The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's financing arm for the private sector, is making an equity investment of $15 million in CompareAsiaGroup, a Hong Kong-based online financial comparison platform, to support the company's plans to improve financial inclusion, literacy and innovation in the region.(B1 Photo/Danung Arifin)

World Bank's IFC Invests in CompareAsiaGroup to Improve Financial Inclusion, Innovation

BY :TABITA DIELA

JULY 12, 2017

Jakarta. The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's financing arm for the private sector, is making an equity investment of $15 million in CompareAsiaGroup, a Hong Kong-based online financial comparison platform, to support the company's plans to improve financial inclusion, literacy and innovation in the region.

CompareAsiaGroup provides consumers with a variety of financial products — including credit cards, loans and insurance packages — from banks and insurance companies on its platform. The group allows consumers to compare over 2,500 financial products online.

CompareAsiaGroup currently operates in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand under different names in each country. The group is known as HaloMoney in Indonesia.

"We are excited to continue our mission of raising financial literacy and providing transparency to consumers across Asia with strong strategic support from new investors," Sam Allen, CompareAsiaGroup chief executive, said in a statement on Wednesday (12/07).

IFC's investment leads CompareAsiaGroup's $50 million Series B funding. Other backers in the series include H&Q Asia Pacific, Route 66 Ventures, ACE & Company, Nova Founders Capital, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, SBI Group and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.

The latest round — which saw CompareAsiaGroup's total funding reach $96 million — will help the group expand partnerships with banks and insurance companies to better serve consumers across Asia.

IFC has invested in over 30 fintech companies in emerging markets to date.

"At IFC, reaching the unbanked and under-banked is a priority and we believe the best way to do this is through technology," said Vivek Pathak, IFC regional director for East Asia and the Pacific.

"Our support for innovative fintech companies like CompareAsiaGroup encourages disruptive technologies and new business models that create markets for other private sector players to engage," Pathak said.

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