Plentina, a Filipino FinTech startup, announced that it has raised $2.2 million in a seed funding round led by ClearGraph CEO Andrew Vigneault, Unpopular Ventures, and DV Collective. The round was also participated in by JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), Amino Capital, Canaan Partners Scout Fund, and the Ignite Impact Fund. The startup plans to use its fresh capital to grow its data science, business development, and customer operations teams.

The company launched in the Philippines in October 2020, and with less than a year of operations, it claims that the app has been downloaded more than 30,000 times.

Plentina was founded by Kevin Gabayan and Earl Valencia who met while doing their post-graduate studies in Stanford. Since then, Gabayan has gained significant data science experience under NASA as a computer vision researcher and under Google-acquired Bump Technologies as its data science lead. Valencia, on the other hand, gained experience as former VP of Innovation at Filipino Telecom company Smart Communications, founder of startup incubator Ideaspace, former head of corporate data partnerships and program management at Bridgewater Associates, and former managing director of digital transformations at Charles Schwab.

The seed round succeeds its $750,000 pre-seed round of funding in July 2020 bringing the startup’s total funding up to $2.9 million. The pre-seed round of funding was participated in by Techstars, Emergent Ventures, and the 500 Startups Vietnam Fund. The startup also participated in accelerator programs by Techstars Western Union and Stanford’s StartX.

“Kevin and Earl have developed a brilliant go-to-market strategy that has positioned Plentina to be able to promote financial literacy and inclusion at scale in the Philippines and am excited to have the opportunity to be along for the ride,” Lead investor Andrew Vigneault said.

The founders saw an opportunity to provide innovative financial services in the Philippines. eWallets have quickly grown traction in the Philippines and have already taken over credit cards, which only have a penetration of less than 10 percent. In a country where the usual lending service includes loan sharks that have slowly lost the trust of their customer base, Plentina saw an opportunity to leverage its buy now, pay later installment loan product that Filipino’s can avail of through eWallets.

“Accessing financial services in emerging markets can be inefficient. We’re happy to provide consumers more convenient and flexible payments while helping merchants upgrade their sales channels,” Gabayan shared. “Plentina believes that machine learning and partnerships can unlock credit potential for the over 100 million Filipinos. With a median age of 24 and an emerging middle class, this generation will be expecting a digital-first financial services product that we aim to provide.”

Gabayan and Valencia plan to continue leveraging their backgrounds in data science by using machine learning models to do credit checks on future loan applicants. Since its launch, Plentina’s platform has generated roughly 10 million credit scores from alternative data sources which include consumer mobile data and retail loyalty programs. Plentina plans to release new financial products with more dynamic loan terms in the future. Its notable merchant partners include 7-Eleven, with over 3,000 stores in the Philippines, and Smart Communications, with over 70 million prepaid subscribers.