US-based Pinoy lending startup taps 7-Eleven for ‘buy now pay later’ online grocery

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A newly launched Silicon Valley-headquartered digital financing startup has tapped convenience store chain 7-Eleven to introduce what it called “buy now pay later” scheme for online grocery in the Philippines.  

Plentina co-founder Earl Valencia

Plentina, whose mobile app is now available in Google Play,  provides alternative credit scoring and digital financial services to brands and retailers. Aside from 7-Eleven, Plentina has also partnered with local telco Smart Communications.

Filipino tech entrepreneurs Kevin Gabayan and Earl Valencia, who were classmates 13 years ago at Stanford University in California, teamed up in 2019 to form Plentina.

Gabayan and Valencia both left leadership roles in Silicon Valley at Google and Charles Schwab to put up Plentina in the Philippines and other emerging markets. Valencia is also known as the co-founder of startup incubators IdeaSpace and QBO.

As for its tie-up with 7-Eleven, the startup executives said customers can avail CLiQQ Wallet Credits from the Plentina app on a loan and pay back 14 days later. CLiQQ Wallet Credits can be spent in 7-Eleven stores and at CLiQQgrocery.com, the convenience store’s newly launched online grocery.

With an all-digital application process and its proprietary credit assessment technology using artificial intelligence, loan approval happens within a matter of minutes, they said. Payments can be made through the Plentina app using GCash, GrabPay, or over the counter via 7-Eleven.

Victor Paterno, CEO of Philippine Seven Corporation, said they picked Plentina over a host of companies that have approached the retail store chain for various types of financial services.

“7-Eleven has been known to be a leader in introducing relevant digital solutions to our network of stores. We always look for partners throughout the world to better serve our customers in the Philippines and we are glad to work with Plentina to provide a convenient buy now-pay later option.  This partnership couldn’t be more timely as we plan to scale up our next day delivery grocery shopping business,” Paterno said.

Gabayan said Plentina shares the same vision of providing more accessible financial services and convenient everyday payments in the Philippines and beyond

“Plentina is thrilled to enable access to affordable credit while helping Filipino retailers improve customer experiences through AI. We invite more retailers to join us as we build a more financially inclusive Philippines together,” Gabayan added.

Plentina co-founder Kevin Gabayan

“We are excited to have 7-Eleven as a strategic partner of Plentina. Our mission is to use data and technology to democratize access to credit. We believe a digital data-first financial service infrastructure can unlock opportunities for millions of Filipinos who want a better experience,” said Valencia.

Despite being relatively new, the Plentina app has one of the highest-rated credit mobile apps available in the Philippines with an average rating of 4.8 stars. The app has been downloaded tens of thousands of times since its initial launch in October 2020.

In 2020, Plentina became the first Filipino-led startup to participate in the Techstars Western Union accelerator, one of the top startup accelerators globally. The startup has attracted global venture capitalists such as 500 Startups Vietnam, Emergent Ventures and a number of prominent angel investors.

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