Indonesian fintech startup Halofina snags pre-Series A funding

Indonesian financial management startup Halofina has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round led by Mandiri Capital Indonesia and backed by Finch Capital.

The deal counts as the company’s second round of funding, having previously received backing from Singapore-based Plug and Play, and Rekanext as well as Indonesian firm Radika in late 2018.

Founded in 2017 by Adjie Wicaksana and financial industry veteran Eko Pratomo, Halofina is an AI-based personal financial planning application that helps users — largely the millennial generation and middle-upper income group — manage their finances and build investment strategies.

Having started off as a company that operated in the field of offline and online personal finance education, the company launched its app in March 2019 and has since garnered 15,000 registered users.

Speaking exclusively to DealStreetAsia, Halofina co-founder and CEO Wicaksana said the fresh capital will be used for product development, organization and talent enhancement, and strategic partnerships.

The funding will help the company further establish itself as one of the main players in a newly rising fintech subsector that is still seeing very few players in the market, despite the sizeable opportunity.

In the robo-advisory space, Halofina is pitted against Bibit, which earlier this year was acquired by 500 Startups-backed Stockbit, while in the wealth management vertical, it competes with Ajaib, a new startup backed by SoftBank and Y Combinator.

“According to studies, the middle income class in 2020 is expected to be 140 million people. And the majority of the middle income group is the millennials. Upper middle income, millennials and digital savvy population amounts to around 35 million people in Indonesia. That is significant, particularly when we take into account the fact that the investors in our capital market are only over 1.5 million,” Wicaksana said.

Currently, Halofina’s main feature is LifePlan, which helps users calculate and plan their future financial needs, such as marriage, housing, education, vehicle, by giving them a cost estimate and calculating how much needs to be saved per month.

This leads to a recommendation on asset allocation, based on users’ goals, risk profile and financial profile, helping users decide on the investment products to purchase, which currently consists of mutual fund and gold. The platform then allows users to purchase the product, as well as track and monitor it afterwards.

Following the funding, the company says it will be adding more products and features.

“In the first quarter of next year, we will work with third parties to develop educational content such as an audio book, podcast, video and even online consultation which will enable experts to make content and provide consultation service,” Wicaksana said.

Strategic support

By having two fintech-focused VCs on board in this round, Wicaksana said the deal will go deeper than mere capital, as the new investors will be able to provide the company with significant strategic support.

Mandiri Capital, the VC arm of Indonesia’s Bank Mandiri, will provide knowledge of the Indonesian financial services sector as well as companies and regulators, Wicaksana said. Europe-based Finch, meanwhile, comes with international fintech nous and will allow Halofina to learn from the best practices in European markets, where the industry is more mature.

“We feel that our two new shareholders can give us significant intangible support,” Wicaksana said. “Because they are both fintech-focused VCs, the potential for synergies with their respective portfolio companies is huge.”

For the two investors, Halofina represents an investment in a new fintech vertical as both look to expand their investment scope by identifying opportunities beyond traditional pure fintech sectors like payment and lending.

“What Halofina is building is in line with the wealth management & digital banking trend in mature markets. Indonesia is a huge market with rapid technology adoption, especially for financial solutions tailored to the emerging millennial demographic. At Finch, we have seen similar business models being applied in Europe and we believe Halofina have the right product and team to capture the opportunity in Indonesia” said Finch Capital managing partner Hans de Back.

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.