Turnkey Lender – a software-as-a-service (SaaS) fintech startup – recently closed a series A funding round worth US$2 million. Vertex Ventures was the only participant in the capital raise.
This is the company’s first institutional funding round. It had previously secured seed funding from SMRK VC Fund.
Turnkey Lender gives financial services providers a cloud-based solution for managing the loans that they give to their clients and customers. It uses machine learning technology to analyze and assess loan applicants.
Co-founder Elena Ionenko tells Tech in Asia that her company’s solution is designed for non-bank lenders, including mortgage providers, microfinance programs, payday loans providers, and peer-to-peer lending services. “It supports all stages of the loan life cycle – from application processing and automated decision making, to collection and reporting,” she explains. “The system can be easily integrated with any internal and external data sources and services for automated data retrieval and processing.”
According to Ionenko, this system can reduce costs and minimize credit risks through its system of advanced screening of loan applicants.
Ionenko says that Turnkey Lender will use the Vertex investment funding to scale its business, particularly by the hiring of sales and marketing staff. This spending will be focused on building sales capabilities in the United States and the company’s key Asian target markets, she says. The company will also put some of the funds towards the development of new products around its SaaS widget.
Turnkey Lender’s backstory has seen it move halfway around the world in the search for customers and growth capital. Launched in Ukraine by Ionenko and co-founder Dmitry Voronenko back in September 2013, the startup later moved its headquarters to Brussels and secured a client base from across Europe and North America. However, Ionenko and Voronenko decided that it could tap better growth opportunities from a base in Southeast Asia, and it was accepted into the Singapore-based FinLab accelerator program.
The decision to relocate to the Lion City was driven in part by culture, says Ionenko. “In the US, you can sell remotely, but in Asia you can’t,” she suggests. “Our US clients get a free trial and if they like the tech, they’ll buy it. But here you have to be present to build relationships, build networks, and promote your product.”
Despite the relocation, Turnkey Lender still maintains a global clientele. According to Ionenko, Indonesia has been its biggest Asian market so far. She adds that the company sees its next most obvious growth opportunities in Thailand and the Philippines. Beyond this, it has China and India in its sights – though expansion into these major markets will likely have to wait for further funding rounds.
Among other companies offering similar SaaS loan management solutions is US-based Cloud Lending, which is also targeting the Asia market. It has opened an office in India and recently partnered with Japanese corporate Fujitsu.
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