Jakarta-based fintech platform GajiGesa has announced that it has raised $2.5 million in a Seed funding round led by California-based VC firm Defy.vc and Singaporean VC firm Quest Ventures. The round was also participated by GK Plug and Play, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, Kanmo Group, and several angel investors. The fresh capital will be used to grow its local team and invest in the startup’s sales and customer success.

GajiGesa was founded in 2020 by husband-wife team Martyna Malinowska and Vidit Agrawal. Malinowska gets her experience from holding positions such as Product Lead for Standard Chartered Bank’s SC Ventures and Product Director for LenddoEFL. Agrawal, on the other hand, draws his experience from being Head of Business Development – APAC at Stripe, COO at CARRO, and as the first employee at Uber in Asia.

The duo launched GajiGesa to help Indonesia’s unbanked workers creating a platform that would easily provide Earned Wage Access (EWA) and other services to help remedy their hardships. Malinowska’s time in LenddoEFL exposed her to the different barriers unbanked individuals would encounter when trying to apply for financial services such as loans.

Agrawal’s time in Uber also gave him the opportunity to work with partner drivers who were earning the equivalent of $250 per month. When in financial distress, since they are unable to qualify for loans drivers would usually resort to going outside of the system and make deals with money lenders.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Agrawal said: “These hardworking Indonesians had no fair or formal sources for easy access to capital. Further, the most common reason for borrowing was short-term liquidity issues. But workers were forced to borrow either long-term, high-ticket-size loans or short-term loans with exorbitantly high-interest rates.”

Despite being Southeast Asia’s largest economy, 66 percent of Indonesia’s total population remains unbanked. What this means is that 66 percent of Indonesians have no bank accounts under their name or are unable to qualify for any financial services such as loans. GajiGesa’s platform allows partner companies to utilize their EWA feature so that their employees would be able to manage their finances better.