Filipino fintech company Advance has raised US$16 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Do Ventures and Lendable, with participation from new investors Phoenix Holdings, Kaya Founders, Foxmont Capital, Oyster Ventures, and Crossocean Ventures, as well as existing investors Wavemaker Partners, Next Billion Ventures, Integra Partners, and Accion Venture Lab.
Advance aims to provide easier access to financial services and expand its reach into underserved areas.
The startup has been providing salary advances and other financial services to underserved employees in the Philippines since 2018, where almost half of the population remains unbanked.
The company has earned the trust of over 200 companies in the country, including major industry players like Sitel Philippines, Inspiro, Cebuana Lhuillier, and ePerformax. With this latest raise, Advance will introduce more innovative financial products and offer its services to more partners in the Philippines and Vietnam.
The company has also expanded into Vietnam with the acquisition of BravoHr, a Vietnam-based platform that provides digital solutions for employee engagement, benefits, and rewards. BravoHr’s key clients include some of the biggest global brands like McDonalds, L’Oreal, and AstraZeneca. Advance will now be catering to thousands of employees in Vietnam.
“Advance has the potential to provide greater financial stability and security for workers across emerging economies via their tech-enabled on-demand credit platform. Given the similarities between the financial landscapes of Vietnam and the Philippines, we are positive that the team will be able to apply its playbook to Vietnam’s untapped market and help improve the financial well-being of millions of Vietnamese employees,” said Vy Le, Co-Founder and General Partner of Do Ventures.
Advance offers employees easy access to a portion of their salaries through a flexible credit line via the Advance mobile app in as quickly as a few seconds, whenever needed.
Users of Advance are also equipped with financial tools designed to vastly improve the different aspects of their financial journey. Advance has recently expanded its offering to include other credit solutions and financial wellness and education products from its business partners.
“We are confident about the scalability of the business and are pleased to support its growth to promote employee welfare and income stability to workers in the Philippines and the wider Southeast Asia region,” said Ruoyun Yang, Head of Asia at Lendable.
Advance has a vision of providing fair and accessible financial services, especially for underserved employees, and is excited about doing this in two markets that are still addressing a major credit gap across borrowing segments.