JiPay has raised US$1.3m in seed funding led by East Ventures

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JAKARTA, March 31, 2022 JiPay, a Singapore-based fintech startup building an inclusive financial services platform for migrant domestic workers, today announced it has secured $1.3 million in seed funding. This funding round was led by East Ventures, with participation from SHL Capital as well as strategic angels including the Manila Angel Network and Shivaas Gulati (co-founder of Remitly).

JiPay was founded by Dayana Yermolayeva (co-founder and CEO) after graduating from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in late 2020. She was first exposed to domestic work after moving to Hong Kong for his studies. Originally from Ukraine, where the concept of home helpers is practically non-existent, she was struck by the size but unstructured nature of this industry in Asia, given that domestic workers play a key role in society and in the workforce.

For the helpers, who crowded into the central area of ​​Hong Kong Island on Sunday, the problems were apparent; foreign domestic workers (FDW) are underbanked and lack affordable access to basic financial services, such as remittances, savings and insurance.

Meanwhile, families who employ domestic domestic workers find it difficult to manage their helper finances as wage payments often have to be made in cash. Managing day-to-day expenses is cumbersome and most families still rely on cash, paper receipts and notebooks to do manual accounting at home. “The problem is not just the embarrassment caused by the disorderly management of household expenses,” says Dayana, “the real problem is the lack of trust between families and their helpers.”

JiPay creates trust inside the house

JiPay creates trust by bringing together employers, assistants and even children on one platform. JiPay’s mobile app helps both user groups:

  • Employers use the JiPay app and the free connected Mastercard to track household expenses. They top up funds and view transactions and weekly spending trend information through the app. With JiPay, employers can forget about constant trips to the ATM and reading receipts for their help. They don’t have to worry about losing money and they even get 1.5% cash back on card purchases in supermarkets and many other stores.
  • Assistants can use the JiPay Mastercard to make purchases for their employers. The card is accepted in stores, online and on public transport. For wet markets that do not accept cards, assistants can PayNow directly from the JiPay app. Assistants can also view the card’s balance and transactions, in order to budget more efficiently. JiPay’s existing FDW customers report that using JiPay has taken the stress out of managing their employer’s money. They don’t have to keep asking for money, keeping receipts, or carrying loose change. With less conflict over money, caregivers and their employers are able to build trust.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding which will accelerate our path to financial independence for domestic workers across Southeast Asia. We started our journey with a product aimed at families who hire assistants, which has enabled us to learn more about the financial habits of assistants and gain approval from their employers when we offer personal finance features to FDWs,” said Dayana Yermolayeva, co-founder and CEO of JiPay.

“We already have over a thousand assistants in Singapore who use JiPay for household expenses, so we have a platform from which we can offer personal finance products directly to them. Our employer customers help educating the FDWs on the benefits of using JiPay for their own finances, and that really helps with initial onboarding and adoption,” she added.

The exponential growth of JiPay and its future plans

JiPay has changed the game by bringing domestic work into the cashless economy. JiPay recently reached $1,000,000 in card spend and its transaction volume has increased more than 10x in the past 6 months. JiPay will allocate the newly received funds for team building and product development. JiPay’s next key step is to launch a personal finance product for assistants; workers will be able to receive wage payments on their JiPay personal account, send money home via JiPay Discount, and use Record set aside money for major expenses such as buying property or their children’s college fees.

Commenting on the investment, Devina Halim, Director at East Ventures said, “We believe JiPay serves as an integrated platform that eliminates financial access issues in the domestic work industry. Domestic work is not just an industry in itself, but a vital employment sector in many Southeast Asian countries. We believe JiPay is strategically positioned to improve financial inclusion in this segment.

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About JiPay

JiPay creates an inclusive financial services platform for migrant domestic workers. Her secret is to target caregivers through their employers, and that’s why her MVP is an app for families to manage their caregiver expenses. Helpers use the linked Mastercard to shop while employers can top up the account through the app. JiPay saves time for employers who don’t have to run to the ATM and sift through receipts. When it comes to helpers, the JiPay card eliminates the need to constantly ask for money or carry change.

JiPay’s next step is to offer personal accounts to domestic workers, which will allow them to receive, save, spend and remit money to their families through the same application.

About East Ventures

Businesses East is a pioneering and industry-leading independent venture capital firm headquartered in Singapore. Founded in 2009, East Ventures has evolved into a holistic platform that provides multi-stage investments including seed and growth for over 200 companies in Southeast Asia.

An early proponent of the startup ecosystem in Indonesia, East Ventures is the top investor in Indonesian unicorn companies, namely Tokopedia and Traveloka. Other notable portfolio companies include Ruangguru, SIRCLO, Kudo (acquired by Grab), Loket (acquired by Gojek), Tech in Asia, Xendit, IDN Media, MokaPOS (acquired by Gojek), ShopBack, KoinWorks, Waresix and Sociolla.

East Ventures was named the top performing venture capital fund in the world by Preqin, and the most active investor in SEA and Indonesia by various media.

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