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.