Mambu and CredoLab Drive Digital Lending for GoBear’s Expansion to Philippines

A pair of Finovate alums have joined forces to help a leading financial platform in Asia launch a lending solution as part of its planned expansion in the region.

German cloud banking platform provider Mambu and alternative credit score provider CredoLab have announced a partnership with GoBear, a financial services platform based in Singapore. The company, founded in 2015 as a metasearch engine and now operating as a financial services platform that has served more than 55 million consumers, plans to expand into the Philippines later this year. Technology from Mambu will power the core system in GoBear’s lending architecture, with CredoLab’s credit scoring helping ensure the company is able to bring financing to those communities that need it most – and often struggle to secure it.

“Having access to responsible credit should be a financial right for all,” GoBear Chief Lending Officer Mike Singh said. “Tapping into fintech solutions like Mambu’s and CredoLab’s brings us one step closer to making this a reality for the region’s 296 million unbanked or underbanked.”

The tripartite partnership was the result of a pair of relationships; Mambu and CredoLab have been long-time partners, while CredoLab and GoBear collaborated as recently as November 2018, when the two companies worked together on a credit solution for the underbanked.

“In less than five years of operation, GoBear has built a stellar reputation as a leading financial services platform and we envisage great things for the company as it continues to build its lending business,” Mambu Managing Director for APAC Myles Bertrand said. He pointed out that the company’s technology would enable GoBear to readily add new products while maintaining a high level of customer service.

CredoLab CEO Peter Barcak pointed to his company’s SDK, API, and alternative credit score – which leverages metadata from smartphone usage – as powerful tools for companies like GoBear that are trying to serve a broader array of customers. “Our ability to generate a credit score for customers who cannot prove their creditworthiness in the conventional financial system makes us uniquely positioned to support GoBear as they diversify their business and move into lending in a controlled way.”

Finovate alums since 2013 and 2018 respectively, both Mambu and CredoLab made their Finovate debuts at FinovateAsia events. Mambu demonstrated its technology the year we held our Asian conference in Singapore. CredoLab unveiled its CredoScore the year we held FinovateAsia in Hong Kong.

Speaking of FinovateAsia, remember that our new, all-digital FinovateAsia conference begins next week. Check out our FinovateAsia hub for more details!


Photo by Janko Ferlic from Pexels

Singapore’s Digital Bank License Space Race Accelerates

Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced last week that it has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses. A decision is expected in June, and the fortunate five who receive licenses will be able to launch their businesses by the middle of next year. Applicants have included a wide range of companies, from e-commerce and telecommunications firms, to fintechs, PSPs, and crowdfunding platforms.

Specifically, MAS is making available two different types of license: a digital full bank license and a digital wholesale bank license. There are two digital full bank licenses available, which would enable non-banks to accept deposits from retail customers. There are seven applicants for these licenses, which come with initial, temporary restrictions on deposits and capitalization.

The digital wholesale bank license will permit firms to lend to SMEs. Fourteen companies have applied for the three digital wholesale bank licenses MAS is making available. These new businesses would be required to meet the same regulations as existing wholesale banks, including capitalization of $74 million (S$100 million). Among the more well-known firms competing for these digital wholesale bank licenses are rideshare startup Grab and Ant Financial.

Also in the running for a digital wholesale bank license is Finovate alum and Best of Show winner Arival Bank. The firm announced its application earlier this week, noting that securing the license “will add tremendous value in Arival’s quest to becoming a borderless fintech bank.” The company plans to leverage its ArivalOS digital banking technology, as well as its banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to serve the freelancers, micro businesses, and startups that it believes remain underserved within the broader SME market worldwide.


In other international news on the Finovate blog this week, we talked with João Pinto of Portugal’s ITSCREDIT ahead of the company’s Finovate appearance next month in Berlin. We also featured German insurtech Getsafe’s expansion to the U.K., looked at European deposit marketplace Raisin’s acquisition of U.S. fintech Choice Financial Solutions, and profiled French mobile payments app Lydia as it locks in $45 million in new funding.

Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Business Maverick looks at PayU’s decision to merge its consumer lending business, LazyPay, with Indian digital credit platform, PaySense.
  • EpiFi, a Bengalaru, India-based digital banking startup founded by a pair of former Google executives, raises $13.2 million in funding.
  • Entrepreneur India features B2B digital ledger mobile app, KhataBook.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Resuelve tu Deuda, a Mexican fintech that specializes in helping consumer repair their credit, raises $24 million in funding.
  • Nasdaq.com lists online payments, banking, billpay, proptech, and lending in its feature, 5 Opportunities for Fintech Disruption in Latin America.
  • Brazilian neobank Nubank announces its first acquisition, purchasing local consulting company Plataformatec largely to access the firm’s crew of engineering and developer talent.

Asia-Pacific

  • Digital-only neobank Tonik secures banking license in Philippines ahead of planned launch.
  • Arival Bank is the latest fintech to throw its hat into the Singapore digital banking license ring.
  • CredoLab earns listing from Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority OJK) as an official provider of financial services in the country – the first fintech in Indonesia to be granted this recognition.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • EverSend founder Stone Atwine talks about trends in the African fintech industry with CNBC Africa.
  • Kenyan fintech Alternative Circle earns recognition as “One to Watch” in the first global fintex index ranking 2020 by Findexable.
  • What can we expect from South African fintech in 2020? Ventureburn examines the country’s prospects.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Euromoney takes a look at the complicated relationship between banks and fintechs in the CEE region.
  • The Paypers interviews Valeri Valtchev of the Bulgarian Fintech Association on the evolution of Bulgaria as a fintech hub.
  • Latvian fintech Jeff App locks in €150,000 to help improve financial inclusion for borrowers in Southeast Asia.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Salaam African Bank in Djibouti selects core banking technology from Oracle FSS.
  • A partnership between crypto exchange Huobi and Dubai-based real estate firm fäm Properties will enable investors to pay in a digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP.
  • Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) introduces its Instant Credit Card service via its mobile app.

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Top image designed by Freepik

Nigerian Fintechs Near $400m Week; Ant Financial Eyes License in Singapore

The nearly-$400 million poured into fintech companies in Nigeria alone this week is being remarked upon as a testament to the growing investor interest in sub-Saharan Africa. The three recipients of the new capital in recent days are OPay ($120 million), Interswitch ($200 million), and PalmPay ($40 million). The investors include Sequoia Capital China and SoftBank Ventures Asia, as well as China’s Transsion and Visa.

For comparison, African fintechs raised $357 million in all of 2018, according to a 2019 report from the GSM Association, The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa. Quoted in the Financial Times on the week’s funding news, Guaranty Trust Bank chief executive Segun Agbaje credited the payments industry for the surge in investment, calling the growth in the sector “probably like no other on the continent.”

Finovate made its African debut last year in Cape Town, South Africa. For an in-depth look at recent trends in African fintech, check out Jonathan Gregson’s “Africa’s Fintech Makeover.”

China’s impact on international fintech is also evident in the news that Ant Financial is considering applying for a virtual banking license in Singapore. Successfully securing such a license would enable Ant Financial to compete against Chinese incumbents like DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ant Financial secured a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong last year.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s digital bank Neon raises $94 million in round led by General Atlantic and Brazil Banco Votorantim.
  • Biz Latin Hub’s Craig Dempsey makes the case for Mexico as the fintech sector to watch in 2020.
  • Mexican non-bank wallet service Todito Cash inks partnerships with four financial payment solutions companies.

