Financial marketplace, GoBear recently announced that it had acquired AsiaKredit, a Singapore-based end-to-end digital consumer lender. This deal goes in line with GoBear’s plans to expand its reach and drive through digital lending, a released statement said.
It follows an US$80M raise from financial services provider Aegon and ventures capital firm Walvis Participaties in May 2019.
With these new funds, GoBear will introduce “lending as-a-service” to its network, which has more than 100 partners, helping them offer loans to underserved customers in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Additionally, it will expand its direct lending service through the help of AsiaKredit’s Pera247, a consumer lending app based in the Philippines.
“The establishment of an industry-leading lending business is a critical component of GoBear’s strategy to support our banking partners in providing loans to the many underserved consumers in Asia,” the CEO of GoBear Adrian Chng said. “The acquisition will allow GoBear to accelerate strategic plans by giving us access to end-to-end digital lending capabilities.”
GoBear was established in 2015, and it describes itself as a financial supermarket where consumers can find financial know-how, products, and tools for their needs. It currently operates in the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
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The company has served more than 40 million consumers since 2015, with its consumer finance products increasing by more than 100% in the last year. On the other hand, AsiaKredit claims that it has processed over one million loan applications and has achieved more than 100 times growth in the last two years.
A study conducted by Bain & Company revealed that access to credit remains a huge problem for many people in Southeast Asia, with over 70% of its population being unbanked or underbanked.
GoBear also notes it will become even more important to provide consumers with access to credit, given that the economic growth in developing countries will possibly decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.