Photo - (From left) iMoney Co-founders Bruno Araujo; and Lee Ching Wei.
Australian financial services comparison website iSelect has invested about RM13 million [US$4 million] in Malaysia's Intelligent Money, which operates a comparison website - iMoney.
During the announcement in Kuala Lumpur, Intelligent Money's group chief executive officer and co-founder Lee Ching Wei said the investment will help to strengthen its management, technology and product plans while helping to achieve a tripling of monthly regional web traffic to 5 million unique visits to iMoney by next year.
A significant portion of the new capital will also be reserved for investment into iMoney's regional subsidiaries in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, said Lee, adding that iMoney has in the last eight months of this year already achieved five-fold growth to about 1.5 million unique visitors a month.
"I'm personally delighted to be able to announce this deal and am looking forward to working closely with Damien and the team at iSelect to capture the vast growth potential of this marketplace. iSelect, as the leading online comparison service in Australia brings vast experience and knowledge to our business and we are excited to have such a strong partner on board," he said.
"Moving forward, our business focus will be on rapidly expanding our web presence to broker more deals with financial institutions as well as to provide greater web content that is relevant to our consumers," said Lee.
"Beyond continued organic growth, we are also evaluating a number of acquisition opportunities in the South East Asia Region with a view to growing even faster," he said.
High growth in Southeast Asia
iSelect executive chairman, Damien Waller, said, "iMoney shares a similar business model to iSelect and is at a similar phase in its evolution to where iSelect was 10 years ago. iSelect's investment in iMoney provides us with exposure to high growth consumer markets in South East Asia and an early stake in a market leading and high growth business."
iSelect provides a product comparison and advice in Australia on more than 12,500 insurance, energy, personal finance and broadband products from more than 85 partner providers.
Established in 2012, iMoney offers a personal finance comparison service in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. A company statement said that in the last year, iMoney has originated RM1.2 billion in home loans, 65,000 credit card and personal loan applications and now works with more than 50 financial institutions across 6 countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong).
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.