Indonesia: East Ventures invests undisclosed amount in startup Cicil

Indonesia’s early stage venture fund East Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount of seed funding into Cicil, a new financing platform for university students. The new investment will see Cicil accelerating its mission of bringing financial inclusion to students.

Targeting credit consumption of university students, Cicil addresses the underserved student segment of bank financing. Indonesian students have the lowest access to finance in Southeast Asia, with only 1 per cent of credit card penetration and banking penetration of 20 per cent.

Leslie Lim, co-founder of Cicil, said that students often encounter difficulties in getting financing assistance to make expensive purchases for school, such as an expensive laptop. Cicil aims to solve this problem for the six million university students in the country over the four years of their education.

“…it’s hard to obtain financial assistance to pay the large upfront cost. Hence, we wanted to come up with a means of solving this problem,” Lim said.

Students join Cicil by completing an application form on the platform. Cicil will then assess the student’s credit worthiness based on their profile. If an applicant is approved, Cicil will purchase the product from the student’s selected e-commerce platform.

The student can then pay via installments without the need of a credit card. This way, Cicil is the first platform to address the credit needs of university students in Indonesia.

“We hope this will reduce the burden of having to save for money months to purchase these items. In the future, we are also exploring the idea of helping students with their tuition fee needs,” said co-founder Edward Widjonarko.

Based in Jakarta, Cicil was founded by Edward Widjonarko and Leslie Lim, who met when they were classmates pursuing their MBAs at INSEAD. Edward previously worked for PT Bilna and AJCapital Advisory, while Leslie brings experience from Barclays Capital and HSBC.

Commenting on the investment, managing partner of East Ventures Wilson Cuaca said that the deal is aligned with his company’s thesis to engage with the post-millenial market.

“We want to engage with this future consumer group and Cicil is poised to address that. We believe Leslie and Edward are well positioned to capture this opportunity,” Cuaca said in a statement.

East Ventures is one of the most active early-stage venture funds in Indonesia, investing in more than 150 companies in Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Most of East Ventures’ active portfolios have raised follow-on financing rounds and/or exits through mergers and acquisitions to both local and international companies.

Also Read:

Indonesia’s Cermati raises series A funding from East Ventures, Beenos Plaza

Indonesia Dealbook: East Ventures’ EIR initiative; Panorama partners Galasys’ OM Solutions

Indonesia’s IDN Media raises funds from North Base, East Ventures, others

East Ventures leads seed funding in Indonesia’s ‘SaaS for K-12’ startup Quintal

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.