Note: This article has been amended to clarify some figures
Funds raised from consortium of internationally renowned investors led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures
Plans to further strengthen market position in Malaysia and SEA, recruits former CIMB executive to management team
FINANCIAL comparison startup iMoney Group announced it has raised US$2 million in a Series A funding round led by Jungle Ventures, with other investors being Econa AG, Rebright Partners, IMJ Fenox, Fenox Venture Capital, 500 Startups, Vogel Ventures and angel investor Lim Der Shing.
This funding round comes just a few months after it raised US$500,000 in seed capital from Asia Venture Group Sdn Bhd (AVG), the company said in a statement.
It also received RM500,000 (US$155,070) worth of funding from the Cradle Investment Programme (CIP), a Malaysian Government initiative operated by Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd to support local technology entrepreneurs.
Jungle Ventures is a Singapore-based, entrepreneur-backed venture firm that funds and helps startups scale across Asia Pacific.
iMoney allows consumers to easily compare financial products such as home loans, personal loans and credit cards, and apply online for those products.
It aims to further accelerate growth in Malaysia and to cement its leadership positions in other markets in the coming months.
“At this point, iMoney is growing at double digits month-on-month, and while we’re already the largest financial comparison business in the region, we want to further accelerate this,” said Ching Wei Lee (pic), cofounder and group chief executive officer.
“This round of funding will allow us to continue to invest in user acquisition and to strengthen our operational teams on the ground, with the aim of bringing iMoney to the next level,” he added.
Lee said iMoney’s success is primarily due to the sheer volume of business it is already referring to financial institutions, which currently stands close to US$70 million a month. This business comes from more than just home loans, but also includes referrals for other types of loans and financial services.
In Malaysia, iMoney (http://www.imoney.my/) works with OCBC, Maybank, AIA, CIMB, Alliance, AmBank and others to originate loans online.
For consumers, iMoney is a transparent way of comparing products and a convenient way to apply for loans without having to leave their homes, the company said.
Banking partners in Malaysia can leverage the startups’ know-how to reach consumers in the digital space, and acquire new customers at a lower cost than through their existing bricks-and-mortar presence.
Amit Anand, managing partner of Jungle Ventures, is confident that iMoney is the best team in this region to capitalise on the growing opportunity in the financial comparison space.
“iMoney is operating in an extremely attractive market, and we see huge potential going forward, given the rapid growth in the middle class and increasing demand for financial services and products,” he said in the statement issued by iMoney.
iMoney also announced the appointment of former CIMB, Citi and RBS senior banker Bruno Araujo as cofounder and chief revenue officer.
He has been active as an investor in local startups since leaving CIMB (one of the largest banks in South-East Asia) in May, where he was head of Retail Product Management.
“The financial services space is amongst the most exciting for tech investors in Asia, and iMoney is well ahead of its peers when it comes to disrupting this industry,” he said.
“In Malaysia alone, there are approximately US$33 billion of new home loans written every year and less than 0.1% of that was originated online [before iMoney and other finanical comparion sites came into the picture]. If you consider the other countries where iMoney has a leading presence, like Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand, then we’re talking about a US$100-billion market.
“I was really impressed with the team, the brand and the technology that sits behind the site and am excited to be joining [them],” Araujo added.
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