ErudiFi, a tech startup expanding access to education in Southeast Asia, announced on January 17 that it had secured a $15 million credit facility from Helicap, a Singapore-based fintech company.
ErudiFi offers student loans and operates as Bukas in the Philippines and Danacita in Indonesia.
Bukas has seen the number of applications increase almost ninefold since its inception in 2019. It supports students enrolled at its partner institutions, the most recent being Riverside College, Bacolod (January 2022) and University of the East Caloocan and Manila (December 2021).
“Our partnership with Helicap allows us to continue our mission to expand access to education in Southeast Asia,” said Naga Tan, CEO and co-founder of ErudiFi, in a press release. “The need for an affordable financing solution is greater than ever, with the ongoing pandemic leading an increasing number of young Filipinos and Indonesians to postpone furthering their education due to financial constraints.”
The latest round of funding will help support ErudiFi as it offers tuition payment plans to students from the aforementioned countries. As of December 2021, ErudiFi has helped over 12,000 students and partnered with over a hundred educational institutions in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Helicap connects global investors to private investment opportunities in Southeast Asia (SEA). It has a proprietary credit analytics platform which it uses for investment appraisal, due diligence and portfolio management processes.
“[The platform] enables Helicap Investments to make data-driven investment decisions and provide scalable lending capital to the most successful alternative lending institutions,” a company spokesperson added.
Since January 2018, Helicap has facilitated over $100 million in investments that improve access to finance for underbanked populations in SEA.
More than 70% of adults in SEA remain either underbanked or unbanked.
“Helicap, since its inception, has always sought to break down traditional barriers for those who need capital and those who can provide it,” said David Z. Wang, co-founder and CEO of parent company Helicap Pte. Ltd., in the same press release. “Education funding is a huge opportunity in SEA, and ErudiFi continues to shape and expand its trusted relationships with universities and partner institutions.” — Patricia B. Mirasol