Ayoconnect Closes US$5 Million Pre-Series B Funding Round
Indonesian fintech Ayoconnect is building the first and largest bill network in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation with over 273 million people
Indonesia’s bill payment sector is a US$160 billion a year industry with 220 million people paying bills on a regular basis. However a number of consumers do not have bank accounts; particularly in rural regions people need to travel great distances with cash on hand just to pay their bills
Ayoconnect has received strategic investment to build Indonesia’s bill payment infrastructure. In doing so, it is enabling a more financially inclusive Indonesia. New investors include BRI Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Bank BRI; Tokyo Exchange (TYO) listed internet company Kakaku.com, Inc. and Brama One Ventures. Existing investors Finch Capital and Amand Ventures also participated in the round
As the market leader, Ayoconnect has surpassed 40 million payment transactions as of June 2020, with over 2,500 bill products available on the network; it has seen transaction volumes grow over 400 percent in just six months from January to June 2020
From left to right: Alex Jatra (CFO Ayoconnect), Jakob Rost (Co-founder & CEO Ayoconnect), and Chiragh Kirpalani (Co-founder & COO Ayoconnect) in front of Ayoconnect's new logo
JAKARTA, INDONESIA & SINGAPORE, 4 August 2020 - Ayoconnect, an Indonesian fintech company, has raised US$5 million in Pre-Series B funding from strategic global investors to continue building Indonesia’s largest and most advanced bill network. As a B2B fintech company, Ayoconnect connects Bill Providers (utilities, telcos, education institutes and other bill providers) with online and offline Channel Partners (including Indomaret, PT POS as well as financial institutions) so that end-consumers can pay their bills more seamlessly within Ayoconnect’s network. The company has raised over US$10 million to date. Its Pre-Series B investors include BRI Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Bank BRI; Tokyo Exchange (TYO) listed internet company Kakaku.com, Inc. and Brama One Ventures. Existing investors including global fintech specialist Finch Capital and Amand Ventures also participated in the round. Other existing investors in Ayoconnect include Strive and AC Ventures.
Ayoconnect, together with its partners, looks to drive financial inclusion in a cash-reliant Indonesia, where majority consumers do not have bank accounts. With its unique positioning in building an Open Bill Network, Ayoconnect offers a “One API” solution which allows Bill Providers to expand their payment points with minimum effort, while Channel Partners have immediate access to 2,500 bill products.
Ayoconnect builds and runs hundreds of integrations to tackle the issues of low margins and high overhead costs for its channel partners, ensuring standardization, network development, and transaction success between both sides. As of July 2020, Ayoconnect has processed more than 40 million payments through its 600 Bill Providers and 40 Channel Partners. Ayoconnect debuts with a lineup of prominent partners including DANA, LinkAja, PT POS Indonesia, Bank BRI, Bank Permata, Bukalapak, Lazada and Pegadaian. The company has seen a 400 percent growth in transaction volumes within six months from January to June 2020.
Jakob Rost, Co-Founder & CEO of Ayoconnect said: “Securing the right, strategic investor profile was very important for our Pre-Series B raise. We look forward to working with our existing and new investors who share in the strategic significance of Ayoconnect’s vision - organizing the entire Indonesian biller ecosystem into one central network. We cannot understate the importance of providing accessibility to billers, telcos, banks, financial institutions, and consumers. Our Pre-series B raise will be used for tech investment and growing our network of partnerships to bridge the gap between Bill Providers and Channel Partners with an underlying infrastructure for reliable, secure and fast digital bill payment”.
He added that Indonesia’s bill payment landscape is predominantly offline, fragmented and manual. “Ayoconnect comes in with its Open Bill Network to build and run hundreds of integrations.
Revealing more around the company’s future plans, Co-Founder & COO Chiragh Kirpalani said: “Online bill payment is a clear winner from COVID-19 as consumer preferences have accelerated digitalization. Ayoconnect will remain focussed on bill payment while aiming to build more value-added solutions together with our partners. One such solution includes a Billing Reminder that helps our partners like Bank Mandiri Card Division and other financial institutions execute auto-debit for bill payment.”
CEO BRI Ventures Nicko Widjaja is looking forward to working together with Ayoconnect as an important investor and partner, saying "Bill payment technology plays a vital part across many currently underserved industry verticals and there is a tremendous growth opportunity in the upcoming digitalization of those sectors.”
"We see a sustainable value in Ayoconnect's approach to serve the entire ecosystem by working with Bill providers, Aggregators and Channel Partners alike. Their open network allows the acceleration in democratising digital products within the Indonesian fintech ecosystem over the coming years," he added.
Ayoconnect further doubled down on hiring, bringing the team close to 100 staff and 2 offices in Indonesia and India, which doubles as a technology hub for the company. In addition to that, Ayoconnect announced that Alex Jatra joined the network as Chief Financial Officer. Alex comes with a strong financial track record having previously worked in Private Equity, Venture Capital and as C-Level in Indonesia’s Technology Ecosystem.
Ayoconnect (previously Ayopop) was founded in November 2015 by Jakob Rost, Co-Founder and CEO, and Chiragh Kirpalani, Co-Founder and COO. Jakob was the Managing Director of Lazada Indonesia, and a former BCG Consultant and shifted to Indonesia over seven years ago. The idea for the company came about when he met with Chiragh, a successful Indonesian entrepreneur with a previous startup exit under his belt. The two identified that Indonesia’s bill payment sector is highly fragmented and inefficient - ripe for enablement through technology. In 2016, Ayoconnect crossed another significant milestone by bringing Aditya Vora on board. Aditya was promoted to Chief Technology Officer in 2018 to oversee the company’s innovation through technology.