Singapore’s MoneySmart raises $1.96m in Series A led by SPH Media Fund

Visual of Moneysmart.sg website. October 2015.

Singapore-based finance portal Moneysmart.sg has raised S$2.8 million (US$1.96 million) in a Series A round led by Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) investment arm SPH Media Fund.

MoneySmart curates and aggregates at least 16 different types of personal financial products on its digital marketplace, ranging from credit cards to insurance and home loans. It allows consumers to seek advice as well as compare prices and features for various financial products like loans, which they can apply through the site.

Additionally, it maintains a content blog aimed at educating and enhancing the awareness of consumers, so that they optimise their financial health. The portal draws 1.5 million page views a month and 500,000 unique visitors. It provides simplified financial advice to customers, limiting industry jargon and helping them decide which financial service is suitable for them.

SPH’s corporate venture capital arm was joined by a syndicate that include Convergence Ventures, OPT Sea, Golden Gate Ventures and a number of angel investors. Members of this cabal of angels include finance advisory SingCapital‘s CEO Alfred Chia, PropNex CEO Mohammad IsmailPropnex director Alan Lim, VP (APAC) for Homeaway Dan Lynn and Zopim co-founders Royston Tay and Kwok Yang Bin.

Also Read: Three Singapore real estate agencies to merge

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The startup was born out of Vinod Nair’s previous attempts at entrepreneurial ventures. The founder and CEO of Moneysmart explained that previous attempts at entrepreneurship included a real estate search engine, which did not work out. Aside from serving in lead roles in Moneysmart.sg and Catapult Ventures, the serial entrepreneur is a co-founder of Singapore-based digital technology and startup media platform e27.

According to Tech in Asia, this specific investment is  uncharacteristic of the SPH Media Fund, due to Moneysmart being a financial products platform. However, Chua Boon Ping, chief executive of the SPH Media Fund explained that the fund is not seeking media opportunities exclusively, but plans to invest in companies that SPH deems to have potential for financial growth.

In November 2014, Moneysmart acquired an Indonesian counterpart – KreditAja – which now operates under the DuitPintar.com brand. The Indonesian site’s traffic data sees in excess of 500,000 page views monthly. Post-acquisition, it reportedly saw annual revenue exceeding S$1 million (US$702,000)  for FY2015, ending 31 December 2014.

According to Nair, capital from this round will be invested in product development involving new tools and mobile phone apps, as well as regional expansion to either Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong or other regional markets. It also plans to expand its team and grow its brand in Indonesia and Singapore.

Commenting on the investment, Chua said, “With the rise of the middle class across South-east Asia, an increasing number of people are becoming more interested and sophisticated in financial investment knowledge. There is a strong demand for a comprehensive site where people can look for and compare financial products that meet their individual needs.”

Also Read: Series A investments in ASEAN tripled in 2014: Golden Gate Ventures

Asian venture capital deals quadruple to $31.6b in two years: Preqin

SPH Media Fund invests in Peatix’s $5 million Series B round

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.