EXCLUSIVE: Moolahgo; A Leading Asian Fintech & Their Promising Program For Migrant Workers
Singapore’s Fintech community has grown at a rapid rate in recent years. Traditional financial institutions have embraced new technologies as they seek to improve their productive capacity. In fact, Singapore was rated as the highest ranking Fintech city in 2020’s Findexable Global FinTech Index. The financial hub is brimming with opportunities and is in this context that Moolahgo, a leading Asian Fintech firm founded in Singapore, reaches remarkable milestones in financial achievements and governance.
Moolahgo has grown from its inception in 2017. Originally founded as a servicing business-to-business segment, it now provides digital payments in an eWallet for consumers. The company is experiencing exponential growth, hitting a gross transaction value of $0.5Bn in cross-border multi-currency payments for B2B in the 2021 financial year as announced in May this year. Moolahgo is also one of the first Fintech startups to receive 5 out of 7 new Payment Services Act licenses from the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore). These are already demonstrative of a company with immense potential. When coupled with the latest pre-series funding, and the joint initiative with Lippo Group for the ‘Indonesia Migrant Workers Entrepreneurship Program’, there are clear signs of true future success for the company.
Funding – Moolahgo recently announced that it had completed its Pre-Series Funding round, tallying up a total of $4.5M. As a vote of confidence, the latest tranche for the round was subscribed by its majority shareholder, the Lippo Group, in Q2 of 2021.
What will these funds be put towards then? There is no doubt that Moolahgo’s retail digital payments segment will receive a generous amount of investment. The management of Moolahgo voiced that Asia’s payment industry may reach more than $1 trillion in revenue by 2023. Various factors contribute to this forecast. Firstly, it is obvious that the COVID pandemic accelerated the frequency of cashless payments. Secondly, the investment in 5G infrastructure throughout Asia allows businesses and consumers to make transactions at lightning fast speeds, reducing latency and transaction time. Thirdly, and according to the CEO and Founder of Moolahgo, Mr John Hakim, ‘with vaccination rates climbing and countries planning to transit to an endemic phase, we are gearing up for the opening of borders for people to travel again. The pent-up demand for travel will send a wave of spending as a reward for pulling through the pandemic.’ All of these characteristics fall perfectly into Moolahgo’s hands, as they seek to drive their eWallet product across Southeast Asia (SEA), supported by its payout network of over 1,000 banks and agents.
Moolahgo is gearing up for their Series-A funding round early in 2022, targeting to raise between $10M to $20M. This next round of funding will help Moolahgo further develop its cross-border infrastructure between Singapore and Indonesia to establish a one-of-a-kind payment capability between the two countries. Indonesia is SEA’s largest economy and the World’s fourth most populous nation with over 50% demographics that are Millennials or younger. Moolahgo’s accessibility to the market would bode well for its long-term strategy.
The Indonesia Migrant Workers Entrepreneurship Program – Moolahgo is a Fintech startup with a social responsibility moral compass. Mr John Hakim comments that ‘Lippo is not only an investor, our partnership spans across our technical interoperability as well as our corporate social responsibility programs. Customers of our eWallets from Indonesia are eligible to be selected in the Entrepreneurship Program. The Program aims to nurture returning Indonesian foreign workers to start their own business so that they can achieve long-term financial independence.’ This is very powerful. So what does the program entail?
The objective of the program is to promote financial inclusion for everyone and anyone, especially the underbanked and unbanked. This allows vulnerable groups to finally gain access to credit. This is crucial as it will allow individuals to build savings for their future beyond which they were not able to do beforehand. Moolahgo is involved in this particular corporate social responsibility program as they recognise that there are real issues of economic sustainability for Indonesian migrant workers when they return home. Thus, there is evidence of an actual need for impact over the long term instead of a short term monetary hand out.
The program therefore offers several things to create meaningful change. Aspiring Indonesian migrant workers in Singapore are offered the chance to be mentored by subject matter experts and receive business start-up support. This includes:
- Free Training on basic businesses concepts and selected business topics
- Free advice and consultation on business setup and operations
- Low-cost Capital to set up businesses
- Inventory discounts
To conclude then, Moolahgo seems set for an exciting future, with genuine goals to create meaningful change and the perfect context, infrastructure and environments to do so as well! Board Member of Moolahgo, Mr James Lee, echoed the exciting prospects for the company most effectively; ‘Besides having a strong positive outlook on the digital payments market in Asia, we have seen extraordinary performance from Moolahgo and an expansive business roadmap that showed immense potential for growth.’