Jirnexu acquires CompareHero Malaysia from Nasdaq listed MoneyHero in all-shares deal

  • Terms of transaction not disclosed, expected to close in July
  • Possibly first time SEA startup has acquired country assets of a Nasdaq company

Yuen Tuck Siew, CEO of Jirnexu Sdn Bhd with Rohit Murthy, CEO of MoneyHero.

In a rare development in the startup space, possibly even the first such deal in Southeast Asia, Fri evening saw the news that a fintech startup, Jirnexu Sdn Bhd based in Malaysia, had acquired CompareHero, the Malaysian B2C operations of a Nasdaq listed company, MoneyHero Ltd in an all-shares transaction.

The acquisition was inked with Jirnexu Pte Ltd, the parent company of Jirnexu Sdn Bhd with MoneyHero to receive equity in Jirnexu Pte Ltd. Terms of the deal, expected to close in early July 2024, are confidential, said the parties.

Launched in 2013, Jirnexu is a full-stack fintech solutions provider. It also operates RinggitPlus.com a financial comparison site, which based on data from traffic measurement site, SimilarWeb, is Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website with CompareHero (which launched in 2013) ranked third. MoneyHero is a personal finance and digital insurance aggregation and comparison platform with operations in Singapore, Phillipines, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Jirnexu had launched in Indonesia in 2014 under Kreditgogo.com but closed operations in 2019.

When asked why he didn’t opt to structure the deal where Jirnexu took equity in the Nasdaq listed MoneyHero instead, Yuen Tuck Siew, founder and CEO of Jirnexu said, “at Jirnexu we are very focused on, and optimistic about the growth potential in the Malaysian market. By combining the strengths and expertise from both RinggitPlus and CompareHero, we are expanding our ecosystem for all things personal finance to better serve Malaysians.”

Asked about possible listing plans, or whether the nature of the deal makes it possible that meeting milestone targets could trigger a future full acquisition by MoneyHero of Jirnexu, Yuen Tuck said, “We are always evaluating the best options to raise money.”

Rohith Murthy, CEO of Singapore based MoneyHero, said, “This transaction represents our renewed commitment to the Malaysia market, taking a long-term view with a more investor-based approach as we continue to drive shareholder value and make personal financial decisions easier for consumers each and every day.”

The decision allows MoneyHero to reallocate resources towards growth opportunities in its core markets — Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines. “By transitioning from an operator to a long-term investor in Malaysia’s leading player, we ensure continued benefit from the market’s opportunities without competing,” Rohit explained.

CompareHero will continue to operate under its brand in Malaysia. Explaining the rationale for this, Yuen Tuck said, “This approach ensures that each brand can focus on its core strengths and cater to its specific audience while benefiting from Jirnexu’s proprietary technological advancements.”

For Yuen Tuck, who has steered Jirnexu to raising a total of US$28 million (RM113.12 million based on 2018 average exchange rate) in funding to date with the last raise being in Dec 2018, the focus moving forward it to integrate CompareHero with Jirnexu's proprietary technologies and, “maximizing the synergies between our two platforms.”

Jirnexu gets its revenue from digital marketing services that includes advertising on RinggitPlus and data driven digital marketing services while on the technology services side it provide a WhatsApp chatbot and recommendation engine as a service to the market.  


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