MARKING its entry into Southeast Asia, Lentra, a leading Indian digital lending software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform provider, has set up operations in the Philippines.
“We are looking at transforming lending and for us, the Philippines is a great geography of choice because of the demographic dividends and the fact that it’s going to be a high growth economy as we move forward. With financial inclusion playing out here, more and more people are going to come in the credit circle,” Lentra co-founder and chief product officer Ankur Handa told BusinessMirror in an interview during The Lentra Global Digital Lending Summit at Dusit Thani Manila on August 24.
Currently, the country’s population stands at 110 million, a significant portion of which, however, remains unbanked and underserved mainly due to complex and tedious application and approval processes to open an account and avail of financial services like loans from the banks and financial institutions.
“We see a big gap right now, and that’s the motivation why Lentra is here to address that,” Lentra Philippines country general manager Joel del Valle said. “As most of the banks right now in the Philippines invested in big systems, we see a lot of business painpoints.”
These problems, including the time-consuming policy change for credit decisioning and varying loan management systems (LMS), are what inspired the four-year-old fintech company to offer loan tools, such as the Business Rules Engine (BREx), 1LMS, Lentra Lending Cloud, and GoNoGo platform, among others.
Built on an open source architecture, its platform is simple, configurable and secure that helps accelerate embedded banking with speed at scale. Its SaaS model makes digital inclusion easy, credit approvals quick and seamless than ever.
Powered by cutting-edge technologies, it enables banks and financial institution-clients to create tailored lending products and elevate customers’ overall loan experiences with over 90 percent Straight-Through Processing or STP rate. This leads to increased access to new clients, reduced non-performing assets, enhanced operational efficiencies and accelerated business growth.
“Our desire is not just to make the life of a bank easier but also its end customers,” Lentra executive vice president for Asia Pacific Sanjay Kao noted.
With over 150 bank partners, its offerings specializing in retail and small and medium enterprise loans lead to financial inclusion of the country’s growing digital-savvy population. The firm, which became operational here on August 28, has already gained two clients: Union Digital and GCash. It now engages with the top 25 banks and financial institutions, as well as reaches out to rural banks and cooperatives nationwide.
“We want to aggressively grow the traction here in the Philippines,” Handa said of their target of 20 clients.
Lentra recently received its Series B Funding of $78 million led by investors like MUFG Bank, Bessemer Venture Partners and SIG Venture Capital, and Citi Ventures. This will fuel its growth in Southeast Asia—now with operations in the Philippines and soon in Indonesia and Vietnam—and the United States moving forward.
“From a revenue standpoint, we’re working towards a $100 million annualized revenue, which is on the back of our Opex [operational expenditure] model,” he shared.
“In about three years time, we expect to be running at a revenue of about $20 million for the Philippines [alone]. The whole digitization conversion that every bank or finance company is looking at, the government support at digitizing and reaching out to a much larger population, and a younger population coming into the market—all will drive this growth,” Kao added.