JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) — Southeast Asian financial technology (FinTech) startup SuperAtom has closed its latest funding round of US$24 million, said the investor today (09/10). The round was led by Gobi Partners through the Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund with American-based Cheetah Mobile as a co-investor.
Founded in 2018, SuperAtom is a startup incubated by and spun off from Cheetah Mobile that is targeting to help give more people in Southeast Asia equal access to financial services using the power of technology.
Early 2018, the provider has launched its first FinTech lending app, UangMe in Indonesia. the company’ platform has now accumulated nearly five million downloads in the most populated country in the region.
Currently, FinTech lending services have only been around in Southeast Asia since 2016 but is set to play a much larger role. In Indonesia alone, the financial inclusion gap, the shortfall between the demand and supply of formal financial services, is estimated to be $57 billion, according to the Asian Development Bank data.
In the 2017, the total amount of loan disbursements via FinTech lending stood at $274 million and has grown to more than $1 billion in 2018. SuperAtom possesses several huge competitive advantages over its peers. Firstly, Cheetah Mobile has 434 million mobile internet users worldwide, of which 70 percent are outside of China.
In Southeast Asia, they have around 60 million monthly active users, half of which are in Indonesia, and covers about half of the country’ smartphone users. This allows SuperAtom to acquire customers in a much more efficient way.
On July 31, 2018, SuperAtom received official approval to operate in Indonesia from Financial Service Agency. The company subsequently collaborated with local banks and financial institutions to launch UangMe, a P2P consumer lending platform, which has since been downloaded nearly five million times.
Secondly, most regional entrepreneurs are focused on small and medium enterprise lending, where their local business knowledge allows them to grow while managing lending risks. On the other hand, scaling consumer micro-loans requires deep technology such as artificial intelligence, which is still lacking in local teams, but is readily available in China.
“SuperAtom services are especially relevant in markets such as Southeast Asia, where traditional banking penetration is low and the proliferation of smart phones is high,” said Kay Mok Ku, Managing Partner of Gobi in an official statement released today.
Founder and President of the Board of SuperAtom, Scarlett Xiao, is a typical example, she co-founded Cheetah Mobile and helped expand the company from 10 staff to 3,000 globally. She explained the reason SuperAtom entered Indonesia caused the countries will see GDP per capita grow from $3,800 to $7,000 in the next ten years.
“So the market potential is enormous. Beyond Indonesia, Philippines is also a very attractive market as it has a population of 100 million, and their GDP is growing at 6.2 percent. We are getting ready to enter this exciting market as we have just been awarded the financial license by the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission,” said the founder.
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