Asia-Pacific

  • Ant Financial may be one the hunt for a Singaporean virtual banking license, reports Bloomberg, following the online finance titan’s recent scoring of a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong.
  • InstaReM rebrands as Nium, announces cross border payments partnership with Cambodian banking group, PhillipBank.
  • Indonesia’s biggest banking group, Bank Mandiri will use the Avaloq’s Banking Suite to run its wealth management division, which has $14 billion in assets under management.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigeria’s OPay raises $120 million in new funding. The investment adds to the $50 million the mobile payments service raised in June.
  • Asilimia, a Kenya-based fintech that helps SMEs access more efficient mobile payment solutions, secures $350,000 in funding.
  • South African digital commerce fintech Vectra wins Seedstars Cape Town competition.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Revolut reaches 250,000 users in Hungary and reports an 8x gain in monthly transaction volume since the beginning of the year.
  • Latvia-based, P2P lending platform TWINO surpasses €1 billion euros in originated loans.
  • Tradeshift moves Bucharest team to larger office in Tower Center, announces plans to hire more staff next year.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A partnership between BPC and WeNet will bring a new instant payments system to Yemen.
  • ZagTrader wins full certification for its market making technology from Bourse Kuwait.
  • In partnership with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, Wethaq pilots Sukuk issuance on its securities market infrastructure.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Perfios, a fintech software company based in Bengaluru, raises $50 million from Warburg Pincus and Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • Pakistan’s Askari Bank selects Finastra’s trade finance solution.
  • CredoLabNeener Analytics, and Vymo win finalist spots in the India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2019 awards.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • How Revolut and Mastercard Are Helping Fintech Do Good
  • Keepabl Partners with ClauseMatch to Boost GDPR Compliance
  • More Than $1 Billion Raised by 21 Finovate Alums in Q3 2019

Around the web

  • Gartner names Exagens a 2019 “Cool Vendor.”
  • Trulioo appoints Zac Cohen as chief operating officer.
  • Trustly reaches 100 live gaming brands with its Pay N Play player registration and verification product.
  • Tradeshift moves Bucharest team to larger office in Tower Center, announces plans to hire more staff next year.
  • Globitex taps Salt Edge for strong customer authentication.
  • After Belfast launch earlier this year, Signifyd recruits 63 people with plans to recruit 150 more over the next three to five years.
  • Revolut and Mastercard team up with Save The Children to support Universal Children’s Day.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune names Jack Henry & Associates a top place to work in San Diego for the fourth year in a row.
  • CredoLab, Neener Analytics, and Vymo win finalist spots in the India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2019 awards.
  • Chetu ranked as the number two of 50 top software development firms in the U.S.
  • Payments company VoPay teams up with Plaid to offer a new credit card alternative to consumers in North America.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Temenos Signs Core Banking Deal with Maltese Challenger Laskaris Finance.
  • HiddenLevers Now Has $500 Billion in Assets on its Platform.
  • Upgrade Pack Opens Singapore Office, Appoints New COO.

Around the web

  • CredoLab partners with TransUnion’s iovation to fight credit fraud.
  • CUneXus adds Delta Community Credit Union to list of clients for its 1-click digital lending platform.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

CredoLab Partners with CIMB Bank Philippines in Bid to Boost Financial Inclusion

CredoLab, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia last fall, has teamed up with all-digital CIMB Bank Philippines to help improve financial inclusion in the country. The bank is using CredoLab’s white label solution, CredoApp, to gain instant insight into the creditworthiness of loan applicants. CIMB Bank hopes to leverage the AI-powered technology to better serve underbanked populations with “thin-file” credit histories.

“With CredoLab, we are now focusing on making our application and underwriting process more efficient so that we can extend credit to a broader market without compromising on our cost of risk,” explained CIMB Bank Philippines CEO Vijay Manoharan. “In this way, we can further drive financial inclusion by enabling more Filipinos access to formal credit lending facilities efficiently.”

Personal loans are the first products to be introduced as part of this collaboration between CIMB and CredoLab. Customers can now apply for a loan of up to one million Philippine pesos ($19,000 USD) and receive in-principle approvals via their CIMB app. The bank said that within the first two weeks of launching the partnership, more than 1,000 customers have already been scored.

