Gree invests in Ayannah, which provides financial services for the unbanked
By Digital News Asia October 8, 2014
- Manila startup provides services catering to migrants and the unbanked
- Had previously raised US$4.5mil, new funds to expand SEA coverage
MANILA-based Veritas Mobile Holdings Ltd, which operates as the Ayannah digital commerce and payments services for migrants and the unbanked, said it has raised undisclosed additional equity financing from Japanese early stage Internet and technology investor Gree Ventures Inc.
Gree Ventures joins other institutional investors such as Wavemaker Labs, Golden Gate Ventures, IMJ Investment Partners and Beenos Asia in Ayannah's upsized follow-on round, Ayannah said in a statement.
According to a report in Tech Crunch, in July Ayannah raised US$1 million, bringing the total it had raised so far then to US$4.5 million.
“We are very happy to have GREE Ventures join our roster of investors,” said its chief executive officer Mikko Perez.
“Its network of partners and portfolio companies in other South-East Asian countries will allow us to solidify our leadership position in digital commerce and payments for migrants and the unbanked in the Philippines, and hasten our expansion to other emerging markets,” he added.
Ayannah said it has launched two services catering to migrants and the unbanked. Sendah is its flagship B2C (business-to-consumer) service initially targeting the 12 million overseas Filipino diaspora.
Sendah aims to provide overseas Filipinos with a better way to support their families in the Philippines, allowing them to provide much needed products and services to meet their families’ daily needs and improve their quality of life, Ayannah said.
Sendah has a customer base of over 50,000, and Ayannah said it would soon address other migrant communities from South Asia, Latin America and other markets.
Ayannah also operates Sendah Direct, a B2B (business-to-business) platform addressing the large portion of Filipinos who remain unbanked.
Sendah Direct has a growing network of over 7,000 distributors and agents and has served over nine million unique customers since its launch in October 2010, the company claimed.
Sendah Direct started out as a new way to distribute prepaid mobile airtime credits to prepaid mobile subscribers of the three major mobile network operators in the Philippines. Later, it became a new way to distribute prepaid online game credits and micro-insurance products.
More recently, Sendah Direct became a new channel for enabling payments, especially for domestic remittance, Ayannah said.
The company also operates the Gamenah (pic below) B2C service for online gamers, which features an online wallet that allows them to buy all types of prepaid game credits and virtual goods.
“We are thrilled to join Ayannah on its journey to provide much needed digital commerce and payment services to migrants and the unbanked in the Philippines and soon, in other emerging markets,” said Gree Ventures principal Kuan Hsu.
“Ayannah has made great strides and we hope that our investment will allow Ayannah to continue and accelerate its progress to become the leading digital commerce and payment service for the vast majority of Filipinos who remain unbanked and who rely on remittances for support.
“We also would like to help Ayannah expand to other emerging markets in South-East Asia.”
According to Manila startup, ‘ayannah’ means ‘beautiful flower’ or ‘beautiful blossom’ in Swahili and ‘a good path’ in Sanskrit. In colloquial Filipino, ‘ayan na’ means ‘here it is.’
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