HK Startup CompareAsiaGroup Bags $20m in Experian-led Series B1

CompareAsiaGroup, a Hong Kong-based startup that runs online financial marketplaces in seven Asian countries, has raised $20 million in the initial close of its Series B funding round, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The Series B1 round was led by London-based consumer credit giant Experian, which has been investing in comparison sites and other Asian startups that has a data play.

In 2017, Experian led Bank Bazaar’s $30 million round and then in 2018 led the $10 million round in Malaysia-based Jirnexu. It also invested an undisclosed amount in Grab’s Series H round.

“The challenge of financial inclusion is not limited to emerging markets. Across developed markets like Singapore and Hong Kong, many face unique obstacles when trying to access financial services or as they plan for their future financial needs,” Ben Elliott, CEO, Experian, Asia Pacific.

CompareAsiaGroup co-founded in 2014 by Alister Musgrave, David Hatcher, Gerald Eder, Shaun Kraft, and Stefan Bruun, offers online comparison and management tools for insurance, credit cards, personal loans, and other financial products. It currently compares over 2,500 products.

“We help people make better financial choices by providing comprehensive, independent online comparison and education of over 2,000 financial products,” the company said.

The startup employs more than 150 financial experts and technologists and has a presence in Hong Kong (MoneyHero.com.hk), Indonesia (HaloMoney.co.id), Malaysia (CompareHero.my), the Philippines (MoneyMax.ph), Singapore (SingSaver.com.sg), Taiwan (Money101.com.tw), and Thailand (MoneyGuru.co.th).

It earns a fee from banks including HSBC, DBS, and Standard Chartered and insurers such as FWD Group and QBE Insurance Group every time a person buys their products on its platform.

CompareAsiaGroup said it will use the fresh funds to enhance the use of data-driven technologies, offering customers more personalised services with new levels of innovation, efficiency, and scalability.

The latest funding round also brings CompareAsiaGroup’s total funding to date to more than $110 million. The startup’s investors in the previous funding rounds include the International Finance Corporation, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, SBI Group, Route 66 Ventures, and Nova Founders Capital.

In 2017, CompareAsiaGroup secured $50 million in funding from the IFC, Alibaba, and other investors. The company used that funding to develop its technology and launch more products.

“We look forward to connecting more customers with the right products, especially consumer loans and cards, and offering a secured and integrated digital experience that is unique to each customer,” said CompareAsiaGroup CEO Sam Allen.

Before joining CompareAsiaGroup as CEO, Allen spent nine years at KKR where he was a Director in KKR’s portfolio operations team and a member of the Asia Leadership Team. He worked with KKR’s portfolio companies across Asia, acting as an advisor and interim executive. Prior to this, he worked at McKinsey & Company and at AT&T Wireless.

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