“CIMB Bank has been steadfast in adopting the latest technologies to present the best banking solutions to their customers,” CredoLab CEO and co-founder Peter Barcak said. “We are delighted that through our plug and play solution that complements and boosts their existing processes, we are powering CIMB Bank Philippines’ latest effort in driving financial inclusion by providing credit to those who lack a traditional credit background.”

CredoLab demonstrated its CredoScore solution at FinovateAsia 2018. The technology leverages AI-backed algorithms to turn the digital footprints of customers into highly predictive scorecards. With more than 50,000 data points from the customer’s mobile device – collected with the customer’s permission and privacy consent, CredoScore enables financial institutions to gain more accurate insights and make more informed decisions.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Singapore, CredoLab has raised more than $3 million in funding from investors including Walden International, Fintonia Group, and FORUM. The company was featured in FintechNews Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore in 2019 roster earlier this year.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Singapore’s CredoLab Partners with CIMB Bank Philippines in Bid to Boost Financial Inclusion.
  • Refinitiv Inks Strategic Partnership with SigFig.
  • PayPal’s move into China is a big deal.

Around the web

  • DriveWealth appoints Julie Coin as new President.
  • NOVO BANCO to deploy billing and payment tech from Fiserv.
  • Finastra deepens ties with Seattle Bank.
  • NIIT Technologies partners with mabl to deliver faster application testing services.
  • Lendio to double sales force, expand loan product offerings.
  • Faraday integrates with Iterable to enable mutual customers to leverage Faraday’s AI-generated predictions in their Iterable workflows.
  • BehavioSec earns Gold at the 2019 Golden Bridge Awards and is selected as the CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards’ Multifactor Solution of the Year.
  • Signifyd’s Seamless SCA solution receives all of the merchant domain EMVCo certifications.
  • Backbase opens office in Dubai.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

We’ve Got Funding, How About You?

With FinovateAsia and FinovateMiddleEast coming up later this year, we wanted to pause to take a look at the funding that participants from last year’s shows have received so far this year.

In the first eight months of 2019, four fintechs that participated in FinovateAsia and FinovateMiddleEast 2018 raised more than $23 million combined.

With real funding at stake, what are you waiting for? Apply to demo your tech at FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast today. The application is free and you have nothing to lose!

The Middle East and North Africa startup culture has continued to mature, especially when it comes to early stage companies. Part of the growth can be attributed to the region’s investment in both talent and infrastructure. Coding programs and regional hackathons have not only added to the talent pool of startup recruits, they have also given the startup culture a boost.

In Asia, India has risen as the region’s top country for fintech funding. The $286 million in fintech funding the country raised in Q1 of this year outranks China’s total of $192 million raised for fintechs in that same quarter. Part of the slowdown in China can be attributed to increased regulation in the region.

If your startup is interested in demoing at this year’s FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast conference, contact our demo team at middleeast@finovate.com or asia@finovate.com.

Finovate Global: Vymo Launches in Vietnam; ZagTrader Helps FIs Go Crypto

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • ZagTrader and BeQuant team Up to help institutions go crypto.
  • Temenos partners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank.
  • Emirates NBD to work with Intellect Design Arena for a planned digital transformation of its transaction banking platform.

Central and South Asia

  • BankBazaar announces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
  • Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’s Appzillon.
  • Aurora interviews Bernhard Klemen, international partner with venture capital fund Sarmayacar on opportunities for venture financing for Pakistani fintech startups.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • German challenger bank N26 announces plans to expand to Brazil.
  • BBVA Colombia looks at its role in helping promote fintech innovation in Peru. In Spanish.
  • FXCompared profiles Argentina-based PayPal rival, MercadoLibre.

