Standard Chartered invests in buy now, pay later firm Atome Financial

Singapore. Photo: Unsplash

Standard Chartered Bank has made an undisclosed strategic investment in Singapore fintech firm Atome Financial as part of a 10-year partnership aimed at delivering financial services to consumers and merchants across Asia.

This is one of StanChart’s largest strategic investments in a fintech firm to date, the UK-headquartered bank said in a statement.

Atome Financial is one of Southeast Asia’s largest fintech lenders and claims to be the region’s largest buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform. It also operates Kredit Pintar, one of Indonesia’s biggest peer-to-peer lenders by disbursement. Atome is a business unit of Advance Intelligence Group, also known as ADVANCE.AI.

As part of the alliance with Atome, StanChart will finance $500 million worth of loans, comprising mainly BNPL and other digital lending products, which will be disbursed across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam in the coming months.

“We are excited to have the support and partnership of Standard Chartered in building towards our mission of using technology to help people advance towards a better life. By providing consumers with easier, simpler, and more convenient access to a full suite of digital-first financial services, we can accelerate broader financial inclusion across both developed and emerging markets in Asia,” said Jefferson Chen, Co-Founder, Group Chairman and CEO of Advance Intelligence Group, and CEO of Atome Financial.

The StanChart investment follows a recent Series D fundraising by Advance Intelligence Group, in which it secured over $400 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Warburg Pincus and other investors. The financing valued the firm at over $2 billion.

“Riding on our successful digital ventures and partnerships, we continue to be fearlessly innovative in disrupting ourselves to better serve our clients. This partnership with Atome Financial gives us the opportunity to be part of the rapidly growing digital consumer finance ecosystem and provides convenient and relevant digital financial products to complement and enrich clients’ digital lives,” said Judy Hsu, CEO, Consumer, Private and Business Banking at Standard Chartered Bank.

The firms will seek to expand their merchant base, improve product access and enhance financial inclusion for consumers across the region, said a joint statement.

StanChart has previously invested in Indonesia’s online and offline commerce major Bukalapak.

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.