Philippines fintech startup PawnHero secures pre-Series A
By Digital News Asia March 2, 2016
- Undisclosed funding from 500 Startups, IMJ and SoftBank-affiliated fund
- Online pawnshop accepts wider range of items and offers higher appraisals
MANILA-based online pawnshop PawnHero said it has landed undisclosed pre-Series A funding in a round led by the SoftBank-affiliated, Philippines-focused Kaikaku Fund, with participation from 500 Startups and IMJ Investment Partners.
PawnHero will use the funds for talent acquisition and to continue its mass outreach in the Philippines, the company said in a statement.
It previously received an angel investment from Sulficio ‘Jun’ Tagud, the chief executive officer of logistics provider 2GO.
“Reinventing this traditional industry for an online era, PawnHero offers greater transparency, fairness and convenience, while addressing the borrowing needs of a connected yet unbanked or underbanked population,” said Kaikaku Fund vice president Teddy Himler.
As an online pawnshop, PawnHero claims to accept a wider range of items and offers higher appraisals. With all processes done online, it is able to charge half the interest rate of traditional pawnshops.
“The online pawnshop is exactly the kind of innovation I believe can help unbanked citizens,” said IMJ Investment Partners general manager Yasu Seo.
“And the Philippines is the ideal market to start the service, as pawning is the major financing method … its people,” he said in the statement issued by PawnHero.
PawnHero also recently won the 2016 Hack Osaka pitch contest in Japan, which comes on the heels of a win at the Echelon Asia Summit last June, in which it bagged the title of ‘Most Promising Startup in Asia 2015.’
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