Founders of both startups told DEALSTREETASIA in an interview that the partnership would give more lending options in the Philippines and eventually across Southeast Asia.
PawnHero is the first online pawnshop in the Philippines while LoanSolutions is a service where people can apply for different types of loans online.
LoanSolutions CEO and co-founder Jean-Patrick Bisson said the real match is the mindset of financial inclusion and equity. “We want to disrupt some of the current financial practices which aren’t equitable and often times usurious,” Bisson said. “Philippines is just our starting ground.”
PawnHero co-founder David Margendorff said LoanSolutions’ decision to partner with them made sense since LoanSolutions or its partner [banks] did not grant a loan to most of their customers. “We saw great synergies. As long as one has an item which we can use as a collateral, that person qualifies for a loan,” David said.
He added PawnHero is creating choices for the unbanked by charging half the interest rates that most pawnshops charge.
For LoanSolutions’ part, the company aims to be the “touch point for every loan search,” to guide people to the best option for their situation.
“Banks and lenders are often very conservative, which opens the way to disruptive competitors like PawnHero,” Bisson said. “We want to empower them (people) to give the pawnshops a run for their money.”
Only last March, PawnHero won the main award in the first-ever Echelon Top 100 Philippines Qualifiers held in Makati City. The startup will be representing the Philippines in the upcoming Echelon Asia Summit 2015 on June 23 to 24 in Singapore.