Asia-Pacific

  • Leading Vietnam-based consumer finance firm, FE Credit, chooses Vymo’s AI-powered personal sales assistant.
  • Bambu and CredoLab earn spots on Fintech News Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore 2019 roster.
  • Accenture and nCino partner to better serve FIs in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Tymebank goes live with core banking tech from Mambu.
  • Nigerian digital banking solution provider TeamApt raises $5.5 million in funding.
  • South Africa’s Standard Bank to launch private cloud-based distributed ledger platform for payments and settlement.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Russia’s Tinkoff Bank joins the country’s Faster Payments System.
  • Ukraine finishes its pilot project, begun in December, in support of its national digital currency, the e-hryvnia.
  • UK-based Rimilia and Association of Credit for Central and Eastern Europe to promote adoption of AI-based technologies to automate AR in the CEE region.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • SpyCloud Scores $21 Million in Round Led by Microsoft’s M12.
  • Temenos Partners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank.
  • Tymebank Goes Live with Core Banking Tech from Mambu.

Around the web

  • NICE Actimize partners with crypto finance company Circle to deploy its market surveillance technology.
  • Silvergate Bank to deploy Finastra’s Total Payments, leveraging the API-enabled solution to support payment processing.
  • Leading Vietnam-based consumer finance firm, FE Credit, chooses Vymo’s AI-powered personal sales assistant.
  • Bambu and CredoLab earn spots on Fintech News Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore 2019 roster.
  • GreatHorn announces capability to detect credential theft involving Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite.
  • Identitii joins the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BAIN).

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

CredoLab, GoBear Launch Credit Solution for the Underbanked

A collaboration between alternative credit scoring specialist CredoLab and personal finance comparison site GoBear will make it easier for the underbanked to get access to credit. A new smartphone app, Easy Apply, will leverage CredoLab’s credit assessment technology to serve underbanked markets of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Easy Apply leverages CredoLab’s predictive credit scorecard solution to the help thin-file applicants access unsecured credit products including credit cards and personal loans. The AI-powered technology extracts and analyzes data from the user’s smartphone to make highly-predictive behavioral insights. These insights are used to build customized credit risk scorecards that are tailor-made for individual lenders and specific products. This enables lenders to benefit from access to creditworthy borrowers who might otherwise be overlooked by traditional credit risk assessment strategies.

“We are excited to be partnering with GoBear to help banks profitably serve their customers including the underbanked,” CredoLab co-founder and CEO Peter Barcak said. “Since our launch in 2016, through our use of non-traditional alternative data points, we have seen a significant drop in cost of risk, helped reduce the time-to-yes to a few seconds, and achieved almost 45% increase in approval rates,” Barcak added. “I am optimistic that we can achieve similar results through this partnership.”

Easy Apply will be integrated as a downloadable app within GoBear’s Easy Choices feature, which gives customers the ability to select products that fit their financial profile. Credit card offerings will be the first products available with personal loans, insurance, and lines of credit to follow.

“There is a massive opportunity here in Southeast Asia to continue improving financial inclusion by constantly innovating solutions,” GoBear CEO Adrian Chng, said. “Our partnership with CredoLab will bridge the divide between the underbanked and financial institutions by giving both parties access to the right technology at the right moment to create better outcomes.”

Founded in 2016, Singapore-based CredoLab made its Finovate debut earlier this month in Hong Kong as part of FinovateAsia. The company, which was named among Singapore Business Review’s Top 20 Start-Ups at the beginning of the year, has served more than 40 lenders in 12 markets across southeast Asia, China, Africa, and Latin America. With $2.1 million in funding, CredoLab includes Walden International, Reliance Modal Ventura, and Fintonia Group among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CredoLab, GoBear Launch Credit Solution for the Underbanked.
  • Meniga Lands $3.4 Million from Íslandsbanki.
  • TransferWise Teams Up with Dutch Digital Bank bunq.

Around the web

  • Jack Henry’s Symitar Credit Unions expand outsourcing initiatives.
  • Trulioo expands European operations with new presence in Dublin.
  • Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Al Masraf) licenses Temenos‘ Learning Community Engine.
  • Fenergo expands into private banking and wealth management.
  • AlphaPoint integrates stablecoin TrueUSD into its exchange network.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.