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

Australia-based mobile banking technology platform Peppermint Innovation Ltd is gearing for rapid expansion in the Philippines after raising $2.8 million (AU$3.87 million) in an initial public offering over the weekend.

The financial technology (fintech) company disclosed its plan after raising the fresh capital funds in the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Peppermint Innovation’s managing director Chris Kain said, “We are confident that the Peppermint Platform will have a strong uptake beyond existing customers in the Philippines, providing a wide range of financial services via a mobile phone to unbanked populations there.”

Headquartered in Perth City in Australia, Peppermint’s business goal is to drive financial inclusion by connecting millions without access to traditional banking using the company’s proprietary mobile banking, payments and remittance technology.

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

“Working with a network of some 70,000 agents to promote and introduce its platform into the Philippines, Peppermint is poised for rapid expansion over the coming few years and Australian investors have shown strong, early support for the business,” Peppermint said in its statement.

The current Peppermint Platform deployed in the Philippines is part of the company’s focus on transactions in the developing world. Its technology is employed commercially by three of the top Filipino commercial banks, generating around one million transactions every month. Revenue is derived through commission on each user transaction and fees for the development and maintenance of the Peppermint Platform for commercial clients.

“It is estimated that approximately 2.5 billion adults worldwide lack access to basic formal financial services and our platform will help promote financial inclusion to a large part of the global unbanked population. We see this as a significant opportunity to add value and retain growth potential for the company,” Kain added.

With estimates that up to 75 per cent of the over 100 million population of the Philippines are unbanked, and with circa 114 million mobile phones in use – the Peppermint Platform capitalises on this large market opportunity – enabling remittance to be processed using a mobile phone, in a cheaper and more secure manner than current traditional remittance methods.

Also read: Fintech will lead PH to a new digital payments landscape: John Bailon, Satoshi Citadel

Filipino economic migrants, popularly called OFWs or overseas Filipino workers, through their remittances continue to be major contributors to the country’s GDP growth. OFW remittance stood at $13.4 billion in the first half of 2015. Of this, only $2.2 billion were coursed through banks.

Peppermint’s commercial growth has been largely de-risked by the work done with existing clients and a well-established customer base in the Philippines where $9.5 million has been spent developing the technology. The key members of the development team, who are now incentivised members of Peppermint Innovation, were previously instrumental in the development of Globe Telecoms’ GCash mobile remittance platform.

Peppermint has also partnered with MyWeps/1BRO Global Inc in the Philippines to develop a mobile remittance service “Powered by Peppermint” to capture transactional flow currently outside of the traditional banking system. As part of this partnership, Peppermint will also provide the functionality for MyWeps/1BRO Global Inc to address other domestic payment services in the greater domestic P2P market, which comprises domestic remittances, paying bills and loan payments.

A study commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from Bankable Frontier Associates in 2010 estimated this market to be valued at $3.2 billion per month from 45 million transactions conducted per month in 2010.

Also read: PH startup Rebit partners US mobile money app ZipZap

“While there are already other players in the sector, the market is large enough to support additional platforms as there are still large numbers of remittances transferred via more expensive methods. 1BRO Global Inc has approximately 70,000 agents and 40 business centres spread out over the country, which will help drive adoption of the Peppermint mobile remittance platform,” Peppermint noted.

Subject to meeting ASX’s other pre-quotation conditions for listing, Peppermint will look to list on the ASX via a reverse takeover of Chrysalis Resources Limited. The listing will give investors access to Peppermint’s innovative platform and an opportunity to be part of the mobile banking payment revolution.

The funds raised from the public offer will be used to accelerate the roll out of the Peppermint Platform and expand its reach throughout Asia, Europe and the rest of the world.

Peppermint offered 193,465,000 shares at an issue price of $0.02 per share to raise the funds. The public offer was managed by lead manager, DJ Carmichael and was made under a prospectus dated October 16, 2015. All offers under the prospectus have now closed.

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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.