Kuala Lumpur-headquartered digital savings platform, HelloGold, has begun approaching international investors for its pre-series B funding round as it continues to expand its international footprint and evolve as a fintech player.
The Islamic fintech start-up is looking to raise US$5 million before September, with the ultimate goal of securing US$20 million before the end of 2019. The firm, IFN Fintech has learned, is working on new products including a global Hajj savings platform with gold as the underlying core investment product; Indonesia has been selected as the launch market for the Hajj product.
It is also understood that HelloGold is seeking an Islamic banking virtual license Bank Negara Malaysia, as soon as regulations are in place the end of this year, as well as an investment management license from Securities Commission Malaysia.
While discussions are ongoing for these new endeavors, concurrently, the start-up – led by ex-CFO of World Gold Council Robin Lee and former head of special projects at AEON Credit – has expanded into new markets. Since IFN Fintech reported of its partnership with African digital financial inclusion platform Baobab which will facilitate HelloGold’s expansion into the continent earlier this year, HelloGold in June broke into the Thai market.
Apart from launching its app to Thai individual investors, the company also signed an MoU with Central Group, a major Thai retailer, to enable the 15 million 1Card members to redeem THB100 (US$3.18)-worth of gold from HelloGold with every 1,000 One Card points.
“We see tremendous savings potential in Thailand — 87% of the working population want to save but only 30% are able to save. Equally important, gold has historically been and continues to be an integral part of Thai culture — in 2018, Thai demand for gold was the sixth-highest in the world. For many Thais, gold’s attribute as a highly stable asset makes it the most appropriate gift for important occasions,” shared Robin Lee, CEO of HelloGold.
The start-up targets 120,000 downloads in its first year of operations in Thailand.
Having secured partnership for market expansion in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey this year, Lee also shared that it expects to set up in Indonesia by the end of the year.