’s unique circumstances”.
Singapore-based crowdfunding platform Funding Societies has passed the SGD 100 million ($75.8 million) mark in total crowdfunded SME loans across Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
It says this is the highest total crowdfunded amount reached by any P2P lending platform in South-east Asia. Founded in early 2015, Funding Societies is a licensed digital platform that connects SMEs with retail and institutional investors. In 2016, it received SGD 10 million ($7.3 million) funding led by Sequoia India and expansion into Indonesia and Malaysia.
Mekar (which means “Blossom”), an Indonesian fintech start-up, is looking for financing from foreign venture capital investors as it looks expand its microcredit lending service both within and outside the country. Thierry Sanders, chief executive officer of Mekar, told the South China Morning Post it has intermediated micro loans totalling $7 million, typically at $250 per loan. Like many firms it is targeting the unbanked or underbanked. It reckons it can tap into the micro loan market for small farmers and shop-owners across the 17,000 islands making up the Indonesian archipelago.
According to Mekar, it uses machine learning technology to help approve loans by checking if the applicant’s facial features matches with the photo on their identity cards. The investors of these loans are Indonesian banks, such as Bank Woori Saudara and Bank Sampoerna. Sanders told SCMP that over the next two months, the platform will also be opened to foreign investors to invest in microloans on its platform.