Malaysian fintech startup Jirnexu raises $11m in Series B

Jirnexu founders LC Vivier, J Wong, J Barnes, L Ooi, H Liew and YT Siew

Malaysia-based fintech startup Jirnexu has closed an $11-million Series B round led by returning investor Japanese financial services firm SBI Group and joined by US-based SIG Asia Investments.

The latest round brings Jirnexu’s total funding to $17 million, with the startup claiming to be among the best-funded startups in Malaysia.

According to CEO Yuen Tuck Siew, the Series B funding would be used to scale up the startup’s presence in Malaysia. Jirnexu owns and operates financial comparison sites RinggitPlus in Malaysia and KreditGoGo in Indonesia.

“Right now, funding is not the priority. The current plan is to drive organic growth but if an opportunity comes along where we could accelerate our growth with more funds, then we will go with it.

“With the Series B, the primary growth would be to push organic growth in Malaysia. The most important thing to grow is really just providing more products and services to consumers – that’s really where the investment has gone and where it would continue to go,” he told DEALSTREETASIA in a phone interaction on Wednesday.

There is no immediate plan for any merger and acquisition at this juncture, added Siew.

Siew claimed the startup has been growing rapidly since its last funding round, achieving a 100 per cent revenue growth in 2017. He vowed to achieve the same growth rate this year.

“Already serving over 30 financial service institutions in Malaysia, this round of funding will enable us to accelerate our work with banks, life insurers and general insurers. Our aim is to cover the entire consumer personal finance market and simplify all aspects of our customers’ journey.”

Last October, upon raising its pre-Series B round, Jirnexu was on track to breaking even by 2018 but that target has been replaced with prioritising product growth.

“With the fundraising in hand, the focus is no longer making it to break-even in a matter of months but to scale the business. The unilateral decision by the board was to focus on growth.

“The next stage of our technology roadmap will address continuing pains points for financial service institutions, including consumer digital identification and eKYC (electronic know your customer), enabling us to provide highly personalised and relevant financial products anytime, anywhere.

“In the coming year, Jirnexu will automate digital risk assessment and customer verification, processes that are hindered by a lack of data and manual, paper-based methods,” said Siew.

SBI Ven Capital CEO and managing director Ryosuke Hayashi said, “SBI appreciates the complexity of financial services—with each vertical and product having its own potential for digital disruption. Jirnexu continues to demonstrate unique value in their goal to lead across all verticals and stages of the value chain—an exciting endeavour in one of the world’s fastest-growing mobile-first markets.”

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