Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pinoy financial management startup raises $5.1M in new funding round

Lista, a financial management platform for small business owners and individuals in the Philippines, has raised over $5.1 million in its most recent funding round.

The Lista app allows both merchants and individuals to track the flow of money in and out, and see their profits and savings in real-time. Additionally, they can record debts and use Lista to help collect receivables with its built-in SMS notification feature that automatically reminds borrowers of due dates.

Launched in September 2021, Lista now has over 1,000,000 downloads. Its traction was attributed to the ease-of-use and localized solutions that function without WiFi or data connection.

Its latest funding round was led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Openspace Ventures, which was the early backer of GoTo (Gojek) and Kumu Philippines. Existing investors East Ventures, Saison Capital, and 1982 Ventures also participated in the round.

Additional new investors include Stephen CuUnjieng (former chairman and CEO of Evercore Asia), Aurelien Pichon (Google), Roland Ros (Kumu CEO), Rexy Dorado (Kumu president), and more. Earlier individual backers include Brian Cu (ex-president of Grab Philippines), Willy Arifin (Monde Nissin Family Ventures), Amrish Rau (Pinelabs CEO), Kunal Shah (CRED founder), Jitendra Gupta (Jupiter Bank CEO), among others.

Gervin Yang, executive director at Openspace, said: “We are excited to add Lista to our growing roster of exciting investments across Southeast Asia and in particular the Philippines. We believe their vision and business model have the potential to be a transformative tool for Filipinos, especially as they continue to bounce back from the pandemic.”

Investors are recognizing the Philippines as a top location for potential investments. In 2021, the country’s GDP expanded by 5.7% and exceeded expectations with its 8.3% growth in the first quarter of 2022.

With the fundraising round, Lista is planning to expand beyond business management tools and further develop products for personal finances.

“About 30% of our user base are Filipinos who do not have any business but want to take charge of their personal finance. They monitor their salary, bills payment, and even savings using Lista. We think this is a category that holds a lot of growth potential for us,” said Khriz Lim, co-founder of Lista.

Lista co-founder Aaron Villegas also shared: “We are grateful for the trust these investors have given, not just in us, but in the vast potential of the rapidly developing fintech industry in the Philippines. We continue to grow organically at a very accelerated pace, but we also seek out opportunities beyond what we are doing. We have a very aggressive pipeline.”

On top of its impressive growth, Lista is seeking to strengthen and further establish its market leadership position, triple in size, and broaden its product offerings to better suit customer needs.

“The additional funding will also be used to fill additional key roles including product and engineering especially as the startup is looking into launching new verticals this year,” Lim said, adding that company will go beyond financial management and introduce more financial services, including payments and credit.

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