Southeast Asian open finance platform Ayoconnect has closed a $15 million Series B financing round led by Tiger Global. The round was joined by PayU, the payments and Fintech business of Prosus, and Alto Partners, as well as individual strategic investors, including Plaid co-founder William Hockey and Jerry Ng, president commissioner of Bank Jago. Ayoconnect will devote the funds to product development.
In a statement, Ayoconnect said Southeast Asia is experiencing transformational economic growth, but financial infrastructure remains a significant challenge. A complex geography and a lack of traditional supply chains are limiting progress toward building an inclusive financial system.
As a result, many people remain unbanked or underbanked. A new wave of innovation coming from the private and public sectors is helping to promote more inclusivity, but bringing financial products to market in this region remains expensive. Companies looking to offer financial services and products are faced with either needing to acquire existing, licensed companies or going through the long and expensive process of building their own technology from scratch.
Ayoconnect allows companies to embed more than 4,000 financial products in plug-and-play fashion through its network of APIs. Its technology is already used by more than 200 companies. The platform benefits from official working relations with Indonesian banks and regulators and is the only open finance platform globally to offer fintech- and banking-as-a-service as well as data-as-a-service APIs for both banked and unbanked.
“After six years of building new rails for Indonesian finance, today Ayoconnect is the most robust and in-demand open finance platform in the country. We are building the AWS of open finance with the most complete offering globally so that we can power the companies of today and the tech unicorns of tomorrow. We are proud to receive the backing of some of the world’s most renowned investors,” said Jakob Rost, CEO and co-founder at Ayoconnect.
Ayoconnect’s stack is divided into two main areas. With embedded finance, they help companies launch financial products using APIs such as phone top-up, utility payments, embedded insurance, and auto-billing. Banking-as-a-service APIs provide account opening, disbursement, credit, investment, savings, and other capabilities.
With data, Ayoconnect enables companies to make better decisions by pulling banking data, such as account validation, account balance, transactions, and liabilities. They also provide data on unbanked and underbanked people through bill payments, e-wallet, location, phone, e-commerce, payroll, and other alternative data. New use-case APIs are added regularly.
In the first half of 2022, Ayoconnect said it will launch Indonesia’s first-ever direct debit service. This API will automate recurring payments directly from customers’ bank accounts. Plans are underway to offer clients cards-as-a-service.
“At PayU, we have always believed in partnering with promising entrepreneurs who share our vision of a world without financial borders,” said Fady Abdel Nour, global head of M&A and investments, at PayU. “Ayoconnect has built new rails for Indonesian finance as well as a one stop shop API for economic actors within it.
“The talent within the team, relations with the banking and technology sectors and phenomenal growth were all important indicators for us that Ayoconnect has what it takes to execute at the highest level. We are delighted to join in Ayoconnect’s journey as it evolves its offerings to serve more businesses, helps the next generation of startups to grow, and brings a higher degree of inclusion to the entire region.”