iSelect doubles down on Asian market

Online comparison site and mortgage broker iSelect has acquired a majority stake in Kuala Lumpur–based fintech iMoney as it expands into the lucrative Southeast Asian market.

This week iSelect announced that it has increased its stake in iMoney from 23.8 per cent to 51.5 per cent via the purchase of US$4.15 million (A$5.27 million) worth of shares from other iMoney shareholders. 

After completion of the transaction, the ASX-listed company with a market cap of around $352 million (A$447.11 million) intends to invest a further US$4.0 million (A$5.08 million) in a new capital raising in iMoney to accelerate the fintech's growth strategy. 

Founded in 2012, iMoney is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and currently operates in the high-growth consumer markets of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

“The countries that iMoney currently operates in are located in the world’s fastest growing region, and feature a rapidly expanding credit and technology-savvy middle class,” iSelect CEO Scott Wilson said. 

“They have GDP growth rates averaging around 4 per cent and up to 6.5 per cent per annum, with accelerating internet penetration rates.”

Following completion of the share purchases, iSelect will appoint senior management and work with its current leadership team to introduce iSelect’s methodologies and proprietary iConnect technology platform into the business.

iSelect’s experience and technology are expected to leverage the high level of visitation to the iMoney site, dramatically improving the monetisation rate of its unique visitors (UVs). 

iMoney attracted 10.4 million unique visitors over FY17, compared to iSelect’s 9.8 million. However, the Australian iSelect has been far more successful in monetising its web traffic. 

“iMoney is at an exciting inflection point, with the ability to generate a substantial number of UVs,” Mr Wilson continued. “It operates several product verticals that complement iSelect’s own business model, including financial services, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and broadband.”

iMoney was recently named in the top 10 fastest growing FinTech businesses in Malaysia by IDC Financial Insights 2017 fintech report. 

“We’re extremely delighted that iSelect is increasing its interest and commitment in iMoney,” co-founder and CEO of iMoney Mr Lee Ching Wei said. 

“iMoney is entering a particularly exciting growth stage, and with the addition of iSelect’s systems, technology and wider group resources, we are confident our growth trajectory can be further accelerated.”

iSelect expects the transaction to complete over the next three months, following the transfer of shares and regulatory approval.

[Related: Low rates no help as 70% of Aussies struggle to pay mortgages]

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