Exclusive: Ayannah raising $3m financing, ropes in 500 Startups & Life.SREDA as investors

Philippine financial technology (fintech) company Ayannah is in the process of raising $3 million in its Series A round led by 500 Startups and Singapore-based venture capital firm Life.SREDA. DEALSTREETASIA has learnt that other fintech tech investors have also participated in the financing round, that is set to be closed soon, taking the total funding the company has raise to over the $8 million mark. 

Ayannah founder and CEO Mikko Perez told DEALSTREETASIA in an interview that Ayannah in the past has raised up to $5.3 million funds from Wavemaker Partners the regional representative of the Draper Venture Network, also Golden Gate Ventures, IMJ Investment Partners, Beenos, GREE Ventures, family offices and angel investors.​

Serving as a digital commerce and payment services company to the Philippines’ unbanked population since 2008, Ayannah has contracted over 8,000 agents in 2015 and is looking forward to cater to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail clients in 2016, including launching an initial public offering.

“We hope to onboard 15,000 agents by [end of year] 2016 with around 6,000 individuals and 9,000 corporate. We will likely need to raise a Series B round before a public listing,” Perez said.

Also read: PH fintech Ayannah wins Rising Expo 2015 startup contest in Indonesia

Although the company has reached 7,000 point of sale, Perez wasn’t sure if Ayannah has outpointed Western Union in terms of network size. Ayannah’s local headquarters is at Ortigas Center in Pasig City, while its office in the US is at Palo Alto in California.

“I think [Western Union] still has an extensive network in the Philippines,” Perez said. “We don’t consider WU as competition.”

Ayannah announced last October that they will aim to offer a full stack of digital payment platform from payments, commerce, analytics, to spur financial inclusion in emerging markets like the Philippines.

Also read: Australia fintech Peppermint Innovation raises $2.8m in IPO to fuel Philippine expansion

Using declassified technology developed by the United States Services Intelligence to fight terrorism, Ayannah said it is launching the first risked-based credit scoring system for the unbanked. The goal is to analyze data from mobile top ups, remittance transactions, bills payment, social media, and loyalty programs.

Ayannah is currently venturing into big data called Project COMPASS, designed to combine offline and online analytics to build an omni-channel predictive and prescriptive analytics network to increase traffic and conversion for retailers.

“Since we have access to an increasing number of payment transactions, we are using machine learning to build a lead generation, credit scoring system for the unbanked. We are also using machine learning to help our retailer partners increase traffic and conversions,” Perez explained.

Also read: PH fintech startup SCI creates offline digital payments technology

And despite of its ever-growing network, Perez said Ayannah’s capital expenditure remains low as they use small outlets as distribution points.

“We deliberately want to use mobile devices and avoid having any brick & mortar to stay light and agile,” Perez said.

He noted, however, that Ayannah have tie-ups with banks and big retailers and will make several announcements in the first quarter of 2016.

Also read: Philippine payment firm gains $1.5 M fund to serve migrants, unbanked customers

PH startup Rebit partners US mobile money app ZipZap

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.