Fintech startup Oriente raises $20m in debt funding for Philippines expansion

Oriente co-founder Geoffrey Prentice

Hong Kong-based fintech startup Oriente on Wednesday announced that it has secured a $20 million debt financing facility from the city’s multi-asset investment firm Silverhorn Group.

The facility, which can be increased up to $50 million, will be used to grow Oriente’s loan book and extend the reach of its digital credit and pay later solutions in the Philippines.

The company operates Cashalo, a mobile app that provides credit and online-to-offline (O2O) on-demand financing services, in the Philippines. Oriente claims the app has been downloaded over 6.5 million times in the Southeast Asian country and has over 2.5 million consumers.

“Oriente shares our values of promoting financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. To date, it is one of the very few non-bank lenders that can leverage on alternative data points and an algorithmic risk engine to underwrite credit to the under-financed populations in the region,” said Mike Imam, managing partner at Silverhorn Group, in a statement.

Only 33 per cent of Southeast Asia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have access to loans or lines of credit, according to statistics from KPMG and the World Bank.

Research by the Asian Development Bank estimates that addressing this issue and closing the financial inclusion gap could increase GDP by 9-14 per cent in Southeast Asian economies and generate more than $380 billion in annual banking revenues globally.

Oriente was founded in 2017 by former Skype executive Geoffrey Prentice and former executives at Chinese online wealth management platform Lufax and Hong Kong-based BlackPine Private Equity. The company uses AI, machine learning, and data science to build solutions that offer real-time credit scoring, digital and O2O lending, and other customized financial services in Southeast Asia.

Besides Cashalo, the company also introduced mobile app Finmas in Indonesia in February 2019 to provide financing solutions.

In November 2018, the company raised over $105 million in an initial equity financing round from the company founders and a group of family offices including members of the Berjaya Group, JG Summit Holdings, and Sinar Mas, one of Indonesia’s biggest conglomerates.

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.