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Skype co-founder raises $105m for Southeast Asian fintech startup

Oriente races big brands to reach unbanked Indonesians, Filipinos and Vietnamese

In the Philippines, Oriente joined hands with Filipino conglomerate JG Summit Holdings to introduce the Cashalo app in May. (A screenshot of Cashalo website) 

HONG KONG -- Skype co-founder Geoffrey Prentice has raised $105 million in the first significant funding round for his latest venture, a microlending business in Southeast Asia, intensifying the battle for the region's vast unbanked population.

Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group led the Series A investment round in Oriente, founded by Prentice in Hong Kong in 2017. The startup is poised to enter Vietnam and has recently expanded into the Philippines and Indonesia. Prentice declined to disclose the startup's valuation but said it is growing faster than Skype did in its early days.

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