DealStreetAsia: Philippine financial technology (fintech) company Ayannah is in the process of raising $3 million in its Series A round led by 500 Startups and Life.SREDA, and other fintech tech investors have already participated in the financing round.
Ayannah founder and CEO Mikko Perez told DEALSTREETASIA in an interview that Ayannah in the past has raised up to $5.3 million funds from Wavemaker Partners the regional representative of theDraper Venture Network, also Golden Gate Ventures, IMJ Investment Partners, Beenos, GREE Ventures, family offices and angel investors.
Serving as a digital commerce and payment services company to the Philippines’ unbanked population since 2008, Ayannah has contracted over 8,000 agents in 2015 and is looking forward to cater to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail clients in 2016, including launching an initial public offering.
“We hope to onboard 15,000 agents by [end of year] 2016 with around 6,000 individuals and 9,000 corporate. We will likely need to raise a Series B round before a public listing,” Perez said.
Although the company has reached 7,000 point of sale, Perez wasn’t sure if Ayannah has outpointed Western Union in terms of network size. Ayannah’s local headquarters is at Ortigas Center in Pasig City, while its office in the US is at Palo Alto in California.
“I think [Western Union] still has an extensive network in the Philippines,” Perez said. “We don’t consider WU as competition.”
Ayannah announced last October that they will aim to offer a full stack of digital payment platform from payments, commerce, analytics, to spur financial inclusion in emerging markets like the Philippines.
Using declassified technology developed by the United States Services Intelligence to fight terrorism, Ayannah said it is launching the first risked-based credit scoring system for the unbanked. The goal is to analyze data from mobile top ups, remittance transactions, bills payment, social media, and loyalty programs.
Ayannah is currently venturing into big data called Project COMPASS, designed to combine offline and online analytics to build an omni-channel predictive and prescriptive analytics network to increase traffic and conversion for retailers.
“Since we have access to an increasing number of payment transactions, we are using machine learning to build a lead generation, credit scoring system for the unbanked. We are also using machine learning to help our retailer partners increase traffic and conversions,” Perez explained.
And despite of its ever-growing network, Perez said Ayannah’s capital expenditure remains low as they use small outlets as distribution points.
“We deliberately want to use mobile devices and avoid having any brick & mortar to stay light and agile,” Perez said.
He noted, however, that Ayannah have tie-ups with banks and big retailers and will make several announcements in the first quarter of 2016.