Malaysian fintech startup Jirnexu has announced that it has raised a US$10 million Series B follow-on investment led by global consumer crediting reporting agency Experian and existing investor Japan-based SBI Group.
In May this year, the company had clinched a US$11 million Series B funding led by SBI, with participation from SIG Asia Investments.
Experian said that the investment in Jirnexu is in line with the company’s strategy to bring financial inclusion to vast numbers of underserved consumers in Asia.
“In Asia, more than 1 billion people still have no access to formal financial services — meaning no formal employment, no bank account and no meaningful ability to engage in commerce online or offline,” said Ben Elliott, CEO Asia Pacific, Experian.
“By working with like-minded partners who share the same values and mission in driving financial access, we have the opportunity to connect more consumers in the region with financial products that better suit their needs,” he added.
Experian’s vision is exemplified by the other investments it has made in similar fintech companies in the region. Last year, it led a US$30 million round in India-based credit marketplace BankBazaar, and this year, it led a US$28 million Series C round in Indonesian financial marketplace C88.
Yuen Tuck Siew, Co-founder and CEO of Jirnexu, said he will use the newly-raised investment to upgrade its financial products comparison website RinggitPlus.
“[We will] better match consumers with the right product and bank or lender based on their credit score, [and also] improve access to credit for consumers who are not currently covered or served by existing credit scores or banks,” he said.
RinggitPlus will be launching a financial eligibility matching service based on its own credit scoring system.
Jirnexu had previously already stated its intentions to expand its product capabilities in its May funding round when it said it will develop consumer digital identification and eKYC (know-your-customer) automation.
What is interesting now is Jirnexu’s expansion into the insurtech space. With the approval of the Central Bank of Malaysia, “RinggitPlus will provide a marketplace for Malaysians to research, compare and select a motor, travel, term and medical insurance plan”.
Jirnexu will also enhance its chatbot — which currently only caters to banking products — to enable customers to manage their insurance policies via its service.
With Experian on board as a financial and strategic partner, Jirnexu will also be able to tap into its marketplaces solutions, which include demand generation, analytics and digital on-boarding technologies.
“Both the investment and partnership will provide Jirnexu’s existing financial marketplaces with improved performance in demand generation, better eligibility matching through analytics and the ability to deliver more seamless consumer experiences,” said Elliott.
“This will further enable banks, insurance companies and service providers to think mobile-first and enhance interactions with their consumers and lenders.”
Founded in 2012, Jirnexu today has doubled in size, growing from 100 employees in January 2018 to almost 200 employees by the end of the year.
It will also grow client contracts 70 per cent Year-on-Year in 2018 with global and regional FIs such as Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, UOB, Zurich and Allianz as well as local FIs such as RHB, CIMB, Public Bank and Etiqa.