The adoption of economic apps is surging in Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, the area’s most populous nation. Based by fintech veterans final 12 months, Brick develops APIs that make it simpler for tech corporations so as to add identification verification and entry monetary information from their customers. It’s at present partnered with Indonesia’s seven largest banks, overlaying greater than 90% of the nation’s financial institution accounts, and plans to increase into all Southeast Asia nations.
Greater than three-fourths of Southeast Asia’s inhabitants is unbanked or underbanked, which means that don’t have a checking account or entry to conventional lending providers. Brick will serve them as nicely, with merchandise like cellular pockets and telcos APIs which are at present in beta and slated for launch subsequent quarter.
The startup, which is now utilized by 250 builders and 35 tech corporations, introduced at present it has raised new seed spherical. The quantity of funding was undisclosed. Buyers embody funding companies Higher Tomorrow Ventures, PT Prasetia Dwidharma, 1982 Ventures, Antler and Rally Cap Ventures, and angel backers like TrueLayer chief working officer Shefali Roy, Cred chief government officer Kunal Shah, Modalku CEO Reynold Wijaya, Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui, and the founders of Nium, Xfers, Aspire, BukuWarung, ZenRooms and CareemPay.
Brick was based in 2020 by chief government officer Gavin Tan, an early worker at Aspire, a neobank for small- to mid-sized companies, and chief know-how Deepak Malhotra, beforehand co-founder of Indian neobank Slice and a former PayPal engineer.
Brick’s APIs have been deployed by private monetary administration, cloud accounting, lending, wealth administration and neobank apps, and Tan advised TechCrunch it additionally sees use instances in verticals like financial savings, inventory buying and selling and monetary planning.
Tan mentioned he started considering of launching Brick whereas working at high-growth fintech startups in Southeast Asia, together with Aspire, and encountering a scarcity of infrastructure that slowed product improvement.
“With out unified APIs like these offered by Brick, fintech builders should spend months determining commercials, navigating differing tech requirements and navigating differing information requirements, earlier than they can launch their app,” Tan mentioned.
Brick and different fintechs have benefited from robust help from Indonesian regulators. For instance, Financial institution Indonesia printed open banking API requirements in 2020.
Tan mentioned the requirements “represents concrete authorities recognition of open banking rules, together with client possession of knowledge and the need of their consent to switch and use that information (which Tan describes as “a core precept that every one our merchandise adhere to”) and establishing a typical language for banks and fintechs that allows the adoption of embedded finance. It additionally laid out implementation timelines for open APIs, starting with fee initiation APIs in 2021, which Brick will launch later this 12 months.
Brick works intently with Financial institution Indonesia and Indonesia’s Monetary Providers Authority and is taking part in Financial institution Rakyat Indonesia’s Sembrani Wira accelerator program.
The obvious comparability for Brick is to Plaid, the monetary API supplier that helped allow the adoption of open banking and open finance in the USA, Canada and European nations. A key distinction, nevertheless, is that Plaid serves markets the place the vast majority of folks have a checking account.
Alternatively, “in Southeast Asia, solely 25% of adults frequently use a checking account,” Tan mentioned. “For the 75% unbanked and underbanked adults, their information resides in various monetary information sources.” To faucet into that market, Brick is constructing APIs for various monetary information sources, like cellular wallets, telcos, utility suppliers, e-commerce platforms, social safety and tax workplaces.
The corporate is at present centered on product launches in Indonesia, and plans to begin increasing into different high-growth fintech markets, together with Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, later this 12 months.