SG’s GoBear buys digital lender AsiaKredit to expand alternate consumer lending

Photo: GoBear

Singapore-based financial product comparison site GoBear said Monday it has acquired end-to-end digital consumer lender AsiaKredit, as it continues to expand its business and regional reach.

Headquartered in Singapore, AsiaKredit provides consumer finance products to underserved consumers in the Philippines. Through its flagship mobile app, pera247, it claims to have processed over 1 million loan applications via fast and convenient lines of credit not provided by traditional banks.

The acquisition will accelerate GoBear’s plans to drive growth through digital lending, one of three key business pillars, besides digital insurance brokerage and financial supermarket, the company said in a statement.

“The establishment of an industry-leading lending business is a critical component of GoBear’s strategy to support our banking partners in providing loans to the many underserved consumers in Asia. With AsiaKredit’s sophisticated data-driven underwriting and collections capability, which sets them well apart from lenders in the region, the acquisition will allow GoBear to accelerate strategic plans by giving us access to end-to-end digital lending capabilities,” GoBear CEO Adrian Chng said. 

The acquisition will also see GoBear improve financial inclusion by introducing lending as a service (LaaS) to its network of more than 100 partners, helping them provide loans to underserved consumers in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. It will also see the expansion of a direct consumer lending service through pera247.

“Both GoBear and AsiaKredit share a vision to offer accessible and responsible financial services to those across the region. This acquisition represents a fantastic opportunity for AsiaKredit to leverage GoBear’s regional presence and expand the reach of our credit lending services to Southeast Asia and Hong Kong’s underserved consumers,” said AsiaKredit co-founder and CEO Mike Singh.

GoBear earlier said it has raised over $30 million in early-2019, bringing the total funds raised to $80 million. The funds were raised from Dutch venture capital fund Walvis Participaties and financial services provider Aegon N.V. Both are the sole two investors on GoBear’s cap table.

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.