1. Startup

Pluang Secures 787 Billion Additional Funding, to Further Democratize Investment Access

This funding was led by Accel and to be used for technology development, adding asset classes, and expanding services to Southeast Asia

The wealthtech platform Pluang has raised $55 million funding or equivalent to IDR 787 billion led by Accel, a Silicon Valley based venture capital firm. This is the follow-up round of the latest series B funding in September, Pluang has currently secured a total funding of $110 million throughout 2021.

Other investors involved in this round were Trung Nguyen, Andy Ho, Aleksander Leonard Larsen, and Jeffrey Zirlin (founder of Axie Infinity), Alexa von Tobel (former CEO of Learnvest), Daniela Binatti (CTO of Pismo), Jannick Malling and Leif Abraham. (Co-CEO of Public.com), Raghu Yarlagadda (CEO of FalconX), Sergio Jimenez (CEO of Flink), The Chainsmokers, BRI Ventures, Gold House, along with previous investors, including Square Peg, Go-Ventures, UOB Venture Management, and Openspace Ventures.

Pluang will use the fresh money to continue democratizing investment access to various asset classes for all levels of society. Pluang also plans to expand its business coverage to Southeast Asia. It is in line with the company's mission to empower and increase financial literacy and inclusion in the region.

"With this additional funding, our team can accelerate momentum and provide the tools, resources, knowledge and insights to enable more people building a long-term wealth. We are excited to have a world class investor like Accel, as well as our new investors, which supports Pluang to grow to the next level,” Pluang's Co-Founder, Claudia Kolonas said in an official statement.

Democratizing investment access

Was founded in 2019 by Claudia Kolonas and Richard Chua, Pluang started the business by providing access to gold investments. Within 3 years of operation, Pluang has had over 4 million registered users in Indonesia and the number is rapidly growing.

Pluang recorded a 22-fold user growth, making active transactions between January 2020 and November 2021. In addition, they also recorded a 28.5-fold user growth with active balances in the same period.

Pluang's growth cannot be separated from the product diversification available on its platform. Starting from gold, capital markets, mutual funds, and the recently added, Micro E-mini Nasdaq 100 Index Futures investment asset class. It is a derivative futures product that is traded on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange (CME).

In addition, partnerships with several super apps in the Southeast Asia region have also opened up wider access to investment for the public. Pluang has several partners, incluuding Gojek, DANA, Bukalapak, and Tokopedia. This December, Pluang has officially entered Tokopedia's ecosystem as an alternative option for gold investment.

Regarding novice investor as a target market, Claudia also mentioned that Indonesia's investment penetration is still below 1 percent, resulting in a very large opportunity in this sector. Therefore, Pluang, by all means, eager to improve financial literacy and encourage democratization of investment access for all audiences.

"Financial literacy for the young generation is one solution to overcome economic inequality in Indonesia. We are so excited to contribute in reducing this economic gap by providing access to products that used to be out of reach,"  Claudia said in a webinar held by Pluang (1/12).

In the near future, Pluang is to launch the first investment product in Indonesia that allows users to invest in US stocks starting from 0.1 units .

Investment in the wealthtech sector

Global investors have also realized the size and potential of the digital economy market in Southeast Asia. In 2020 alone, the total investment disbursed into startups in Southeast Asia has reached $8.2 billion. The wealthtech sector itself takes part of the total investment.

Claudia also mentioned, "As the largest country in Southeast Asia, we are very proud to see rapid developments in the capital market and digital assets. Currently, more than 10 million people have invested in Indonesia. Hopefully, Indonesia can be an example and an incubator for other countries in Southeast Asia to develop the wealthtech sector in each respective countries."

Aside from Pluang, several platforms that provide similar services have also succeeded to raise funding throughout 2021. DailySocial.id managed to create a list of those companies :

ModuitPra-Seri A (November)65 miliar Rupiah
BareksaSeri C (November)Tidak disebutkan
AjaibSeri B (Oktober)>2,1 triliun Rupiah
BibitLanjutan Seri A (Mei)938 miliar Rupiah
FUNDtasticSeri A (Februari)108 miliar Rupiah

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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