CompareAsiaGroup, a startup based in Hong Kong which operates personal finance management online platforms in seven countries in Asia, has raised funds amounting to $50 million from investors who include the commercial lending arm of the World Bank. The World Bank’s commercial lending arm, International Finance Corporation, revealed that it will be investing approximately $15 million in CompareAsiaGroup.
Other investors include the SBI Group of Japan and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. The latter is a nonprofit fund that was started by Alibaba Group, the Chinese online retail giant. Ace & Company and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, who were already investors in CompareAsiaGroup, also participated in the startup’s recent funding round.
Financial products price comparison
The personal finance management startup assists consumers in Asian countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong to compare and purchase financial products that range from credit cards to loans to insurance. CompareAsiaGroup makes money by earning fees from insurers who include QBE Insurance Group and FWD Group as well as banks which include Standard Chartered, DBS and HSBC every time a consumer purchases products on its websites.
The startup intends to expand to Southeast Asia not just with its personal finance management products but also by diversifying to offer other products such as mobile phone plans and broadband services.
“The focus for us is how do we grow in Indonesia, Philippines and other countries where there’s a huge population of unbanked people that is coming online every day, ” said the chief executive officer of CompareAsiaGroup, Sam Allen.
According to the chairman of the startup, Mads Faurholt-Jorgensen, the firm will be recruiting more employees in the next few months with the number expected to rise to more than 200 from the current 150. The startup which was founded in 2014 will also use the funds in the improvement of user experiences on its sites. To match users with financial products based on risk profile and needs, the platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Last year over 28 million people used the startup’s platforms and CompareAsiaGroup is currently Asia’s biggest personal financial management online platform. For each of the countries that CompareAsiaGroup operates in, it uses a different domain name. In Thailand the domain name is MoneyGuru.co.th. In Taiwan the domain name is Money101.com.tw while in in Singapore it is SingSaver.com.sg. The domain name in the Philippines is MoneyMax.ph while in Malaysia it is CompareHero.my. In Indonesia it is HaloMoney.co.id while in Hong Kong it is MoneyHero.com.hk.