Many digital businesses in Southeast Asia face obstacles when seeking financing for early-stage growth. They may not want to sell stock in their company but often struggle to get working capital loans from traditional financial institutions. That’s where it’s located in Singapore jenfi comes in and offers revenue-based financing up to $500,000 with flexible repayment plans that co-founder and chief executive officer Jeffrey Liu calls “growth capital as a product.”
While revenue-based financing is gaining ground in many other markets, Liu told TechCrunch that Singapore-based Jenfi is the first company of its kind to focus on Southeast Asia. The startup announced today that it has raised a $6.3 million Series A led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. Participants included Korea Investment Partners and Golden Equator Capital, 8VC, ICU Ventures and Taurus Ventures. The company previously raised $25 million in debt financing from San Francisco-based Arc Labs.
Jenfi primarily works with “digital-native” companies, including SaaS providers and e-commerce merchants. Some of its clients include Tier One Entertainment, Pay With Split, and Homebase. Jenfi has not disclosed how much non-dilutive funding it has provided to date, but the goal is to deploy $15 million by July 2022. It claims that the average Jenfi customer has a compound revenue growth of approximately 26.5% over three months, 60% over six months and 156% over 12 months.
The total revenue of companies in its portfolio currently exceeds $30 million, and Jenfi expects the capital it has already deployed will help them generate $47 million in revenue, or a 156% increase by July 2021. .
Liu launched Jenfi with Justin Louie in 2019 after seeing how traditional financial institutions lagged Digital boom in Southeast Asia. The two previously founded GuavaPass, the fitness studio membership platform that was acquired by ClassPass in 2019. Jenfi’s founding was prompted by some of the challenges Liu and Louie faced in financing a fast-growing startup targeting Asian markets.
Jenfi’s application process is completely online and in some cases, companies have received funding within 24 hours, although this usually takes a few days. This is another advantage over traditional working capital loans or private equity financing, which can take months to complete, making it difficult for companies to quickly respond to revenue growth opportunities. For example, an e-commerce business may need quick working capital to buy more inventory if a particular product is suddenly in high demand.
Part of Jenfi’s Series A will also be used to develop more integrations for its proprietary risk assessment engine, which analyzes how efficiently companies are using their growth spend. Currently, it can use information from bank accounts; software such as Xero or Quickbooks; payment gateways including Stripe and Braintree; ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Shopee, and Lazada; and Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Instead of fixed-term repayment plans, Jenfi gives companies more flexible repayment plans and charges a flat fee based on the amount of financing they’ve received, their monthly sales, and how many months it will take to repay the loan. Jenfi continues to analyze companies’ data sources so she can see if a customer might need more capital or an adjustment to repayment terms.
Ultimately, Jenfi plans to go beyond financing to provide tools to help businesses. “We see ourselves as partners in the growth of our portfolio companies,” says Liu.
Because Jenfi uses a mix of data sources, including bank accounts, accounting software and digital advertising platforms, it can use that same information to identify opportunities. A portion of Jenfi’s Series A funding will be used to develop automated analytics. For example, the platform could identify a high ROI ad opportunity on Google Ads and notify the company if they want to raise more capital to fund the campaign.