Filipino FinTech startup Advance raises $16m for pre-Series A


Filipino FinTech startup Advance, which helps employees get early access to their salary, has raised $16m in its pre-Series A funding round.

Vietnamese venture capital firm Do Ventures and tech-powered investment and alternatives platform Lendable served as the lead investors to the round.  

Phoenix Holdings, Kaya Founders, Foxmont Capital, Oyster Ventures and Crossocean Ventures made their first investments into Advance through the pre-Series A. Existing shareholders, Wavemaker Partners, Next Billion Ventures, Integra Partners and Accion Venture Lab, also joined the round.

Alongside the funding round, Advance announced it has expanded into Vietnam through the acquisition of BravoHr. The FinTech company offers digital solutions for employee engagement, as well as benefits and rewards. Its clients include McDonalds, L’Oreal and AstraZeneca.

This pre-Series A funding round will enable Advance to build new financial products and offer its services to more partners in the Philippines and Vietnam.

 Launched in 2018, Advance provides salary advances and other financial services to underserved employees in the Philippines, where nearly half of the population are unbanked. In five years, the company is used by 200 companies in the country, including Sitel Philippines, Inspiro, Cebuana Lhuillier and ePerformax.

Through the platform, employees can access a portion of their salaries through a flexible credit line. In addition to the loans, Advvance’s mobile app offers financial wellness and education products to help users bolster their financial journey.

Commenting on the funding round, Do Ventures co-founder and general partner Vy Le said, “Advance has the potential to provide greater financial stability and security for workers across emerging economies through their tech-enabled on-demand credit platform.

“Given the similarities between the financial landscapes of Vietnam and the Philippines, we are positive that the team will be able to apply its playbook to Vietnam’s untapped market and help improve the financial well-being of millions of Vietnamese employees.”

 Last year, fellow Filipino FinTech company BillEase raised $20m in funding. The company offers BNPL services, with users able to make instalments between two and 24 months.

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