Cicil, an Indonesian financing platform for university students, has announced the closing of a Series A funding round led by East Ventures and Vertex Ventures. It didn’t disclose the quantum of funding raised in the round.
Also participating in the round were new investors K3 Ventures and Ethos Partners, as well as existing investor Accord Ventures, according to an official release.
Targeting credit consumption of university students, Cicil provides financial services to students who need to pay for their tuition fees or other items such as laptops. Since its inception in late 2016, the startup claims to have expanded across 10 provinces and 29 cities in Indonesia and now serves students from more than 100 universities.
According to Cicil co-founder Leslie Lim, the new funds will enable the company to accelerate its expansion and serve more students.
“Access to education can lift up and improve living standard. However, the education system is costly in Indonesia. Cicil fills the gap by giving financing to students for their tuition and education tools such as laptop and computer. It helps the student progress forward and align with the national movement to become Energy of Asia,” said East Ventures Managing Partner Willson Cuaca.
The startup bagged its seed funding from East Ventures in 2016. While the seed round was also undisclosed, the company said the latest investment brings Cicil’s total funding raised to over US$5 million.
Cicil competes with DanaDidik, a crowdfunding startup that enables Indonesian students to borrow funds from their sponsors, which they can pay back in instalments once they have graduated and found a job.
DanaDidik, which raised its seed funding from Garden Impact last year, is a graduate of Plug n Play Indonesia’s acceleration program. Cicil, meanwhile, is a Google launchpad accelerator startup.
According to data, more than half of Indonesia’s population does not own a formal bank account. However, about 70 per cent of this ‘unbanked’ population owns mobile phones, which allows fintech players to thrive.
In fact, Indonesia’s Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara has said that the country’s next unicorn may emerge from the fintech sector due to the high level of interest and investments from venture capital firms into the sector.