Indonesia’s KoinWorks raises $12 million to grow its P2P SME lending platform

KoinWorks, an Indonesian startup that helps small and medium-sized businesses secure financial services through its online peer-to-peer platform, has raised $16.5 million SGD ($12 million USD) in a new funding round as money continues to flow in what has become a hot space for investors.

The Series B round for the three-year-old startup was led by EV Growth and Quona Capital. Existing investors — Mandiri Capital Indonesia, Convergence Ventures, Gunung Sewu, Beeblebrox and Quona Capital — also participated in the round, the startup said in a statement. The new round means KoinWorks has raised more than $28.5 million to date.

SMEs have historically struggled with securing loan and other financial services from banks — creating a big opportunity for middlemen lending platforms. KoinWorks operates an online platform that uses machine learning to provide low interest loans to these small and medium sized enterprises. It identifies the businesses that are eligible to make the return eventually and connects them with lenders.

The platform has amassed more than 300,000 users, it claimed. More than 60% of the lenders are millennials and for 70%, it is their first time investment. Willy Arifin, a founder and CEO of KoinWorks said the startup aims to “democratize finance in Indonesia while fostering financial inclusion.”

Surprisingly, KoinWorks raised a bigger amount — $16.5 million (USD) in its Series A round in the second half of last year. Arifin insisted that the round was intentionally oversubscribed, suggesting that the existing shareholders of the startup were unwilling to overly dilute their stake. The new round “does not reflect the true appetite of investors in KoinWorks,” he added.

KoinWorks competes with a number of local startups including Akseleran, Investree, Reksadana, Amartha, and Modalku. It also fights with Funding Societies, which received $25 million last year to expand its business in several Southeast Asian markets. Soon, it will have a new competitor in Validus Capital, which raised $15 million earlier this year and announced its plan to enter Indonesia this quarter.

The new round comes at a time when Indonesia is pushing strict regulatory changes for peer-to-peer lending businesses in an attempt to ensure that the chaos in China does not seep into Indonesia.