Online personal finance portal MoneySmart.sg has raised SG$14 million in a Series B funding led by Japanese online service provider Kakaku.com Inc. MoneySmart marks the beginning of Kakaku.com Inc.’s global business expansion, as it is the first company the online service provider has invested in outside of Japan.
Kakaku.com Inc. has a wide range of service portfolio in multiple areas, including shopping, travel, lifestyle and real estate. Its services include Kakaku.com, Japan’s largest shopping support site that provides information on various products and services; Tabelog, a user review and ranking site for restaurants; and Kinarino, an online lifestyle media.
In a statement to Marketing, Vinod Nair, founder and CEO of MoneySmart said part of the funds amassed will be used to boost content marketing efforts, with more content and new formats such as video and animation.
The company also plans to increase performance marketing activity on Google and Facebook, engage users offline with community events and conduct offline marketing initiatives such as out-of-home (OOH), radio, TV and print.
Nair said:”For offline marketing initiatives, we’re looking to test different channels, messages and creatives to find the best combinations that deliver the highest ROI and then double down on the channels that work best for us.”
These initiatives will be rolled out in Singapore and Indonesia for the time being. According to the press statement, MoneySmart also plans to expand into new markets in Asia Pacific. A spokesperson for MoneySmart told Marketing that the company is currently exploring all options in the region and will make an announcement once the details have been finalised.
According to the press statement, Kakaku.com Inc. has been building its presence in Southeast Asia in recent years, beginning with shopping support site Priceprice.com. The website currently has more than 10 million users in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and India.
Nair said:”Having an investor like Kakaku who has gone through and overcome the many challenges in the comparison space, is extremely valuable and serves as a timely validation that we’re on the right track and will be a guiding light for our future endeavours.”
Genta Sugihara, senior executive officer, corporate development division of Kakaku.com sees its strategic partnership with MoneySmart.sg as an investment into a fast growing marketing with several opportunities for collaboration between the two companies.
He said:”It’s an important first step in accelerating Kakaku.com Inc.’s global business and we look forward to exploring similar opportunities with other businesses whose offerings complement our portfolio.”
Founded in 2009, MoneySmart acquired Indonesian counterpart KreditAja, now known as duitpintar.com in 2014.