Latvian fintech startup Jeff App has raised €150K to further evolve its “Tinder for loans” solution in the Vietnamese market, as well as expand to Indonesia later in 2020. A number of European business angels participated in the Jeff App pre-seed round, the very first company’s funding round to date.
Launched in Riga in the summer of 2019, Jeff is a loan brokerage solution that utilizes alternative data to boost financial inclusion and has its focus set on Southeast Asia. With just 30% of the population holding a bank account and even less people being included in credit bureaus according to World Bank data, there is a massive gap between Vietnamese in need of financing and banks, and lenders currently able to service them. And Vietnam is just one of the many nations in the region facing the challenge of financial inclusion.
The users are onboarded to the application via simple chat with Jeff bot, their new best friend for finding great loan offers. Progressing through the application, users are invited to connect data points from different sources to their Jeff App profile. The more data is provided, the higher level is reached, better assessment of a person can be carried out & in turn more loan offers are provided.
Investors that have taken part in this funding round include Tadas Langaitis (co-founder at Nortal, LHV, angel investor at Kilo Health, Not Perfect, advisor at Debitum, NOIA). The company is advised by Raimonds Kulbergs (ex-Funderful, Salto Network).
Jeff App has been recognised as a highly promising startup, including coverage in Forbes USA print edition, as well as been crowned as the winner of Seedstars national and regional finals, making it to the top 50 out of 8000+ startups worldwide, and is now set to compete for the main prize of around €450K during Seedstars World Summit in April 2020. The company is currently hiring talented product, marketing and IT specialists in Riga and Ho Chi Minh City.
While I’ve had no formal training in economic development, long before getting involved in the local startup community, I had questioned the efficacy of chasing huge corporations with incentives to get them to relocate to a region in the name of economic development. So the question posed by Andy piqued my interest and drove me to research the factors that have driven the need for a new approach to economic development.
“The Great Recession touched off a true collapse in new firm starts. It marked the first time on record that companies were dying faster than they were being born in the United States.“ — Dynamism in Retreat