FINANCIAL SERVICES

Hong Kong-based financial services comparison website lands US$40 million investment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 11:17am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 3:56pm

A Hong Kong-based start-up which lets users compare personal finance products, including credit cards and insurance, has landed a further US$40 million in funding.

CompareAsiaGroup said on Wednesday that it had raised the money in a financing round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and including major local and international investors such as Jardine Pacific, ACE & Company, and Mark Pincus, founder of internet gaming firm Zynga.

“This tremendous support and signal of confidence reinforces the belief in our mission to deliver transparency and choice to consumers while also giving partners an innovative new channel to reach the consumer,” Gerald Eder, co-founder and managing director of CompareAsiaGroup, said in a statement.

“We give the power back to consumers by increasing financial education, market transparency and country-wide access to financial products.”

Founded in July 2013, CompareAsiaGroup operates eight financial services comparison websites in the Asia-Pacific region, including Money Hero in Hong Kong and Sing Saver in Singapore.

“Ultimately, the money will be used to integrate further with the banks and insurance companies so that they acquire customers at a lower cost that they currently do,” Eder said.

Eder said the company plans to use the new funding to enter other markets, but the next step is yet to be decided. The company also wants to expand into more product categories, such as investment and business products, and life insurance.

“[Asia's] financial industry is growing rapidly but has remained relatively untouched by technology," said Kenneth Eberts, co-head of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.

Eder said the increasing number of internet users in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia combined with increased demand for financial products gave the company great potential.

CompareAsiaGroup has seen 30 to 50 per cent growth in user numbers month-on-month since its founding 18 months ago, he said.

The firm’s most established market is in Hong Kong where it operates Money Hero, which was the company’s first venture.

“So far the experience has been fantastic, it’s been taken on extremely positively by Hong Kong consumers, who as you know, love to compare,” said Alister Musgrave, managing director of Money Hero.