Latvian loan brokerage Jeff App raises $1 million for Asian expansion

Riga-based loan brokerage platform Jeff App said it has raised $1 million from a number of Estonian business angels and Startup Wise Guys to launch new products and fuel growth in Vietnam, their first market, before expanding into further countries in Southeast Asia.

After achieving 60X growth within the first 12 months, Jeff App will use the raised funds to launch and scale new products that range from a free credit score and insurance offers to digital discount coupons and mobile wallet cashbacks. It will also help to expand across the region, starting with Indonesia and the Philippines in 2021.

“We believe Jeff App has the potential to make a significant impact on the lives of millions and promote financial inclusion in Asia,” said Cristobal Alonso, Global CEO of Startup Wise Guys.

Jeff App said there are more than a billion unbanked people in Asia who struggle to access financial services as a result of the limited amount of available ‘traditional’ financial data. The use of alternative types of data such as smartphone metadata and behavioural patterns is becoming increasingly common, and represents a real opportunity to create financial inclusion. However, due to high fixed costs, the various integrations required, the complexity of the user journey and a gap in know-how, leveraging alternative data can be challenging for individual lenders.

Jeff App said it tackles this issue by consolidating the demand and aggregating alternative data from those seeking financial services. This is achieved by integrating with a continuously growing number of data sources, using anonymised smartphone metadata and analysing behavioural patterns. And by leveraging the customers’ digital footprint to produce a unified credit score, the startup is on a mission to make the process smoother for both lenders and borrowers. This makes it stand out in a market where players focus on either reducing friction in the signup process or plainly offering an alternative credit score as a third-party plugin outside of the user journey.