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[Translation from English to Japanese ] Financial comparison startup CompareAsiaGroup raises $40M series A led by Gol...

Original Texts
Financial comparison startup CompareAsiaGroup raises $40M series A led by Goldman Sachs

Hong Kong-based financial comparison site CompareAsiaGroup today announced it has raised US$40 million in series A funding led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Jardine Pacific, Nova Founders Capital, ACE & Company, and Route 66 Ventures. Zynga founder Mark Pincus, former Facebook and MySpace COO Owen Van Natta, and others also participated in the round. Under the CompareAsiaGroup umbrella are several brands each localized for their respective markets: MoneyHero in Hong Kong and Vietnam, CompareHero in Malaysia, Money101 in Taiwan, MoneyGuru in Thailand, SingSaver in Singapore, MoneyMax in the Philippines, and HaloMoney in Indonesia. The site aggregates more than 1,500 financial products including credit cards, loans, health insurance, and car insurance. The latest funding round will go toward expanding those offerings to more categories, including investment products and life insurance, and into marketing. "We want to make sure in the next 12 months that every housewife will know our brand," says Gerald Eder, founder and managing director.

CompareAsiaGroup was founded one-and-a-half years ago and has so far expanded to nine markets. The service is free to consumers, while the more than 60 banks and insurance companies that list their products pay a commission in return for expanding their marketing reach. While many people still rely on word of mouth, advertising, and otherwise stick to what they know when it comes to choosing financial products, that trend is slowly changing. Eder compares the market shift to travel, where in the past people trusted in travel agents to find them the cheapest flights and accommodation. But the internet has radically changed how the travel industry works, and most people elect to find the best deals online for themselves.
"It’s the same situation when it comes to financial products," Eder says. "We show all product providers, not just the products we have a trading relationship with."

Most of us aren’t switching insurance companies and applying for loans on a daily or weekly basis, so CompareAsiaGroup doesn’t exactly have daily or monthly active users. Eder says people consider new financial products several times per year, though, typically when their current contracts, such as car insurance, expire. When they do come, they’ve usually got cash in hand. "Nobody that comes to our website comes to browse. People that come to our website come with a specific need," he says. "People that compare want to buy."

Compared to the rest of the world, Eder says success in Asia requires a strong mobile experience and human interaction. CompareAsiaGroup operates call centers in every market it operates in. Otherwise, Asians are pretty much the same as everyone else. "The desire for the consumer to save time and money is the same around the world," he says. While CompareAsiaGroup claims to be the leading financial site in Asia, it’s a highly competitive market. There are at least seven rival sites in Indonesia alone, for example. But Eder says being a regional company as opposed to a country-specific one allows CompareAsiaGroup "to reap tremendous benefits in economies of scale."

CompareAsiaGroup has strong backers, too. The latest injection from Goldman Sachs will "increase our credibility and trust with the banks and insurance companies that we partner up with," Eder says. Goldman Sachs will join the startup’s board of directors. The company was also co-founded by Nova Founders, which shares many traits with regional power player Rocket Internet. Nova’s focus on existing models that are proven and implementing them in markets with huge upside and low competition is similar to Rocket’s, according to Eder. But as a former Rocket staff, he says the legal structure and culture is very different.
Translated by mars16
金融サービス比較スタートアップのCompareAsiaGroupはGoldman Sachsが主導するシリーズAラウンドで4000万米ドルを調達

香港を拠点とする金融サービス比較サイトのCompareAsiaGroupは本日、シリーズAラウンドで4000万米ドルを調達したと発表した。このラウンドを主導したのはGoldman Sachs Investment Partners、Jardine Pacific、Nova Founders Capital、ACE & Company、Route 66 Venturesであった。Zynga設立者のMark Pincus氏、かつてFacebookとMySpaceのCOOであったOwen Van Natta氏などもこのラウンドに参加した。
CompareAsiaGroup傘下には、関連する市場で展開している現地ブランド企業がある。香港とベトナムではMoneyHero、マレーシアではCompareHero、台湾ではMoney101、タイではMoneyGuru、シンガポールではSingSaver 、フィリピンではMoneyMax、インドネシアではHaloMoneyがある。このサイトはクレジットカード、ローン、健康保険、自動車保険など1,500の金融商品を集計対象としている。
今回の資金調達ラウンドで獲得した資金は、投資性商品や生命保険商品などサービスの拡張やマーケティング活動に向けられるだろう。「今後12か月の間に、主婦の方全員に当社のブランドを知っていただけるようにしたいと思っています」と、 設立者兼マネージングディレクターのGerald Eder氏は述べている。


私たちは日次、週次ベースで保険会社を変更したりローンの申し込みをするわけではない。そのためCompareAsiaGroupには実際のところ、日次、月次のアクティブユーザはいない。ただし、Eder氏によると顧客が金融商品を見直すのは年に数回、特に自動車保険など現在の契約が失効する時だと言う。 そのような時、顧客は現金を手にしている。


CompareAsiaGroupには強力な支援者もいる。最近、Goldman Sachsからの資金を得たことで、「パートナーシップを組んでいる銀行や保険会社との信頼性、信用は高まります」と、Eder氏は述べている。Goldman Sachsはこのスタートアップに役員を送り込む予定だ。
この会社を共同で設立したのはNova Foundersで、これは地域内の強力なプレーヤーであるRocket Internetと多くの特性を共有している。Novaは証明がなされた既存モデルにフォーカスし、市場が伸びていて競争の少ないところで実践をする点はRocketと共通していると、Eder氏は言う。しかしかつてのRocket従業員の1人の見方として、法的な構造や企業文化は両社で大きく異なるという。

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