GajiGesa, a fintech startup serving unbanked workers in Indonesia through Earned Wage Access (EWA) and other services has raised a $2.5 million seed round. Defy.vc and Quest Ventures led the round. Gk Plug and Play, Kanmo Group, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, and strategic angel investors also participated in the round.
The startup was founded last year by cofounders Vidit Agrawal and Martyna Malinowska, a husband-and-wife team. Agrawal was the first employee of Uber in Asia and has held leadership positions at Stripe and Carro. Malinowska on the other hand, led at Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures, product development. She also led product development at alternative credit-scoring platform LenddoEFL.
66% of Indonesia’s population is unbanked – meaning they do not have a bank account and cannot easily access financial services like loans. This led the inspiration for GajiGesa – particularly because Malinowska had worked with many unbanked workers while she was at LenddoEFL and Agrawal while at Uber worked with drivers across Southeast Asia with average monthly earnings of $250 (excluding Singapore) facing harassment by money lenders as a top issue.
According to Agrawal, these hardworking Indonesians (Uber drivers) did not have fair or formal sources to easily access capital. In his words: “The most common reason of borrowing was short term liquidity issues. But workers were forced to borrow either long-term, high ticket size loans or short term loans with exorbitantly high-interest rates.”
GajiGesa, since launching in October 2020, has added on its platform more than 30 employers, serving tens of thousands of workers in total. The startup integrates into a company’s existing human resources management and payroll systems. Workers through an app can get their earned wages immediately, track earnings, pay bills, purchase prepaid cards, and access financial education resources.
The fintech startup charges no interest rates or requires collateral. All its users are preapproved by their employers. Companies can decide to charge fees or offer GajiGesa as part of their benefits packages, and furthermore get access to analytics to help create targeted incentives or new benefits for their workforce.
Indonesia in Focus:
Population: 270.6 million (2019)
GDP: $1.1 trillion (2019)
GDP Per Capita: $11,441 (2019)