Oriente, the Hong Kong-based technology and data science company unlocking financial access for Southeast Asia recently secured a US$20 million debt funding facility from Silverhorn Group, a leading Asia-focused multi-asset investment firm. The facility, which can increase up to US$50 million, will be used to grow Cashalo’s loan book and extend the reach of its fair, inclusive, and affordable digital-credit and Pay Later solutions to millions of undervalued and credit-starved consumers and micro-enterprises in the Philippines.
This new funding is in keeping with Oriente’s commitment to invest and expand financial access responsibly in the Philippines. Since its launch, Cashalo has grown over 20% MoM. In less than 18 months, the app has been downloaded over 6.5 million times, grown its user base to over 2.5 million consumers and helped over 1.5 million previously ‘credit-invisible’ Filipinos build financial identities for the first time.
The deal marks a major milestone for Oriente as it is the largest debt financing with an institutional lender it has secured to date, which underlines the quality and bankability of its fast-growing loan book. For Silverhorn, this represents another high-potential investment in ASEAN and in the fintech sector. In addition, these funds will help diversify the funding mix of the company’s loan book.
Commenting on the deal, Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente, said, “We are excited to have won the confidence of Silverhorn Group. As we enter the next stage of growth on our mission to helping ignite economic opportunity for tens of millions of consumers and micro-enterprises, the support we receive from our debt partners is critical. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Silverhorn and invite other investors to join us as we accelerate our efforts to build the future of finance in Southeast Asia.”
Mike Imam, Managing Partner at Silverhorn Group, said, “Oriente shares our values of promoting financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. To date, it is one of the very few non-bank lenders that can leverage on alternative data points and an algorithmic risk engine to underwrite credit to the underfinanced populations in the region. This helps originate and provide a portfolio construction building brick which is higher yielding, predictable and uncorrelated to traditional asset classes. We’re thrilled to work with Oriente to fuel its growth and unlock potential for communities across the ASEAN region.”
Southeast Asia is one of the most credit-starved regions in the world. Over 11% of the world’s unbanked – between 40-70% of adults – rely on informal lending sources and only 33% of Southeast Asian SMEs have access to loans or lines of credit1. Research by the Asian Development Bank estimates that addressing this issue and closing the financial inclusion gap could increase GDP by 9-14 percent in Southeast Asian economies and generate more than US$380 billion in annual banking revenues globally.
Oriente is equity funded by its founders and a group of family offices including members of the Berjaya Group, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Sinar Mas. To date, the company has raised over US$ 105 million in equity.