Local start-up sets up Singapore office as it eyes SEA expansion

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LOCAL start-up Acudeen Technologies Inc. said it is ramping up its expansion in emerging markets, mostly in Southeast Asia (SEA), and plans to set up operations in six countries in the next few years.

Company CEO Mario Jordan Fetalino III said the company is targeting these areas with a combined total addressable market of over $400 billion, launching full-scale operations next year in Vietnam and Indonesia, SEA’s biggest economy, after setting up its first remote location in Myanmar in the first quarter of the year.

“Like the Philippines, small business owners in these countries face the same perils with regard to mobility due to inaccessible and expensive financing options,” Fetalino said.

He added the company decided to establish its regional headquarters in Singapore to facilitate the expansion binge to other emerging markets.

That office would serve as “a stepping stone toward [our] goal of becoming a marketplace which essentially democratizes financial inclusion for everyone regardless of geographic location, allowing [our] system to be implemented on a global scale.”

Doing so, Fetalino said, makes Acudeen’s services “much more accessible and leverages the capability to better support our remote deployment across [SEA].”

The plan to scale up its presence abroad, however, could face headwinds in the form of regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles.

“Though belonging to one region, the policies and regulations, and the general business environment in Southeast Asia are very different per country, which is why agile companies are the ones succeeding in this region,” Fetalino said.

Acudeen’s adaptation of blockchain technology enables them to have a dynamic solution for its clients, making it possible for the company to be flexible and localized depending on the market it operates without having to sacrifice its standards for risk assessment and invoice collections.

Blockchain technology, to note, has lured many companies, such as MasterCard International Inc., which has filed for a patent in the US last year for a payment method claim involving a blockchain network identifier.

According to Fetalino said Acudeen has been very active in finding the right partners in the region.

Acudeen was founded in 2016 and facilitates receivable discounting for small businesses in the country.

This year the company expects a tenfold increase in growth to $30 million, from last year’s $3 million, as it continues to support the economic development in the Philippines through financial inclusion.

The technology company enables small and medium enterprises and micro, small and medium enterprises finance receivables ahead of time as its platform allows transactions to happen fast from receivable uploaded cash within days.

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