MoneySmart.sg raises $14m in funding led by Kakaku.com

MoneySmart.sg was founded in 2009 with the aim of simplifying personal finance decisions. Founder and chief executive Vinod Nair said Kakaku.com is a natural fit for his firm. There are plans to launch into new markets in the Asia-Pacific while boost
MoneySmart.sg was founded in 2009 with the aim of simplifying personal finance decisions. Founder and chief executive Vinod Nair(above) said Kakaku.com is a natural fit for his firm. There are plans to launch into new markets in the Asia-Pacific while boosting marketing efforts in Singapore and Indonesia.PHOTO: MONEYSMART.SG

Online personal finance portal MoneySmart.sg has raised $14 million in a funding round.

The Series B round was led by Japanese firm Kakaku.com, an online service provider whose portfolio includes Kakaku.com, Japan's largest shopping-support site which provides information on products and services, and Tabelog, which ranks restaurants.

MoneySmart.sg, which offers side-by-side comparisons of products such as credit cards, loans and bank accounts, was founded in 2009 with the aim of simplifying personal finance decisions.

After raising a Series A round of funding in 2015 that was led by Singapore Press Holdings Media Fund, it has experienced significant growth, more than doubling its employee count and seeing a 40 per cent rise in monthly visits.

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It offers information on 14 different personal finance products and receives an average of one million monthly visits.

MoneySmart.sg plans to launch into new markets in the Asia-Pacific while boosting marketing efforts in Singapore and Indonesia, which it entered in 2014 with the acquisition of the Indonesian portal now known as DuitPintar.com.

DuitPintar records about 1.6 million sessions a month.

MoneySmart.sg founder and chief executive Vinod Nair said Kakaku.com is a natural fit for his firm.

"Having an investor like Kakaku, who has gone through and overcome the many challenges in the comparison space, is extremely valuable and serves as a timely validation that we're on the right track and will be a guiding light for our future endeavours."

MoneySmart.sg is the first company that Kakaku.com has invested in outside of Japan, marking the beginning of its global expansion.

Mr Genta Sugihara, the senior executive officer of corporate development at Kakaku.com, said the partnership is an investment into a rapidly growing market, with many opportunities for synergies between the two companies.

He added: "It's an important first step in accelerating Kakaku.com's global business and we look forward to exploring similar opportunities with other businesses whose offerings complement our portfolio."

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2017, with the headline 'MoneySmart.sg raises $14m in funding led by Kakaku.com'. Print Edition | Subscribe