Indonesian fintech startup Ayoconnect bags $5m from BRI Ventures, others

Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Gede Suhendra/unsplash

JIndonesian fintech company Ayoconnect has raised $5 million in pre-Series B financing from a host of investors including BRI Ventures, Tokyo Exchange-listed internet company Kakaku.com, Inc. and Brama One Ventures.

Existing investors including global fintech specialist Finch Capital and Amand Ventures also participated in the round, the company said in a statement.

Ayoconnect, formerly known by its brand name Ayopop, connects bill providers (utilities, telcos, education institutes and others) with online and offline channel partners (including Indomaret, PT POS as well as financial institutions) so that end-consumers can pay their bills more seamlessly within its network.

As of July 2020, Ayoconnect claims to have processed more than 40 million payments through its 600 bill providers and 40 channel partners. Ayoconnect debuts with a lineup of partners including DANA, LinkAja, PT POS Indonesia, Bank BRI, Bank Permata, Bukalapak, Lazada and Pegadaian. The company says it has seen a 400 per cent growth in transaction volume within six months from January to June 2020.

“Our pre-Series B raise will be used for tech investment and growing our network of partnerships to bridge the gap between bill providers and channel partners with an underlying infrastructure for reliable, secure and fast digital bill payment,” said Ayoconnect co-founder and CEO Jakob Rost.

Fellow co-founder and COO Chiragh Kirpalani said online bill payment has been “a clear winner from COVID-19” and Ayoconect will continue to focus on this service while aiming to build more value-added solutions together with partners.

“Bill payment technology plays a vital part across many currently underserved industry verticals and there is a tremendous growth opportunity in the upcoming digitalization of those sectors,” BRI Ventures CEO Nicko Widjaja said.

Interestingly, BRI Ventures has recently also invested in Payfazz, another Indonesian company that operates in the digital bill payment space. Differently, however, Payfazz focuses its services on micro-businesses in rural areas.

The fresh capital collected by Ayoconnect will serve as additional firepower for the company amid the arrival of new players into the B2B bill payment space, which can be seen as potential partnership opportunities. Among them are e-commerce giants Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Shopee and Blibli.com, who offer services to enable offline agents to make money from facilitating bill payment and phone credit purchases.

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.