Jakarta-based investment app Pluang announced that it has raised $55 million led by Accel. This is a follow-on to its Series B and brings that round’s total to $110 million. The funding will be used to make Pluang available in more Southeast Asian countries, increase its asset classes and on hiring.
Pluang’s last round of funding was a $3 million Series A in 2019.
Other participants in the newest round include Trung Nguyen, Andy Ho, Aleksander Leonard Larsen, Jeffrey Zirlin, Alexa von Tobel, Pismo CTO Daniela Binatti, Monzo COO Sujata Bhatia, Public.com co-CEOs Jannick Malling and Leif Abraham, FalconX CEO Raghu Yarlagadda, Flink CEO Sergio Jimenez, The Chainsmokers and BRI Ventures. Existing investors Square Peg, Go-Ventures and Openspace Ventures also contributed.
Launched in 2019, Pluang started with gold and has since grown its range of asset classes, so investors can diversify their holdings and decrease risk. Investments can start as low as IDR 10,000 (or less than $1 USD) in gold, indexes, mutual funds and crypto assets. The app is also launching new features that will allow users to invest in fractional U.S. stocks.
“Affordability is an incredibly important thing to address for our new retail investors,” said co-founder and co-CEO Claudia Kolonas.
Pluang is integrated in Indonesian super apps like Gojek, DANA, Tokopedia and Bukalapak, and now claims 3.5 million registered users in Indonesia, and says that from January 2020 to November 2021, it marked 22x growth in monthly transacting users and 28.5x growth in users with an active balance.
Indonesia has high rates of savings and relatively low rates of retail investing, but that is quickly changing.
Other investment apps focused on Southeast Asia include Indonesia-based Pintu, robo-advisor Bibit, Ajaib and Singapore-based Syfe.
Kolonas said the new interest in investment is driven by the country’s high rates of smartphone penetration and savings per capita. “Because of this, there are millions of potential first-time investors just starting to establish money management habits and practices that were previously impossible where they live. Until very recently, most of the asset classes that can be accessed through Pluang were only available to the privileged and wealthy while most others were faced with low financial literacy and very limited investing options.”
Like many other investment apps in Indonesia, Pluang includes financial literacy features, which Kolonas said it is “laser-focused on” improving. The new funding will enable Pluang to “provide the tools, resources and education necessary to set our users up for long-term wealth creation.”
In a statement to TechCrunch, Accel partner Ethan Choi said Pluang is Accel’s fourth investment in consumer-focused investment apps globally, after the United States’ Public.com, Europe’s Trade Republic and Latin America’s Flink. “We were looking for the leader in Southeast Asia,” he said, adding that “after meeting Claudia and Richard [Chua, Pluang’s other co-founder and co-CEO], we were deeply impressed by the traction they have achieved on minimal capital and the fact that they were the only player that had the licenses and product to offer multiple asset classes including equities, indexes, and crypto — which we believe is critical to building a big business in the region.”