By James A. Loyola
Filipino fintech startup Acudeen Technologies is ramping up its expansion in emerging markets by setting up operations in six Southeast Asian countries over the next few years.
Acudeen Technologies Chief Executive Officer Mario Jordan Fetalino III said the company is targeting six different markets with a combined total addressable market of over $400 billion.
He said Acudeen is launching full-scale operations in Vietnam and Indonesia next year after setting up its first remote location in Myanmar in the first quarter of the year.
“Like the Philippines, small business owners in these countries face the same perils with regard to mobility due to inaccessible and expensive financing options,” he said.
The Filipino startup has decided to establish its regional headquarters in Singapore to facilitate the expansion binge to other emerging markets.
According to Fetalino, the establishment of the regional headquarters would serve as “a stepping stone towards its goal of becoming a marketplace which essentially democratizes financial inclusion for everyone regardless of geographic location, allowing their system to be implemented on a global scale.”
He added that this makes its services much more accessible and leverages the capability to better support its remote deployment across Southeast Asia.
However, Fetalino said their plan to scale up Acudeen’s presence abroad and effectively push for financial inclusion outside the Philippines could face headwinds in the form of regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles.
“Though belonging to one region, the policies and regulations, and the general business environment in Southeast Asia are very different per country, which is why agile companies are the ones succeeding in this region,” Fetalino noted.
Acudeen’s adaptation of blockchain enables them to have a dynamic solution for its clients making it possible for the company to be flexible and localized depending on the market it operates without having to sacrifice its standards for risk assessment and invoice collections.
Fetalino said Acudeen has been very active in finding the right partners in the region.
Acudeen was founded in 2016 and facilitates receivable discounting for small businesses in the country.
This year, the company expects a 10-fold increase in growth to $30 million from last year’s $3 million as it continues to support the economic development in the Philippines through financial inclusion.
The technology company enables small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) finance receivables ahead of time as its platform allows transactions to happen fast from receivable uploaded cash within days.