Koku, a Singapore-based fintech startup which provides foreign exchange tech solutions to non-bank financial intermediaries (NBFIs), has announced its plans to expand into Indonesia.
The expansion follows Koku’s US$2 million pre-series A fund-raise earlier this year, which was led by Decent Capital, an investment firm started by Jason Zeng, who had co-founded Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings.
The startup aims to partner with NBFIs including non-bank remittance companies and liquidity providers in Indonesia to provide cheaper, quicker and digital-first remittance services to their customers.
Koku views Indonesia as an increasingly promising market with a high migrant population and increasing inbound and outbound remittance. Through technology, there is immense potential for Indonesia to grow its remittance industry as well as contribute to the growth of the region’s e-payments and money transfer capabilities.
According to the World Bank, Indonesia’s economy has experienced tremendous improvements and growth, partly due to the contributions of its remittance industry. Examples of this growth include double-digit growth of 24.7 per cent in 2018, and a recorded transaction value of US$8.9 billion of foreign exchange by migrant workers in 2017. Indonesia is also considered as one of the top ten largest remittance recipients in Asia in 2018, per the Asian Development Bank’s estimates.
“Indonesia is uniquely fragmented, and for us this presents great opportunity to contribute to the growth of the country’s financial capability as well as the region’s. We offer technology that doesn’t silo growth, but enables our partners to grow to their strengths, whilst at the same time leaving room to collaborate and tap on the strength of others. Koku envisions greater growth opportunities for the industry by leveraging technology to deliver financial inclusion and change the way of life for Indonesians,” said Calvin Goh, Founder and CEO of Koku.
As part of its strategic plans to expand into Indonesia, Koku will move to collaborate with partners, including e-wallet players, micro-lending and payment companies, remittance and money exchange businesses. These partnerships will be centred around the integration of its technology into existing operations.
In addition, Koku is potentially exploring opportunities to partner with local supermarkets and convenience stores, which will act as points of access to financial services, which will help the unbanked community move closers to financial inclusion.
“We’re extremely strategic in the way we approach our growth. Expansion into Indonesia will be very much dependent on engaging with the right partners. We want to ensure that our technology is localised to adhere to cultural needs and business needs,” Goh added.