Daily Markup #537: Mapan bags US$15M for low-income Indonesians; Mediaload boosts brands with SEA network; First Circle aids SMEs with zero interest

Credit: Mapan

Supercharging community connections

  • Did you know that Arisans are a unique aspect of Indonesian culture? It’s an informal social gathering where members take turns to purchase products for the group.
  • 500-backed Mapan — which means ‘steady’ in Bahasa Indonesia — is advancing Arisan communities across Indonesia through digitization by allowing users, mostly women, to pay for goods and services together! Through Mapan’s Arisan product, lower-income groups can increase their buying power to purchase household goods such as cookware, electronics, and furniture.  
  • The team announced they have raised a Series A of US$15 million to expand the company’s product range, and partner with more suppliers for its marketplace of goods for resellers. The firm also currently provides bills payment application, Mapan Pulsa, and consumer goods resale platform, Mapan Mart. 
  • According to Mapan, they are serving in a country where 51% of adults are unbanked or don’t have access to a bank account. Their service is currently available in Java, Bali, Sumatera, Nusa Tenggara, and Sulawesi, with plans to expand into the rest of Indonesia. Mapan also shared that it already has more than 3 million members, and they are targeting to make Mapan Arisan available to 10 million households in Indonesia by 2026.
  • CEO Ardelia Apti said, “Many existing commerce, income, and financial solutions are not in favor of low-income communities. They require more effort and costs to be able to get the goods they want in a way that is affordable to them. Likewise, there are ways to earn income, many of which require time, capital, and expertise that are difficult to access for this target market, especially women.”
  • Congratulations to the Mapan team!
  • Read the full story on TechCrunch.
Credit: The Star

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  • Brands can look forward to partnering with a wider network of influencers across Southeast Asia, thanks to an ambitious pledge by Ace Media Network (AMN) to become the leading influencer network in the region!
  • AMN, a digital media technology firm that provides solutions for brands and agencies to reach audiences through social media, was recently acquired by 500-backed digital media company, Mediaload.
  • “With AMN’s impressive data-driven platform technologies and KOMACI, their influencer platform, which has the potential to be one of the biggest influencer platforms in the world, Mediaload has found the right fit, ” said Vichet In, CEO of Mediaload.
  • AMN CEO Ben Wong shared that a pilot project with AirAsia featuring 30 influencers had generated over 1.7 million exposures with an engagement rate of 3% to 5%. AMN is eyeing a minimum growth of 50% for the next three years. The company’s clients include Tourism Malaysia, Dominos, and Carlsberg.
  • Read more here.
Credit: Inquirer.net

Minding the financial gap

  • “The next generation of businesses will come from the network of SMEs in [the Philippines],” said Marcus Erlano, Head of Customer Success & Support at 500-backed First Circle.
  • But he cautioned that limited access to financing, high interest rates, and lack of long-term partnerships are hindering the growth of SMEs.
  • “There are a good number of business people in the Philippines who are very keen and eager to grow their businesses,” Marcus pointed out. “However, they do not have access to financing that enables them to take more projects or to expand their operations.” 
  • To support these SMEs, First Circle partnered with the Security Exchange Commission, local government units, and more to finance SMEs and promote financial literacy.
  • The company also introduced the Growth Partners Program, which offers a zero-interest capital facility and charges no transaction fee. This partnership program, Marcus said, will support fast-growing businesses in the Philippines that the company believes will shape the future of the economy.
  • Read more here.

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