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Brick Announces 122 Billion Rupiah Funding Led by Flourish Ventures and Antler

Funding will be used for business expansion outside Indonesia, such as Singapore and the Philippines

Open finance startup Brick announced seed funding of $8.5 million or around 122 billion Rupiah, led by Flourish Ventures and Antler. This fundraising aims to support the vision of empowering the next generation of fintech companies with an easy-to-implement, cost-effective and inclusive infrastructure. This includes regional expansion plans to Singapore and the Philippines, after its first focusing on Indonesia.

Other investors are participated in this round, including Trihill Capital, and the previous investors, Better Tomorrow Ventures and Rally Cap Ventures. There are also some well-known fintech operators, including Sima Gandhi (Plaid, Creative Juice), Yan Wu (Bond), Brian Ma (Divvy Homes) , Ooi Hsu Ken (Iterative), Amrish Rau (Pine Labs) and Andrea Baronchelli (Aspire).

Brick was founded in 2020 by Gavin Tan (CEO) and Deepak Malhotra (CTO). Gavin was an early employee at Aspire. Deepak built India's first unicorn neobank for millennials as the co-founder and CTO of Slice.

In an official statement, Gavin said, Brick is building a fintech rail for Southeast Asian technology companies. This funding will enable Brick to accelerate growth, scale technology platforms to expand product offerings, and support more developers in the region to build financially inclusive services.

“This funding also allows us to recruit senior local talent in every country where we operate such as Indonesia, to localize our product and ensure that it is in line with best practices and the highest standards of good corporate governance and consumer protection, especially in the sphere of integrity and data protection. Compliance, consumer protection and consumer trust are our top priorities at Brick,” Tan said.

Global Investments Advisors of Flourish Ventures, Smita Aggarwal said, “Brick is ideally positioned for growth, with a great team and a leading competitive position in the market with strong regulatory support for open finance. He continued, to catalyze the growth of financial services across customer segments, Southeast Asia needs infrastructure that enables secure and fast integration of identity verification, credit assurance and financial planning for customers.

“We believe that widespread adoption of open financial tools can accelerate financial inclusion across the region and provide a significant boost to economic growth. We look forward to working with Brick as it supports the revival of embedded finance in this very unbanked region,” Aggarwal said.

Antler's Partner, Teddy Himler added, "We believe in an open financial model and vision for Southeast Asia. With Brick, Antler believes the region will have a more transparent, competitive and innovative fintech ecosystem. While Europe is taking a regulation-driven approach, he felt the market attraction from fintech apps (and their customers) to build on top of a basic API infrastructure.

"We believe that ASEAN's most innovative banks, governments and consumer services will embrace open finance as a way to leapfrog traditional payments and data infrastructure," Himler said.

In addition to Brick, open finance startups that have operations in Indonesia include Finantier, Brankas, and Ayoconnect.

Brick API Solution

Brick builds Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for fintech and consumer technology companies. This API makes it easy for popular fintech platforms to offer payment, credit, investment, and insurance products to their consumers by linking these platforms to hyperlocal data sources. For example, if a user wants to take out a loan, Brick technology can immediately link the platform with the user's financial account, or collect mobile wallet or job data to help process loan applications.

This technology automates and integrates the time-consuming process of collecting data from multiple sources to facilitate financial transactions. That means fintech platforms can quickly offer their users a variety of customized financial products and improve access to finance while accelerating digital adoption across Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Brick now serves more than 50 paying clients, including some of Indonesia's fastest growing fintech and conglomerates such as Sinarmas Group and Astra Financial. The company supports more than 13 million API calls and nearly 1 million consumers every month.

Over the past six months, Brick has expanded its API suite to better serve technology companies in Indonesia. In addition to the Brick Data API, the company now offers Brick Verification and Brick Payments. This allows the Brick API suite to cover deeper use cases and allows developers to launch world-class products with a single API integration.

For example, the end-to-end user journey from onboarding, underwriting and disbursing for users looking to take out loans, can now be automated with Brick Verification, Brick Data, and Brick Payments. While the company is currently focused on Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, Brick plans to cover the entire region, starting with expansion to Singapore and the Philippines later this year.

Brick serves a dynamic and rapidly growing technology ecosystem in Indonesia, with more than 5,000 technology companies increasingly leveraging fintech in their product offerings. Indonesian fintech companies managed to attract more than $1 billion in investment throughout 2021, up from $282 million in 2020.

The high demand was accompanied by strong regulatory support. Bank account penetration in Indonesia is still below 50% and, to meet the government's target of 90% financial inclusion by 2024, the central bank issued a comprehensive open banking API standard in 2020. Brick is collaborating with Bank Indonesia and the Indonesian Financial Services Authority ( OJK).

Research shows that open banking can have a strong economic impact in emerging markets, where it can significantly increase financial inclusion. Research conducted by Flourish Ventures and McKinsey & Company shows that widespread adoption of an open data ecosystem in India could result in a four to five percent increase in GDP by 2030.

Flourish believes that the potential for improvement in Southeast Asia could be even greater since the region ranks ahead of India in terms of digital adoption but lags behind in access to traditional bank-provided financial services.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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