People Digest: AyoConnect appoints new commissioner; hoolah’s founder quits firm

(Left to right) Chiragh Kirpalani (COO Ayoconnect); Ilham Habibie (Commissioner Ayoconnect); Jakob Rost (CEO Ayoconnect)

Indonesian API-focused fintech firm AyoConnect has appointed Ilham Habibie as its new commissioner; while Stuart Thornton, the CEO and co-founder of Singapore-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform hoolah, has stepped down from the company. 

AyoConnect appoints new commissioner

Indonesian API-focused fintech firm AyoConnect has appointed Ilham Habibie as its commissioner.

Habibie had served as the company’s strategic advisor from August 2020, before he joined the ranks of its investors by participating in Ayoconnect’s $10 million pre-Series B round in September this year.

Ilham is a prominent figure in Indonesia’s ICT and finance scene. Prior to his role at Ayoconnect, Ilham headed the National ICT Council of Indonesia as its chief executive since 2014. He is also the chairman of Bank Muamalat, the country’s first Islamic (Sharia) Bank, and the chairman, co-founder, and shareholder of PT. ILTHABI Rekatama, a private investment company in Indonesia.

Habibie is also actively involved in various organisations that focus on research and technology in Indonesia, including the Agency for Research and Technology of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and the National Information and Communication Technology Council (WANTIKNAS).

“With Ilham joining as our commissioner, we will accelerate Ayoconnect’s role in building the future of Indonesia’s digital ecosystem,” said Ayoconnect CEO Jakob Rost in a statement.

Ilham’s appointment as commissioner comes as Ayoconnect begins to expand its API footprint into open finance and open government. The company currently services over 1,000 companies in Indonesia.

Chief of Singapore BNPL firm hoolah quits

Stuart Thornton, the CEO and co-founder of Singapore-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform hoolah, has resigned from the company that he built in 2018.

In a post in his LinkedIn account, Thornton cited personal reasons for his departure. “All good journeys must come to an end. I’m looking forward to taking some time out, spending quality time with my family, and plotting the next big thing,” he wrote.

Thornton co-founded hoolah with Arvin Singh. Last year, it raised $6.67 million in its Series A round led by venture capital firm Allectus.

Prior to hoolah, Thornton had served as an advisor in several Singapore-based startups including VeriME, Techstars, TenX, and jumper.ai. He has also served as the ICT committee member at the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore in 2013-14.

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.