Microinsurance Philippines | BillEase secures USD 20 million from Lendable | April 18, 2022 – BillEase, the leading card-free buy now, pay later (BNPL) and consumer finance app in the Philippines, announced today that it has closed a USD 20 million debt facility from Lendable, an emerging market credit provider, to further accelerate the growth of its business in the Philippines. The new funding adds to the recent USD 11 million Series B equity raised from BurdaPrincipal Investments, MDI Ventures, KB Investment, among others, and brings the total fresh funds to USD 31 million.
“This facility is a further validation of our business and the platform our team has built over the past few years and helps to firmly position BillEase as the leading BNPL brand in the Philippines,” said Georg Steiger, CEO and Co-Founder of First Digital Finance Corporation (FDFC) which operates the BillEase app. “With Lendable’s support, we will be able to continue the strong growth in customer onboarding and expand our loan portfolio. We share the same focus on creating financing solutions that serve the emerging consumer segment as the Lendable team and we are excited to work with them to further financial inclusion in the Philippines.”
The company is currently offering what Georg describes as a BNPL+ app, a one-stop shop for financial services for both consumers and retailers. “We continuously invest in building out our product. Beyond BNPL or installment purchase, we now offer products such as low-cost cash loans, e-Wallet top-ups to all major wallets like GCash, PayMaya, Coins.ph, GrabPay, and ShopeePay, prepaid mobile load, and gaming credits which attracts a strong following especially among the younger generation,” Steiger adds. For merchants, the fintech provider offers omnichannel payment solutions that help both online and offline retailers provide customizable installment plans to attract and retain customers.
The key to the company’s success since launching BillEase in 2017 continues to be the strength of its team in building an AI-driven underwriting and an intuitive user experience. “Our recent success is a direct result of having a clear focus: to build a product that enables and delights our customers and helps them achieve upward financial mobility to improve their lives. And we are incredibly grateful for their talent and dedication to the mission,” Steiger said.
BillEase is growing rapidly with Q1 2022 volumes up almost 5x compared to the same period last year and the company already achieved profitability in 2021. “We believe that financial inclusion needs to be sustainable. We enjoy very strong unit economics and this is really driven by two factors: First, predictive risk models that allow us to automate almost all of our loan approvals and keep process and risk cost low and second our loyal customer base. Customers stick with us because we continue to invest in building out our product and we can pass on savings and offer low rates,” Steiger said.
The company has grown its merchant partners from only 100 merchants a year ago to over 700 merchants which includes local and international brands such as Lazada, Samsung, Philippine Airlines, Cole Haan, Philips, Vivo, Kimstore, Havaianas, Anson’s, Mandaue Foam, Western Appliances, Coleman, KitchenAid, TUMI, Hedgren, DC Shoes, Bratpack, Oster, Tempur, among others at the end of the first quarter as it continues to strengthen its strategic partnerships with five leading payment players in the country such as Xendit, 2C2P, Paynamics, Dragonpay, and Union Bank of the Philippines’ BUX.
The Philippines has recently attracted increased interest from investors, especially in the fintech space and this is primarily due to the potential impact fintech startups have on the lives of the emerging middle-class population. “The Philippines represents a very large and untapped opportunity for fintech. The population is young, tech savvy and largely underbanked. Several regulatory initiatives are coming together to significantly improve market infrastructure – instant retail payment networks, National ID, national credit bureau, digital banking licenses just to name a few. Adoption of digital transactions also just got a massive push through the extended lockdowns. I think we are starting to see the shape of things to come but we are barely scratching the surface. This will be one of the most exciting fintech markets globally over the next 5 years.” Steiger adds.
“Lendable is extremely proud to be partnering with BillEase, a business that shares many of its values with us,” Hani Ibrahim, Lendable’s Chief Investment Officer said. “We have enjoyed working with Georg and the rest of the BillEase team and feel we are partnering with a fintech company that can use our commercial capital to catalyze the provision of financial services to the underserved in the Philippines. BillEase has grown tremendously as a business and we are keen to continue supporting their growth trajectory by providing sustainable and better access to financial products.”
BillEase is the top rated consumer finance app in the Philippines with a focus on expanding access for mass and emerging middle-income consumers. We are a product-focused fintech company leveraging machine learning technology in building products and global best practices in credit underwriting to meet the needs of unbanked customers in Southeast Asia. Our customers have access to a consumer-first finance app that is delightful to use and offers great rates and deals. For more information, visit https://billease.ph
Lendable is a leading debt finance provider to fintech companies across frontier and emerging markets that create access to new financial products and services for un- and under-banked populations. Lendable finances fintech companies that facilitate consumer and MSME credit, productive asset finance, payments, remittances, and digital marketplaces. From its offices in Nairobi, London, and Singapore, and using its proprietary technology and data, Lendable directly originates, structures, underwrites, and monitors all transactions. To date, Lendable has disbursed over $225m to fintechs in over 14 countries. For more information, visit https://lendable.io
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