BEIJING, April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Southeast Asia is an important node in the "trinity" overseas strategy of 9F Group. The group uses digital technologies as a bridgehead to help local banks and enterprises on digital transformations and other challenging situations. They are also building blocks to the "Belt and Road" initiative and "Community of Human Destiny" idea.
Continued investment in Indonesian fintech company Investree and "License-First" to expand digital financial inclusion
The number and amount of VC investments in Southeast Asia markets are decreasing, the developments of the economy and innovation ecosystem have been considerably hampered.
But there are some stars that buck the trend. Among these stars, Indonesian P2P firm Investree has just secured $23.5 million as the first tranche of its Series C funding round. 9F Group together with Japan's SBI Holdings, as existing investors, also participated in this Series C round. The funding will be used to accelerate Investree's business in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines to support SMEs in the region and to strengthen its working capital.
Investree is based in Indonesia but has grown its regional footprint in Thailand and the Philippines. Investree's mission as marketplace is to use technology and data to provide small businesses with access to working capital solutions from retail and institutional lenders. It is fully licensed by Financial Services Authority of Indonesia (OJK) for both conventional and Shariah businesses. The additional investment in Investree demonstrates 9F Group's confidence and commitment to Indonesian as well as Southeast Asian markets.
Technology enables digital transformation of Cambodia Chief Bank and enhances inclusive finance
Regarding traditional financial institutions in Southeast Asia, 9F Group also continues to deep dive to identify high-quality partners for technology enabling. Recently 9F reached a strategic cooperation with the Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank PLC. The two will jointly launch online micro loan services to provide local people with simpler and more convenient digital financial inclusion services amid the pandemic.
Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank PLC. was founded by the founder of the Hong Kong Chief Group. The headquarters are located in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. In 2018, it became a fully licensed local bank. 9F Group will provide Chief Bank with customized digital financial solutions including a front-end mobile app, full-process online lending system, credit review system and other modules to help improve the level of digital financial infrastructure and drive digital transformation of Chief Bank.
Empowering leading jewelry retailer in Thailand with digitalization and building brand trust value proposition thru blockchain technology
In the midst of the COVID-19, many Southeast Asian countries are imposing stricter border control and social distancing while retailers, entertainment, and department stores are among the most being impacted. Official sources from Thailand and Vietnam have claimed that hotel and restaurants were seeing drastic drop of over 26%, while tourism and related services had slipped over 10%, pulling down the overall retail sales by 0.3% in March.
Looking into the Chinese market, online consumption had been a major contribution to stabilizing the overall economy. 9F Group has applied our expertise in the "Chinese model" to our client in Thailand. Being a leading jewelry retailer in Thailand, our client is fully utilizing our turn-key solution to assist in their digitalization and image rebranding strategy. 9F has not only provided a digital wallet that helps our client to tap into the new age and audience of the digital economy but also built a trust platform of e-certificate based on the blockchain technology. The blockchain-based e-certificate contains information such as origin data, logistic data, and transaction data. The traceability and immutability characters of the blockchain technology will also in turn strengthen their brand image by providing credibility on their products.
High-end talents join to further strengthen Southeast Asian market footholds
9F Inc. (NASDAQ: JFU) listed in August 2018 released its quarterly financial report of Q3 2019 with net income reached USD1.705 billion. Besides cooperation with 25 licensed financial institutions, the group also engaged in collaborations in the technology field with well-known tech giants such as Alibaba Cloud and Huawei Cloud. In addition, 9F Group is actively recruiting local talents and incubating innovations in Southeast Asia. Recently, Wilfred Yong, Executive Director of SilverLake Innovation in Malaysia, was attracted by the Group's digital technology advantages and ideas. He formally joined 9F Group and served as the Managing Director, Southeast Asia of 9F International. Awarded "2015 Top Ten Outstanding Young Chinese Overseas Chinese in Guangdong", a Malaysian entrepreneur, senior lawyer and MBA, Wilfred Yong's joining will help 9F Group to expand overseas markets and add significance in the group's composition at Southeast Asia. It will effectively enhance the group's digital financial inclusion ecosystem and accelerate the digital transformation progress of Southeast Asian financial institutions and enterprises.
According to China's experience, under the COVID-19 pandemic, both financial and retail businesses have been forced to transformed digitally: online business has gradually become mainstream; financial technologies have been widely used; and Internet+ industries have developed rapidly. 9F Group has always been rooted in China's values and responsibilities: in the face of the war with COVID-19, it will proactively utilize its own digital technologies to help pandemic preventions and controls. By upholding the concept of "Community of Human Destiny", 9F Group stands and fights with the international community in the battle against COVID-19.
SOURCE 9F Inc.