KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Malaysian fintech (financial technology) startup Saving Plus Sdn Bhd has rebranded to Jirnexu Sdn Bhd, and announced it has raised US$3 million (RM12.267 million) in Series A funding.
The round was led by Singapore-based venture capital firm DMP, with participation by global investors Celebes Capital, NTT DoCoMo Ventures, Nullabor, Tuas Capital Partners and Anfield Equities.
PropertyGuru Group cofounder and chief executive officer Steve Melhuish also took part as an angel investor.
According to Jirnexu, the Series A investment will be used to drive product development, expand the team, and fund its regional expansion, with Indonesia and Malaysia as priority markets.
“This Series A round takes Jirnexu’s total funding to US$4.5 million. We will continue to build our senior management teams in Malaysia and Indonesia,” the company said in a statement.
“Jirnexu is also hiring at all levels in product development, a team which will double in size this year,” it added.
Jirnexu owns financial comparison websites RinggitPlus in Malaysia and KreditGoGo in Indonesia.
Its chief executive officer Siew Yuen Tuck Siew declined to disclose who the previous investors were, only saying “earlier rounds were [from] a mixture of friends, family and selected angel investors.”
He told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email that the company has 100 people across Malaysia and Indonesia, but has not decided which market it will enter next.
In 2015, Jirnexu-owned websites reached “tens of millions of visitors, captured some 450,000 customer leads, and delivered tens of thousands of approved customers and accounts,” Siew said.
He also claimed that the number of applications that came through its websites grew 300 per cent in 2015.
The ‘Amazon of personal finance’
Siew said Jirnexu’s success to date has been driven by its technology platform, and that he intends to “double-down” on this with the new funds.
“There are several online financial comparison sites in every market in South-East Asia already,” he said.
“I believe the winner in the long term will be the company that provides the most scalable and efficient process for digital applications processing and product transactions, while simultaneously delivering more value and a better customer experience to the consumer.
“We have proven we can do this better than any other player, and it has all been due to our technology platform,” he declared.
Financial service institutions (FSIs) in the region still rely on labour-intensive customer acquisition practices, which are slow, inefficient and costly, said Siew.
“At Jirnexu, we offer comprehensive solutions for businesses to attract, retain, and monetise connected consumers in high-growth markets.
“The first financial services company which can meet consumers’ rising expectations will be the winner.
“That’s why my vision is clear and simple: I want to build the Amazon of personal finance in South-East Asia, a full-stack technology-driven platform that enables service and value leadership to consumers,” he added.
In the second half of 2016, Jirnexu will offer a modified version of its XpressApply, a digital application workflow management solution and customer relationship management (CRM) platform for FSIs and telcos that first went live in 2015.
XpressApply is a business-to-business (B2B) management service that helps firms track and manage customer acquisitions and lifecycles – from the moment a consumer applies for a new product to the moment it is approved.
“It simplifies the consumer application process for financial products, turning dull paper-based forms into online bite-size questionnaires that can be completed within 10 minutes,” said Siew.
Without giving actual figures, he also claimed that XpressApply has delivered customer conversion rates 200 per cent higher than telesales and traditional lead generation methods since the website started running in the beginning of 2015.
“Since the website has gone live we have proven that XpressApply is leagues ahead of existing systems and processes.
“Our data shows over 20 per cent of consumers complete and submit their applications outside of normal office hours. Plus, unlike a bank branch or customer service centre, XpressApply is up and running all the time,” he added.
Siew said the target market for the solution is any bank, insurance company or telco that needs a more scalable and efficient platform to handle digital customer acquisition and lifecycle management.
“In the vast majority of cases, we see potential clients using a mixture of online application forms developed by generalist agencies, combined with an off-the-shelf call centre solution,” he said.
“There is no backend workflow management solution that covers the entire value chain from customer conversion, application and document workflow management to CRM communications.
“We have proven that a single integrated platform delivers significant efficiency, scalability and customer experience improvements,” he claimed, adding that XpressApply has the potential to go beyond South-East Asia. — Digital News Asia
* This article was first published here.