Singapore, 2 July 2021 — Workmate, a Southeast Asian Workforce Management Platform and marketplace for informal workers, has raised a senior secured loan of up to USD 10 million from Lendable Inc., a leading provider of debt to financial technology companies in emerging and frontier markets. A committed amount of USD 1.5 million will be available for immediate use to support Workmate’s worker marketplace. This partnership will enable Workmate to onboard more workers in Indonesia and Thailand, and pay their wages in a fair, timely manner.
There are 160 million informal workers in Southeast Asia who collectively receive $320 billion in wages per year. Without the certainty and protections enjoyed by formal employees, informal workers face challenges finding fair and regular employment. They are often subject to unfair employment practices, such as wage disputes or late salary payments. This myriad of challenges significantly reduces income for informal workers and businesses report a ~30% loss in productivity caused by the inefficiencies in the informal labour market. Workmate’s digital platform that operates in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, allows workers to find jobs quickly, be paid on time and demonstrate the quality of their work to new employers.
During the covid pandemic, Workmate’s business grew 200%. Workmate’s focus on essential services, such as warehousing and delivery, met key economic needs during the pandemic and offered jobs at a time when unemployment rose. Workmate navigated the pandemic in both Indonesia and Thailand, two countries that had significantly different approaches to covid lockdowns.
Workmate is Lendable’s third client with presence in Indonesia and first in Thailand. Lendable’s facility will allow Workmate to deepen its presence in Indonesia, while solidifying its market presence in Thailand. In Thailand, a more developed market, Workmate is allowing typically marginalized informal workers to enter the formal economy. As an example, in Thailand, Workmate’s placed workers are 63% female and across both markets, Workmate’s data shows that women are more reliable workers, underscoring the importance of providing equal access to opportunities across genders. As a 2X eligible firm, Lendable is proud to support Workmate as it creates opportunities for women across SE Asia.
Mathew Ward, Founder & CEO, Workmate, commented, “In Lendable we have found a strong partner who we are excited about working with to help us scale our platform across Southeast Asia. Lendable’s focus on supporting companies who are building innovate solutions to help people in emerging markets means that they understand the external challenges we face, and bring with them a wealth of experience in addition to the financial support they provide. We are excited about this partnership and the opportunities for growth it presents for us in the years to come.”
Aaron Collett, Head of Asia Origination, Lendable, commented, “We are thrilled to close this partnership with Workmate and enable the team to meet the rapidly growing demand for their services. Workmate has been worker-oriented from day one, pounding the pavement to onboard workers and learn their pain points. Workmate’s adaptability has allowed them to overcome challenges and use technology to serve a difficult-to-reach market. Targeting informal workers is an important, but under-profiled, avenue to achieve financial inclusion. We are excited to see how the facility empowers the firm to pursue innovative solutions as a market leader and champion for informal workers.”
Workmate is a leading end-to-end workforce management platform on a mission to organise the informal workforce in Southeast Asia. It is making a difference in the shift-based workforce by building intelligent tools that simplify workforce management from recruitment to operations, helping companies achieve greater workforce productivity, while giving the region’s blue-collar workforce greater and fairer access to jobs. Workmate is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Thailand and Indonesia, serving over 200 enterprise clients across logistics, F&B and hospitality sectors, and providing 1.5 million hours worth of work to workers each month.
For more information, please visit www.workmate.asia
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.