Hong Kong-headquartered fintech company Oriente has raised USD 20 million debt funding facility from Silverhorn Group, a Hong Kong-based multi-asset investment firm.
The facility, which could increase up to USD 50 million, will be utilized to grow the company’s loan book and to expand the reach of its online credit and pay later solutions to consumers and micro enterprises in the Philippines, according to an official statement.
In the Philipines, Oriente operates Cashalo, a fintech platform that provides digital credit and other services. Founded in 2017, Cashalo has grown over 20% month-on-month since its establishment, Oriente said, adding that the app has been downloaded over 6.5 million times in the past 18 months to reach a user base of 2.5 million consumers.
“As we enter the next stage of growth on our mission to helping ignite economic opportunity for tens of millions of consumers and micro-enterprises, the support we receive from our debt partners is critical,” said Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente, also known for being the co-founder of Skype.
Mike Imam, a managing partner at Silverhorn Group, added that Oriente “is one of the very few non-bank lenders that can leverage on alternative data points and an algorithmic risk engine to underwrite credit to the under-financed populations in the region.”
Oriente was founded in 2017 by Prentice and Hubert Tai, former Lufax’s chief technology officer and chief operating officer, as well as Lawrence Chu, founder of BlackPine Private Equity. The company is backed by Berjaya Group, JG Summit Holdings, Inc, and Sinar Mas, which took part in its USD 105 million initial round in 2018.
According to Google, Temasek, Bain & Company e-Conomy SEA 2019 Report, there are almost 400 million adults in Southeast Asia, but over 70% of them are currently either unbanked or underbanked, which means they do not use banks or financial institutions, or are not participating fully in the financial services market.
The report also indicates that financial service penetration in Southeast Asia is expected to increase two-to threefold over the next five years, with digital lending, on track for a USD 110 billion loan book by 2025, expected to be the largest contributor.