GoBear acquires Singapore fintech startup AsiaKredit
The deal is in line with GoBear’s plans to expand its regional reach and drive growth through digital lending, according to a statement. It follows the company’s US$80 million raise from venture capital firm Walvis Participaties and financial services provider Aegon in May last year.
With the acquisition, GoBear said it will introduce “lending-as-a-service” to its network of more than 100 partners, helping them offer loans to underserved consumers in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. It will also expand its direct consumer lending service through AsiaKredit’s Pera247, a consumer lending app in the Philippines.
“The establishment of an industry-leading lending business is a critical component of GoBear’s strategy to support our banking partners in providing loans to the many underserved consumers in Asia,” said Adrian Chng, CEO of GoBear. “The acquisition will allow GoBear to accelerate strategic plans by giving us access to end-to-end digital lending capabilities.”
Established in Singapore in early 2015, GoBear describes itself as a financial supermarket where users can find financial know-how, tools, and products for their needs. It currently operates in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The company says it has served over 40 million users to date, with revenue from its consumer finance products increasing by over 100% last year.
AsiaKredit, meanwhile, claims it has processed over 1 million loan applications and achieved more than 100x growth in loans disbursed in the last two years.
According to a study by Bain & Company, access to credit remains a challenge for many in Southeast Asia, with more than 70% of the population – about 296 million people – still underbanked or unbanked.
GoBear also noted that it will become increasingly important to provide consumers with access to credit, as economic growth in developing countries may decline this year given the Covid-19 pandemic.
Author: Doris Yu