Ulaanbaatar-based fintech startup AND Global today revealed that it has raised US$5 million in seed funding, giving it a post-money valuation of US$30.8 million.
This almost certainly makes AND Mongolia’s highest-valued and highest-funded tech startup. Speaking to Tech in Asia, a company spokesperson suggested that US$5 million is unprecedented for a seed round in the country’s nascent tech scene. The only Mongolian companies raising similar amounts typically operate in primary industries such as mining.
The funding came in two tranches: a US$1 million “pre-seed” raise back in April 2016, followed by another US$4 million in August this year. Most of the funding came from angel investors in Mongolia and Japan, several of which invested at the pre-seed stage initially and upped their commitments this year.
AND’s main product is LendMN, a mobile app-based microlending platform for personal loans. LendMN went live last November, and since then it has facilitated collateral-free microloans worth US$1.4 million.
The startup says it generates revenue through dynamic monthly fees – typically at a rate of 3 to 5 percent – which can significantly undercut traditional providers. Moreover, it reports a 98.5 percent loan repayment rate; it ascribes this to in-house machine learning technology which can assess the likelihood of a prospective loanee making their repayments on time.
AND will use the seed capital to scale up its personal microloan business and move into lending to businesses. The funding will also help it grow beyond Mongolia. The company – which already has satellite offices in Japan and Singapore – highlights Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines, as well as central Europe, as key expansion opportunities.
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