Lucy, a neobank focused on women entrepreneurs, has received an unknown amount of initial funding from EmergeVest, a Hong Kong-based global investment group, at a US$10 million value.
According to a press release, this transaction will help Lucy fine-tune its technology platform, expand its staff in Singapore, and test in the local market before expanding regionally through strategic collaborations.
Lucy previously received US$450,000 in a women-only round of 21 different women, including Sephora Asia MD Hanh Nguyen and a number of other high-profile women from the area and throughout the world.
Debbie Watkins (former MD of Fern Software APMEA), Hal Bosher (former CEO of Yoma Bank and Chairman of Wave Money), and Luke Janssen (former CEO and Chairman of Tigerspike), as well as the Savearth fund, provided the initial investment.
Debbie observed firsthand how women were financially excluded throughout her 20 years of working with underprivileged areas. Women, on the other hand, were excellent consumers, according to Hal’s experience at Yoma. As a result, the two decided to create Lucy, a neobank and community geared for female entrepreneurs.
The app offers low-cost financial services such as fee-free Mastercard accounts, no-interest salary advances, savings accounts, loan management, and low-cost remittances to assist women entrepreneurs in starting, running, and growing their companies.
Lucy also has a community-based platform where women can find inspiration, support, e-training modules, and a networking marketplace.
For its trial launch in Singapore, the company will target two neglected categories of female entrepreneurs. They are 1) home-based entrepreneurs or women with a ‘side hustle,’ and 2) domestic workers, many of whom own modest enterprises in their native countries.
The second category will help it expand into Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar, which are all close markets (Lucy has recently won a UNCDF grant to help support low-cost remittances to these countries). According to a recent research, Asia’s best neobank chances are in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
EmergeVest is an investment business that was founded in 2013 and now manages $500 million in assets. It makes investments at the confluence of the supply chain, technology, and financial services throughout the capital structure.
According to pre-pandemic research done by Boston Consulting Group, the global economy would benefit by US$2.5-5 trillion if women and men throughout the world engaged equally as entrepreneurs. The need for women businesses to be supported post-COVID is much higher.