Gender Lens Investing Series: Investree pairs fintech with debt financing to support SMEs

Coffee Planters Indonesia
  • As SMEs move into the digital space, women entrepreneurs are the face and consumers at the forefront using the services and products in this space.
  • With women making up nearly a third of borrowers, cellphone women entrepreneurs, in the creative, fashion, rural development sector, Investree sees increasing the mix of women entrepreneurs as part of their mission as a company to increase impact – providing solutions for the underserved market.

Investree is a B2B lending platform that focuses on expanding financial inclusion for SME borrowers and lenders. It provides credit assessment and risk assessment as a means towards:

  • empowering SMEs of Indonesia where access to finance remains a problem
  • especially for growing SMEs where accessed to formal banks and credit is a problem
  • creating financial inclusion, solving a problem that is part of the SDGs.

Investree’s ‘Working Capital Term Loan’ is one of the productive loan types from Investree that utilizes the uniqueness of the borrower’s business model such as working with digital payment partners, logistics service providers, having work contracts in progress, and using point of sales (POS) applications.

“Institutional lenders are starting to use the term gender lens. And we’re ready for that because a significant fraction, 30% of our borrowers are women. About 30% of our borrowers are cellphone women entrepreneurs, in the creative, fashion, rural development sector, and this is a sector that can grow further. Increasing our mix of women entrepreneurs is part of our mission as a company to increase impact – providing solutions for the underserved market. It’s not only about lending, but impact.”

Impact means something different to everyone. With Investree, impact means maintaining a diverse investment portfolio. With Ayala Foundation, impact means enabling suitable partnerships, and greater access to finances and also education.

Investree’s work with Java Mountain Coffee is a pairing of how fintech assists debt financing instruments to support social enterprise capital needs in the agriculture industry. Agriculture closed 21.6 million USD in equity investments in 2018 in Southeast Asia; the same year, investments in agritech start-ups raised 23.3 million USD in Southeast Asia, and 6.9 billion USD globally.

Investree’s work, Adrian Gunadi says, “strengthens cooperation in the B2B segment, so that our respective industries can grow…The basic premise is that–yes, there is risk, but it’s about mitigating risk. As long as you can mitigate risk and use alternative data to better understand and access information, you can manage it.”

This was important for Java Mountain Coffee, which sells biodegradable capsules to major hotel chains that have a long term of payment. The partnership with Java Mountain Coffee enables a faster cash flow cycle, which helps the women farmers in producing the coffee, and providing the sustainability of the coffee supply.

For a company that is relatively new, with insufficient collateral and access to financial sector tools, as Java Mountain Coffee is, the end-to-end financing that our financing models provide supports their entire supply chain: from production to delivery to hotels and other novelty shops–all the way from the women farmers who are producing, to sales of coffee when they are sold to 5-star hotels like Four Seasons.

However, these enterprises represent unmet potential for debt financing, especially revenue-based repayment models.

Catch Adrian Gunadi in action as he shares how how investree came to facilitate business financing for Java Mountain Coffee and how this financing has sustainably supported women farmers. Hear from more gender lens investors who are doing great work in Asia on the AVPN Gender Platform.


About Author
Adrian Gunadi
Adrian Gunadi Co-Founder & CEO PT Investree Radhika Jaya

Having graduated from the University of Indonesia Faculty of Economics, and thereafter earning his MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, Adrian started his career as a Management Trainee at Citibank, before proceeding to manage Islamic Finance at Standard Chartered, Saadiq, Dubai, UAE. He moved back to Indonesia to lead as Head of the Sharia Division at Bank Permata, and finally prior to his present role, he served as Director for Retail Banking at Bank Muamalat (pioneer for sharia banking in Indonesia).

Throughout the past 20 years in both local and international banking, Adrian has been busy building business models for banking companies within the conventional sphere in areas such as sharia finance and SME platforms, as well as in microfinance and e-banking in the retail sector. His experience working in a variety of leading financial institutions made Adrian saw in firsthand how the difficulties faced by Indonesian people to gain access to finance, especially in this case for SMEs. Departing from this, Adrian implemented the idea to build a digital platform that can connect Borrowers with Lenders, hence Investree’s story was begun.

Investree has grown into the leading and largest SME marketplace lending platform in Indonesia, to date the company has facilitated almost IDR 3 Trillion of SME loans, around 5100 loans and has been able to maintain a healthy portfolio with delinquencies around 0.2%. Apart from starting up and growing Investree into a leading fintech marketplace lending in Indonesia, Adrian has played a significant role in pioneering and developing the fintech industry in Indonesia. In the beginning of 2016 during the early years, Adrian has been active as vice-chairman of the Indonesian Fintech Association (AFTECH), together with OJK set-up the industry framework for fintech lending. This contribution has led to Adrian’s appointment as Chairman of the Indonesian Fintech Lending Association (AFPI) which has been mandated by OJK as the official association for fintech lending in Indonesia. Its role to grow the industry and its awareness, conduct market discipline and ensure that the code of conduct is being followed by its members.

For his continuous efforts to build the fintech lending industry in order to help grow SMEs and his consistent vision to improve financial inclusion in Indonesia resulted in Adrian being awarded the “National Financial Millennial Role Model” by Financial Services Authority (OJK) in 2019, “2019 Endeavor Entrepreneur of the Year” by Endeavor Indonesia, and became an inspiring finalist of EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 (EOY) Indonesia. Following receiving honor as "Endeavor Entrepreneur Indonesia" in London, Adrian also received accolades for his leadership in 2017 for "Best Fintech Danamon Entrepreneur Award 2017", in 2018 as Indonesian Financial Figures from Investor Magazine and the latest was "SME100 Awards: 2019 Fast Moving Companies".