ONLINE lending startup Oriente on Tuesday said it has secured a capital injection of about US$50 million in its ongoing Series B funding round led by Peter Lee, the co-chairman of Hong Kong property developer Henderson Land.
Website development platform Wix.com joined the round, along with other existing investors.
This follows its US$105 million initial funding round in November 2018, as well as a recent US$20 million debt funding facility from multi-asset investment firm Silverhorn Group.
Oriente says the new capital will be used to fuel growth in its existing markets and drive expansion into new markets such as Vietnam.
The funding will also enhance its technology infrastructure, product suite and big-data capabilities to unlock deeper business insights for partners, it said in a statement.
“This investment, which comes during a time of significant global economic turmoil, puts us in a strong position as we look to step up our efforts in a highly competitive sector,” said Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente.
In 2019, Oriente recorded a 700 per cent year-on-year growth in transactions, served more than four million new users, and delivered more than 20 per cent increase in sales volume for its merchant partners, it said.
The company is serving more than five million users and over 1,000 merchants across the Philippines and Indonesia via its apps Cashalo and Finmas respectively. These apps provide services such as cash loans, digital-credit and working-capital financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-SMEs.
The Cashalo website lists the monthly interest rate for "Cashaloans" at 7.5 per cent, with a repayment period ranging from 15 days to six months.
To apply for a loan, Cashalo users need only show that they are above 18 years of age and are either employed or have a steady income.
Oriente said that smartphone users in both markets can download these apps, apply for a loan and receive a decision and financing within minutes.
“South-east Asia’s vastly under-served merchant consumer ecosystem has tremendous economic potential, and we are excited to power a more capable financial-services infrastructure that is purpose-built to unlock this,” said Mr Prentice.