Philippines BNPL startup BillEase raises US$20m debt facility from Helicap

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BILLEASE has closed an up-to US$20 million debt facility arranged by Singapore's Helicap securities, bringing the Philippines-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) startup's total raised in debt and equity to US$55 million.

In a press statement on Monday (Sep 12), BillEase's chief executive and co-founder Georg Steiger said the new facility will be used to further grow and expand the startup's loan portfolio.

"Being able to collateralise our loan book allows us to access funding to continue serving our fast growing, underserved customer base," said Steiger.

"Our new funding comes at the right time as we develop and launch new products and continue to see strong growth. At the same time, maintaining profitability means we can be a sustainable and long-term partner for consumers and merchants," he added.

BillEase is an on-demand credit and finance mobile application and digital platform providing financial services such as personal loans, e-wallet top-ups, prepaid load and gaming credits.

Its BNPL service allows customers to pay for both their online and offline purchases in installment plans. BillEase's BNPL is currently accepted as a payment method by more than a thousand major brands and small businesses, and is offered by 7 major payment gateways in the Philippines.

According to the company, it has been profitable since 2021 and its H1 2022 volumes were up by 5 times compared to the same period last year. The startup has disbursed over 3 million loans so far, with the majority of its lendees being female customers and consumers with no previous credit history.

"We are impressed by the company's growth over the past 3 years and its mission to further financial inclusion in the Philippines," said Tan Zhiwei, executive director of Helicap Securities.

Noting a rising acceptance of digital payments, Tan believes BillEase is "as one of the few companies that can leverage and scale with the use of their AI-driven (artificial intelligence-driven) credit engine".

BillEase earlier this year raised US$11 million in a Series B funding round led by BurdaPrincipal Investments, the growth capital arm of German media and tech company Hubert Burda Media. In March it also raised US$20 million in secured debt from Lendable, an emerging market credit provider in the UK. 

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