SPH-backed MoneySmart gets S$14m Series B

Latest funding led by Kakaku.com, which makes its first investment outside of Japan


MONEYSMART.SG, a homegrown finance portal that allows users to compare loans, insurance plans and credit cards, has raised S$14 million in Series B funding.

The round is led by Kakaku.com Inc, a Japan-based online service provider with a portfolio in multiple verticals including shopping, food, travel, lifestyle and real estate.

With the proceeds, MoneySmart will boost marketing efforts in Singapore and Indonesia, launch in new markets in South-east Asia and the Asia-Pacific, and grow its team.

Founder and chief executive Vinod Nair said this means that users can expect more personal finance product comparisons on the platform.

"Users will also continue to see more compelling and relevant content on the issues and topics that matter most," he told The Business Times.

MoneySmart in 2009 started out as an online platform to help Singaporeans compare various home loan packages.

Today, it curates 17 different personal finance products, including credit cards, insurance, loans and bank accounts.

It is the first company that Kakaku has invested in outside of Japan. Asked what Kakaku can offer his business, Mr Nair said: "Kakaku is in the comparison space, which is the same space we're in. Being in the industry for 20 years, Kakaku has a lot of industry know-how.

"It's not a copy-paste scenario but some of the challenges we are facing now, it has faced them before. Being able to tap its expertise and knowledge, and then adapting them for the market we're handling is something that is valuable to us."

The startup is backed by Singapore Press Holdings. In 2015, it snagged S$2.8 million in Series A funding led by SPH Media Fund, the corporate venture capital arm of SPH.

Chua Boon Ping, chief of SPH Media Fund, said: "MoneySmart has been laser-focused in executing its plan for Singapore and Indonesia. After achieving strong leadership position in these markets, we are now ready for the next phase of growth."