Fintech startup C88 raises Series C extension from Korea Investment Partners

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Korea Investment Partners (KIP) has backed an undisclosed Series C extension round in Singapore-based fintech startup C88 Financial Technologies Group.

The financing comes shortly after the close of C88’s oversubscribed $28-million Series C round led by global information services provider Experian.

That round included new investors such as responsAbility Investments AG, DEG, InterVest, FengHe Fund Management, Pelago Capital and Fuchsia Venture Capital as well as return backers Monk’s Hill Ventures, Telstra Ventures, Kickstart Ventures and Kejora Ventures.

C88 owns and operates two licensed financial marketplaces – CekAja.com in Indonesia and eCompareMo.com in the Philippines. It also offers services such as credit scoring, data analytics and fraud detection services to its clients.

According to C88 co-founder and CEO John Patrick Ellis, the company was introduced to Korea Investment Partners by existing investor and South Korean firm InterVest.

“Korea Investment Partners has been around for a long time and they are a great fit with our team. We believe they will able to devote a lot of brainpower and resources which will help create a better company in C88,” said Ellis.

Southeast Asia has seen growing interest from South Korean investors of late.

Earlier this year, Korea Investment Partners partnered with Singapore’s Golden Equator Capital to launch an $87-million fund targeting Series A and B investments in high-growth technology companies in the region.

Last month, Indonesian VC firm Kejora Ventures said it was looking to hit the final close of its $100-million joint fund with InterVest by the end of this year. The fund made a first close at $60 million backed by limited partners including Korea Venture Investment Corp. and a trust backed by Korea Development Bank.

“We generally see a very high degree of sophistication among our South Korean shareholders and have a great deal of respect for them. The South Korean market is very advanced from virtually every perspective, especially from a tech, data and bandwidth perspective,” said Ellis.

The interest isn’t just at the VC level.

In August, South Korea and Singapore announced plans to set up a $213.2-million fund to invest in startups looking to enter both markets. The fund will be backed by their respective state investment firms, Korea Venture Investment Corp (KVIC) and Temasek.

The size of the investment will depend on the volume of Temasek’s investment, while KVIC’s share is fixed at 95 billion won, and will not exceed 40 per cent of the fund. Temasek is said to be investing at least half of the pledged amount, according to a report by The Korea Herald.

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.