Hong Kong-based fintech company Oriente has raised $105m through an initial funding round.
This included investment from the founders and a group of family offices including members of the Berjaya Group, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Sinar Mas. The round ranks as one of the largest initial funding rounds by any startup in Asia, and also for a FinTech company worldwide.
The financing is being used to accelerate technology and product development, scale multi-market operations, and power the growth of Oriente’s digital solutions into new markets, expanding its reach to millions of new customers in Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
Oriente is in prime position to address a clear opportunity: with over 70% of Southeast Asia’s 600+ million still unbanked (according to KPMG), an explosion of interest and investment in the digital lending space recently, and more governments pushing for greater financial inclusion through the adoption of digital platforms and new emergent technologies.
In just a few months, Oriente invested in and rolled out mobile-first ventures in the Philippines (Cashalo) and Indonesia (Finmas), aimed at delivering fast and convenient access to affordable credit for millions of underserved in the emerging middle class and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Anyone with a smartphone in these markets can download these apps, apply for a loan, and receive a decision and financing within minutes.
These ventures have received an overwhelming response and scaled rapidly in their respective markets, with Cashalo reporting faster customer growth than both Skype and Lufax did in their first six months of operations, and Finmas already on-track to surpass even that.
Mangrove Capital Partners CEO and Wix chairman Mark Tluszcz said: “How Oriente is using data science and technology to unlock the economic potential of millions of people who are undervalued by traditional financial systems is exciting and meaningful.
“Oriente’s world-class management team is already on track to transform the lives of millions of consumers.”
Oriente co-founder Geoffrey Prentice said: “Oriente was founded on the principles of inclusion and innovation to open financial access, freedom and opportunity for underserved people and microentrepreneurs, helping them build financial identities and participate in the global economy.
“Unlocking potential is our mantra, and we are thrilled to have such phenomenal investors and partners who share our commitment to building a future where people everywhere have access to the credit infrastructure and services they deserve.”
Oriente was founded in 2017 by former Skype co-founder and CSO, Geoffrey Prentice; former founding CTO and COO at LU.com, Hubert Tai (CEO); and founder of BlackPine Private Equity, Lawrence Chu. The company now has over 1200 employees across offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Manila, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City.
In addition to Prentice, Tai and Chu, Oriente’s leadership includes: COO Eric Sun, formerly GM-Corporate Planning at LU.com; CTO Hunglin Tsai, who previously held Senior Technical Director roles at Dangdang Inc and Yahoo Taiwan; Head of Asset Management, Voon San Lai, formerly Deputy CEO and Head of Robo-Advisory for Value Partners Group; VP of Data and Head of Risk, Janny Yao, formerly Senior Director of Big Data and LU.com; and VP of Offline Retail Sales Vlastimil Hrabal, formerly Chief Operating Officer for HomeCredit in Philippines and India.
Source: Company Press Release