Fintech startup GoBear has acquired Singapore-based AsiaKredit to strengthen the former’s regional presence and drive growth through digital lending, media reports said. AsiaKredit is an end-to-end digital consumer lender.
Last May, the fintech raised $80 million from Walvis Participaties and Aegon, media reports said. With the acquisition, GoBear will introduce lending as a service to partners and enable them to offer loans to underserved consumers in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. This service is facilitated through AsiaKredit’s Pera247.
Pera247 is a consumer lending app in the Philippines. Adrian Chng, CEO of GoBear, told the media, “The establishment ofan industry-leading lending business is a critical component of GoBear’s strategy to support our banking partners in providing loans to the many underserved consumers in Asia. The acquisition will allow GoBear to accelerate strategic plans by giving us access to end-to-end digital lending capabilities.”
According to a study published by Bain & Company, credit access is an issue in Southeast Asia on the back of 296 million people underbanked or unbanked. The fintech’s efforts to provide access to credit has become significant among consumers. It is reported that credit access in developing countries may decline in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
Recently, GoBear co-founder Marnix Zwart has joined Standard Chartered’s retail banking division as global head of partnerships, according to media reports. The British bank is making strategic hires to boost its digital capabilities. This is especially important at this time as social distancing has increased the adoption of digital banking services.
Zwart will explore new partnership opportunities to expand clientele and create digital experiences for Standard Chartered’s clients.