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Ayoconnect helps digitize bill payments in Indonesia
Indonesian fintech startup Ayoconnect (previously known as Ayopop) has raised US$5 million in a pre-Series B funding round, taking its total capital over the $10 million mark, the company announced in a statement earlier this week.
Existing backers and early-stage venture capital investors Finch Capital and Amand Ventures returned to participate in the round, the statement said.
New investors who also participated in the round include Kakaku.com, Brama One Ventures, and Indonesian Government-owned Bank BRI’s corporate venture capital wing BRI Ventures, it added.
Ayoconnect is a B2B ‘open bill network’ that connects ‘bill providers’ such as utility companies and telcos, to ‘channel partners,’ including retailers, postal services, and financial institutions, to expand payment points through its One API solution, the statement noted.
Co-founder and CEO of Ayoconnect Jakob Rost said in the statement that Ayoconnect’s vision was to organize the billing ecosystem in Indonesia into a central network.
“We cannot understate the importance of providing accessibility to billers, telcos, banks, financial institutions, and consumers,” Rost added, noting that bill payment in Indonesia is done mostly through offline and fragmented means.
“Our Pre-series B raise will be used for tech investment and growing our network of partnerships to bridge the gap between Bill Providers and Channel Partners with an underlying infrastructure for reliable, secure and fast digital bill payment,” he further said.
Ayoconnect also announced a fresh executive-level hire in the statement, with Alex Jatra appointed to the position of the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
The statement noted that Ayoconnect has processed over 40 million bill payments through 600 bill providers and 40 channel partners as of July 2020, and the company’s transaction volumes have grown by 400% in the first half of this year.
Some of its partners feature Indonesian state-owned entities, such as Ewallet LinkAja, postal service PT POS Indonesia, pawn broking services Pegadaian, and Bank BRI, according to the statement. Other partners include Indonesian ecommerce companies Bukalapak and Lazada, digital wallet company DANA, and Bangkok Bank-owned Bank Permata.
Some of its partners feature Indonesian state-owned entities, such as Ewallet LinkAja, postal service PT POS Indonesia, pawn broking services Pegadaian, and Bank BRI, according to the statement.
Other partners include Indonesian Ecommerce companies Bukalapak and Lazada, digital wallet company DANA, and Bangkok Bank-owned Bank Permata.
In addition to Indonesia, the 2015-founded company also has an office in India, which serves as the tech hub for the company, the statement noted.
“Bill payment technology plays a vital part across many currently underserved industry verticals and there is a tremendous growth opportunity in the upcoming digitalization of those sectors,” CEO of BRI Ventures Nicko Widjaja said in the statement.
“We see a sustainable value in Ayoconnect’s approach to serve the entire ecosystem by working with Bill providers, Aggregators and Channel Partners alike. Their open network allows the acceleration in democratizing digital products within the Indonesian fintech ecosystem over the coming years,” Widjaja further said.
Indonesia poses a unique opportunity for fintech companies owing to its rising internet population and wide smartphone connectivity. However, it also has a largely unbanked and underbanked population–36% of people in Indonesia do not have bank accounts.
In this respect, startups in Indonesia capitalizing on this complex fintech opportunity often incidentally also address the need for financial inclusion in the island nation.
Header image courtesy of Ayoconnect