Jakarta, Indonesia – March 7, 2017 – Amartha, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending marketplace for unbanked communities, and Mandiri Capital Indonesia (MCI), the VC arm of Indonesia’s largest Bank, announced the Series A investment today. Other investors who participated in this round include Lynx Asia Partners, and existing investors Beenext and Midplaza Holding.
According to the World Bank’s 2014 Global Findex database, 64% of Indonesian adults do not have a bank account, far lower than the global average of 38%. Amartha’s vision is to connect aspiring unbanked micro-entrepreneurs with working capital requirements of approximately $300 to lenders interested in making profitable, impactful investments. In addition to maintaining a strong focus towards optimizing its technology and product line, Amartha plans to use this funding to scale its business and provide hundreds of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs across Indonesia’s remote geographies access to affordable and sustainable financing.
“With limited banking infrastructure and service coverage especially in rural areas, micro-entrepreneurs who work in informal economies struggle with the reality of accessing affordable working capital,” says Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, CEO of Amartha. “Through Amartha, we have been able to create a new market that modernizes microlending and gives people at the bottom of the income pyramid better alternatives to fund their businesses.”
Incorporated in 2010 as a microfinance institution, Amartha transformed into a P2P lending marketplace and financial technology company in 2016. Today, Amartha has facilitated over 180 million in loans to over 60,000 women micro-entrepreneurs while maintaining a 7-year long 0% default rate.
“Amartha’s business model plays an important role in our economy as it addresses the challenge behind delivering financial services to the unbanked population. With over seven years of experience in microlending, strong field networks in rural areas, and a solid leadership team, Amartha’s compliments Bank Mandiri’s vision to drive financial inclusion across the nation” says Eddi Danusaputro, CEO of MCI.
The informal economies currently employ 90% of Indonesia’s labor force thus representing a big opportunity for economic growth. However, those micro-business owners who work in the informal economies are struggle to get loan from banks due to no collateral, seasonal income, and improper bookkeeping. Amartha has overcome these challenges by leveraging psychometric approaches and its own credit scoring technology to assess the credit-worthiness of its loan recipients. Through this platform, borrowers will receive a credit rating and develop a credit history which they can leverage when applying for future financing. Amartha’s transparent system allows for everyone to invest in micro and small businesses within the informal economy more conveniently and securely than ever before.
“Amartha’s experience as a microfinance institution gives it a unique insight into managing and scaling the business at the grassroots level, and enables it to add significant value to the rapidly growing P2P financing sector in Indonesia. Amartha enables Indonesia’s urban middle-class to support and participate in the rural economy, which is social impact investing at its best”, says Djamal Attamimi, Managing Partner of Lynx Asia Partners.
“Our borrowers petition loans to open grocery stalls or expand traditional fish breeding businesses. By bridging them to a lending platform, they can request loans ranging between IDR 2 million (USD $153) to IDR 10 million (USD $769). While these amounts may seem miniscule, we believe that with the right approach we can create economic opportunities that increase overall welfare for Indonesians” explains Taufan. “In conjunction with the new P2P lending regulation recently approved by OJK, there is tremendous potential for fintech to be used as a solution to eradicate poverty, empower entrepreneurs within the informal sector and increase financial inclusion for a socially and economically prosperous Indonesia.”