Jimmy Chandrawinata, a business intelligence analyst at a Southeast Asian airline, thought he’d found the perfect way to invest some of his savings. It was 2018, and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms were becoming popular in Indonesia, having gained regulatory approval in 2016. They promised returns of around 16% if you lent to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) listed on their loan marketplaces.
Chandrawinata chose to go with KoinWorks, one of the early movers, founded in 2015. It had support from credible venture capital firms, like East Ventures and Mandiri Capital—a fund associated with Indonesia’s Bank Mandiri. It has raised at least US$72 million through a mix of venture capital and debt over the years.