Personal finance portal raises $2.8m in funding

Mr Vinod Nair, founder and chief executive of MoneySmart.sg, says the start-up intends to use the funding to accelerate its growth plans in Singapore and Indonesia, and expand into one more new market.
Mr Vinod Nair, founder and chief executive of MoneySmart.sg, says the start-up intends to use the funding to accelerate its growth plans in Singapore and Indonesia, and expand into one more new market.PHOTO: MONEYSMART.SG

Home-grown personal finance portal MoneySmart.sg has raised $2.8 million in a round of funding led by the investment arm of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

The start-up said yesterday that SPH Media Fund, the corporate venture capital fund of SPH, has been joined by capital firms such as Convergence Ventures, OPT Sea and Golden Gate Ventures.

Various individuals were also part of the funding effort. They included SingCapital chief executive Alfred Chia; PropNex chief executive Mohammad Ismail and director Alan Lim; Homeaway Asia-Pacific vice-president Dan Lynn; and Zopim co-founders Royston Tay and Kwok Yang Bin.

MoneySmart.sg, first set up in 2009 as a home loan website, offers a wide range of personal financial products on its digital marketplace aimed at helping consumers make the best use of their money.

Using the portal, consumers can, for instance, compare similar products - from credit cards to insurance and home loans - and apply for them online. It draws 1.5 million page views a month and 500,000 unique visitors.

"With the Internet, ordinary people should be empowered to make smart financial decisions with comprehensive product information and the right tools," said Mr Vinod Nair, founder and chief executive of MoneySmart.sg, at a press briefing yesterday.

"We intend to use this capital to accelerate our growth plans in Singapore and Indonesia, and expand into one more new market."

The start-up last November bought over an Indonesian counterpart, DuitPintar.com, which attracts more than half a million page views a month. Mr Nair said it has yet to decide whether to venture into the Philippines, Thailand or Hong Kong, but will do so by the middle of next year.

The company broke even at the end of last year, reaping annual revenue of more than $1 million.

Mr Chua Boon Ping, chief executive of SPH Media Fund, noted in a media release: "With the rise of the middle class across South-east Asia, an increasing number of people are becoming more interested and sophisticated in financial investment knowledge.

"There is a strong demand for a comprehensive site where people can look for and compare financial products that meet their individual needs."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'Personal finance portal raises $2.8m in funding'. Print Edition | Subscribe