Former Grab exec raises $2m from Y Combinator, Rocket Internet, others for fintech startup

The Spenmo team.

Singapore-based fintech platform Spenmo has raised $2 million in seed funding from Y Combinator, Rocket Internet, Iterative Capital and angel investors from XA Network, formerly known as Xoogler Angels.

Spenmo was founded in 2019 by ex-Grab executive Mohandass Kalaichelvan who was responsible for the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant’s strategy across transport, payments and financial services.

At Grab, Mohandass learned about the problems merchants faced when it came to financial accounting and applying for loans.

“We found that many didn’t have the right software to track how much money they were spending. This problem becomes more challenging once you go beyond Singapore, where a lot of this spending data is not digitised…Conversely, we found that that lack of visibility on data actually prevented them from getting loans that they really needed,” explained Mohandass.

This led him to start Spenmo that serves as a platform to help businesses manage spending by tracking company cards, automate invoice payments and digital ledger across transactions. The data collected over time on Spenmo can then be used to inform creditworthiness in a company, which will help them to get better loan rates in the market.

In the last five months since launch, Spenmo has worked with more than 140 companies and managed over $1 million of company transactions on its platform. It also claims to have helped its clients save more than 10,000 hours of finance-processing time and gain access to over $150,000 of loans at 25 per cent below market rates.

The fresh funds will be channeled into business expansion and developing Spenmo’s product. The firm is already monetising and aims to process $3 million in transaction value per month by the end of 2020. It also targets to grow its client base to 500 companies in Singapore by the same period.

Spenmo is also eyeing expansion into Indonesia sometime between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, depending on the pandemic situation in the region.

Its chief product officer Andika Prasetya, who had previously led product for UangTeman, will play a key role in its entry into Indonesia. The firm sees itself adding another 10 people across commercial, sales and product positions in Jakarta. It currently has a team size of about 15 people in Singapore and Bangalore.

Spenmo will also be rolling out new features in lending management in the coming months to help lenders verify clients, applications and speed up the turnaround for these processes. The firm has several strategic partners on its roster including Stripe and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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.