With new funding, financial comparison site Cermati moves beyond lead generation

By  for TechInAsia

Indonesian startup Cermati has raised “seven-digit USD” in funding from Orange Growth Capital.

Cermati helps customers find and get financial products, such as credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, and mortgages. The site aggregates these from banks and multi-finance institutions.

In a statement released today, Cermati said this investment is an extension of its series A round from last September. It’s Orange Growth’s first in Asia. The venture capital firm specializes in fintech and most of its investments are Europe-based.

The startup wants to use the additional funds to expand all aspects of its business in order to become “the clear market leader in Indonesia.”

Going beyond just leads

Cermati was co-founded by Andhy Koesnandar and Oby Sumampouw in December 2014. The duo previously worked as software engineers in the US before returning to Indonesia.

At first, the company was a financial product comparison site that would let credit seekers apply online. These forms were then handed over to banks as “leads.”

The model has since evolved to the point where Cermati handles the entire customer onboarding process on behalf of its partners. This includes meeting customers in person to sign the necessary documents and hand them back to the banks.

That’s why Cermati no longer calls itself a financial comparison site and uses the term “financial ecommerce” instead.

“Usually financial comparison is digital, it’s lead generation where everything happens over the wire,” Andhy explains.

Cermati’s business now dives deep into operations. It has a team of about 50 people tasked with meeting customers, usually at their workplace. For now, the startup operates mostly in Jakarta but considers expanding to cities like Surabaya and Bandung this year.

“Financial ecommerce” appears to be emerging as a new category of startups that have achieved a deeper integration with banks beyond lead generation.

This self-description is also used by CekAja, a similar startup. It claims to be the first to have introduced this model in Indonesia.

CekAja also operates in the Philippines under the name EcompareMo, and is backed by Telstra Ventures.

First appeared at TIA