Manila, 20 April 2021 — Uploan Asia Ltd, South East Asia’s leading fintech provider of salary-linked financial services, has raised a senior secured loan of up to USD 15 million from Lendable Inc., a leading provider of debt to financial technology companies in emerging and frontier markets. A committed amount of USD 6 million will be available for immediate use to support Uploan’s fast growing demand. This partnership will enable Uploan to partner with more corporate employers, allowing more employees to access affordable financial services together with financial education.
In partnership with over 100 top corporate employers in the Philippines, Uploan currently offers affordable loans, salary advances and insurance products — all underpinned by accessible and engaging financial education to improve the financial well-being of working Filipinos.
The Philippines implemented one of the most severe lockdowns in the region, leading to a 10% contraction in GDP and a 15% spike in unemployment at its peak. Two debt repayment moratoriums and one of the world’s longest quarantine lockdowns were also imposed which froze Uploan’s revenue for an extended period. During this difficult time, Uploan grew its customer base to more than 300,000 employees serviced, avoided a spike in non-performing loans and became the first fintech company to provide free Covid insurance to all its customers. Forming this partnership in a volatile economic climate speaks to Uploan’s strength as a firm and Lendable’s commitment to lend through the cycle.
Uploan’s business practices reflect its commitment to responsible financial services. Powered by HR data, Uploan provides better underwriting and pricing to working Filipinos, as only few have credit files. Uploan’s digitized and automated platform has enabled customers to avail loans according to salaries — ensuring monthly repayments do not create an unhealthy burden to customers who use these loans for education, household or medical expenses. Today, 52% of Uploan’s customers are women, despite representing only 35–40% of the Philippines’ labor force. Lendable is a 2X eligible firm and is excited to support Uploan’s positive impact on gender equity in finance.
Uploan is Lendable’s first client in the Philippines. Uploan has expertly navigated the headwinds to its business during the Covid-19 crisis and Lendable’s facility represents a step-change in the scale of Uploan’s debt facilities. The long-term facility will allow Uploan to grow their loan book, redeploy Lendable’s capital several times and hold more exposure on-balance sheet. The transaction’s security structure, complying to new regulations adopted in 2020, also establishes a secured debt infrastructure that paves a clear path for Uploan to expand their institutional debt into the future.
Liam Grealish, Chief Executive Officer, Uploan, commented, “Filipinos are facing unprecedented financial distress and many don’t have enough money to make ends meet despite being in employment. The debt facility we have closed with Lendable will be catalytic in enabling us to better meet the needs of our fast growing employee pool. Working with progressive employers, Uploan is committed to helping millions of Filipinos move out of financial distress over the coming years. In closing this facility during a global pandemic, the Lendable team have demonstrated impressive insight into fintech drawn from their global experience across emerging markets. The facility would not have closed without this leading experience.”
Aaron Collett, Head of Asia Origination, Lendable, commented, “We are excited to close this facility with Uploan and expand our reach to new markets in Southeast Asia. The Uploan team has navigated the exceptionally difficult operating and macroeconomic environment in the Philippines during covid. Through the diligence process we have seen Uploan evolve and emerge as a stronger firm from each covid shock. Uploan is poised to scale further at a time when the broader financial sector is pulling back, a high-impact opportunity to provide financing when people face extreme economic conditions and need financial access the most. Uploan’s prudent business model, digitization of processes and team expertise has allowed them to successfully underwrite risk in difficult times. The deal simply would not have been possible without their years of hard work building an exceptional business and each member of their team treating us as a partner from day one.”
About Uploan Asia
Uploan Asia Ltd, founded in 2017, is South East Asia’s leading fintech provider of salary linked financial services. Partnering with large global corporations, Uploan’s platform provides affordable loans, salary advances and insurance products — all underpinned by accessible and engaging financial education to improve the financial well-being of working Filipinos. Uploan’s B2B2C platform is revolutionizing the employee wellness landscape in the Philippines by using work as collateral to provide innovative financial services and enhancing the degree of employee engagement within enterprise companies. Today, we work with over 300,000 employees across 100 corporations.
For more information, please visit uploan.ph
Lendable is the leading debt provider to fintech companies across emerging and frontier markets. Founded in 2015, the company has an active portfolio of debt financing investments in fintech companies across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Lendable works with fintechs including digital payment providers, asset financing companies, off-grid energy companies, MSME lenders, consumer lenders, and digital marketplaces.