BillEase Secures US$5M Investment from Saison Investment Management, Expanding Helicap-led Credit Facility to US$40M

Apr 25, 2024
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Source:
Billease
Billease

(from left) BillEase co-founders Georg Steiger, Huyen Nguyen,  and Ritche Weekun, CFO Garret Go

SINGAPORE, April 25, 2024 BillEase, a leading consumer finance and buy now pay later app in the Philippines, today announced an investment of US$5 million from Saison Investment Management Private Limited (SIMPL), the offshore lending arm of Saison International Pte. Ltd. Saison International is the international headquarters of Japan’s Credit Saison, one of Japan’s largest lending conglomerates. This latest funding round expands BillEase's existing Helicap-led credit facility from US$20 million to US$40 million, which had already included participation from various investors such as the Helicap Income Opportunities Fund, several institutional credit investors, and high-net-worth individuals. 

"Our investment in BillEase represents our only exposure to the growth in the Philippines’ credit sector at this moment, and aligns with our commitment of providing financial solutions for the underserved segments of markets globally. The Philippines is emerging as one of the fastest growing countries in Asia post-COVID, with a huge population that is rapidly digitizing. With this as a backdrop, we hope to build our presence in the market, and play a catalytic role in enlarging Philippine’s digital financing ecosystem, to unlock greater economic opportunities for individuals and households," said Kosuke Mori, CEO of Saison International.

“We are impressed by the growth trajectory that BillEase is experiencing, and its innovative approach to going beyond a pure BNPL platform into a comprehensive mobile lifestyle app. With 65% of the population unbanked and more than 80% of the country’s transactions still paid with cash, our partnership with BillEase through Helicap is driving financial inclusion by building a credit history for a large share of their customers, and creating meaningful impact for a broader segment of the population in the Philippines,” said Claudia Rojas, Head of SIMPL.

BillEase, which offers personal loans, e-wallet top-ups, prepaid load, gaming credits, bills payment, and buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions, achieved profitability in 2023. The company's revenue doubled year-over-year, and it served over 800,000 customers, delivering an impressive 47% return on equity that outperformed traditional banks in the Philippines. 

"We are thrilled to have SIMPL as an investor in BillEase," said David Z Wang, Co-founder of Helicap, a Singapore-based fintech company. "Their investment underscores the immense potential of BillEase to drive financial inclusion and uplift underserved communities in the Philippines. With this additional capital, BillEase can accelerate its growth and bring affordable financial services to even more customers across the country. This partnership exemplifies our shared vision of leveraging technology to create economic opportunities."

Garret Go, CFO of BillEase said: "This investment from SIMPL is a tremendous vote of confidence in BillEase's mission and future growth potential. Coming off a year where we achieved profitability and doubled our revenues, we are extremely well-positioned to scale our consumer loan offerings and expand access to affordable financial services across the Philippines."

The additional US$20 million in funding from the expanded facility will allow BillEase to rapidly grow its loan portfolio and launch credit products tailored to the needs of its over 1 million users.

About BillEase
BillEase is a consumer finance app in the Philippines. The company leverages machine learning and AI in building financial products while mixing traditional global best practices in credit underwriting to meet the needs of the underbanked market segment. BillEase offers personal loans, e-wallet top-ups, prepaid load, gaming credits, bills payment, and a unique buy now, pay later (BNPL) that offers competitive interest rates and deals from over 10,000+ merchants. For more information, visit https://billease.ph.
About Helicap
Since its establishment in 2018, Helicap has offered investment opportunities in Southeast Asia to accredited and institutional investors and has secured investments from prominent companies such as Saison International. Helicap is also backed by global asset management giants Tikehau Capital and PhillipCapital. As a leading platform operator in Southeast Asia, Helicap has strategically focused its investments primarily on financial companies, leveraging its unique credit screening system and enhanced loan structure to deliver stable returns. Helicap boasts an outstanding operational track record characterized by a zero default rate, a testament to its steadfast dedication to excellence and integrity.
With partner offices strategically located in Kuala Lumpur, Paris, and Dubai in addition to its Singapore headquarters, Helicap has successfully raised over USD 300 million cumulatively from investors, further solidifying its position as a key player in the global financial landscape. This impressive fundraising achievement underscores Helicap's ability to attract capital and signifies the widespread confidence and support it enjoys from investors worldwide, propelling its mission to revolutionize investment opportunities and drive sustainable growth across diverse markets. For more information, visit https://helicap.com.
About Saison International and SIMPL
Saison International is the international headquarters of Japan's Credit Saison that oversees all of its global businesses. Credit Saison Company Limited, founded in 1951, is one of Japan’s largest lending conglomerates with over 25 million card holders in Japan. Credit Saison is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has a Balance Sheet of US$27B with over 3,950 employees. The company has evolved from a credit-card issuer to a diversified financial services provider with presence across five segments – payments, leasing, finance, real estate and entertainment.
Saison International is based in Singapore and its key business divisions include lending and corporate venture capital investments through Saison Capital. The company has presence across Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Brazil and Mexico. For more information, visit https://saison-international.com.
Saison Investment Management Private Limited (SIMPL) is the offshore lending arm of Saison International. SIMPL operates with a commitment to foster inclusive growth in emerging and frontier markets by providing debt financing to specialized financial services providers, early-stage and tech-enabled companies that operate at the intersection of inclusion and innovation in emerging and frontier markets such as Cambodia, Mongolia and more. 

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