Philippine salary-on-demand startup Advance secures seed funding

Advance's Enzo Doromal, Addi Guevara, Jaime de los Angeles, and Stef Lim.

Advance, a Manila-based fintech startup that operates a salary-on-demand platform, has raised an undisclosed amount in its seed funding round backed by Southeast Asia-focused venture investor Wavemaker Partners.

The funding round, which was led by US-based Next Billion Ventures and joined by Dymon Asia Ventures and Accion Venture Lab, further boosts the startup’s 24/7 salary-on-demand platform, which allows employees to access their salary anytime without having to wait for payday.

Currently, most Filipino workers live paycheck to paycheck, forcing them to borrow cash for their daily needs. As bank loans are not very accessible, especially to wage earners, workers opt to borrow from predatory lenders who can charge interest rates of up to 20 per cent.

“We’ve heard so many horror stories of people with an urgent need for cash who resort to payday lenders due to the lack of quality options. We knew that we could provide a much safer alternative to keep them from succumbing to these endless debt cycles,” said Advance co-founder and CFO Addi Guevara.

The platform, which will partner with companies, seeks to address that trend, which is a profound problem not only in the Philippines but also in other emerging markets.

Advance co-founder and CEO Jaime de los Angeles said the platform does not offer a loan but acts as a financial bridge between employers and employees.

“Filipinos deserve to get access to the salary they’ve worked hard for whenever they need in order to regain a greater sense of control in their everyday lives,” he added.

For employers, the platform allows them to grant financial assistance to workers without having to tap into company resources, Advance said. Over the past twelve months, the startup said its platform has provided close to $3 million to thousands of Filipinos across the country.

De los Angeles said the fresh funding will be used to improve further on technology, bolster operations, and expand business in terms of new products and markets. It aims to service 1 million employees and 10,000 businesses in the next five years.

Commenting on the funding round, Ken Toyoda of Next Billion Ventures said the startup will “positively impact millions of Filipinos.”

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.