Gobi Partners, an interconnected Pan-Asian venture capital (VC) firm, has invested in Paywatch via Gobi’s Superseed II Fund to meet increasing demand for earned wage access (EWA) in the region.

Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP), one of the backers of Superseed II Fund, is also working with Paywatch to support its mission of providing fair financial access for all workers in Malaysia, Paywatch said in a statement.

According to the statement, Superseed II Fund is additionally backed by Allianz Malaysia Berhad and Sunway Group.

“Our average user may have a bank account, but is denied access to other financial services, and we believe that if you are employed and work hard, you should have equal access to all financial opportunities,” said Alex Kim, Co-Founder and President at Paywatch.

Through Paywatch, he said the firm helps employees gain access to low-cost solutions from our partner banks.

“We’re proud to have grown from strength to strength – becoming the only bank-backed and regulator approved EWA solution in Asia,” he said.

According to him, the firm’s Malaysian clients now range from large brands, such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Lotus’s, to growing brands such as Kenny Hills Bakers and BilaBila Mart.

“This funding support will enable us to continue developing new offerings and foster better financial wellbeing for all,” he added.

The investment is the latest addition to Paywatch’s recent Pre-Series A funding round.

In total, Paywatch has raised $9.5 million in the oversubscribed round, with participating investors including Vanderbilt University, University of Illinois Foundation, Third Prime and Hana Ventures.

All of the investment was in equity and the global round included investors from Malaysia, Singapore, US and South Korea.

“The Gobi Superseed II Fund supports Malaysia’s most promising startups in their field, and Paywatch’s work around financial inclusion for Malaysia’s low income workforce has been outstanding,

“They have proved to be clear frontrunners in the EWA industry, with a strong vision and scalable solution. We’re pleased to have them join our portfolio of successful startups, and are excited to support them as they look to expand not only within Malaysia, but also Southeast Asia,” said Jamaludin Bujang, Gobi Managing Partner (Malaysia).

Paramjit Singh Gill, MAVCAP Chief Investment Officer, said that MAVCAP’s mandate has always been to develop local venture capital talents and provide industry changemakers with the support they need to reach their full potential.

“Paywatch has been leading the charge in the local EWA industry. We believe this investment will also spur further growth for the Malaysian economy, and look forward to being a partner in their efforts to grow their portfolio of products and accelerate distribution across the country this year,” he added.

Paywatch is an earned wage access service provider backed by major banks and recognized by Central Banks and regulators for its commitment to financial inclusion.

Working with top banks and employers in each of its markets, the firm serves as a bridge to help employees get banked, start getting credit the right way and find financial security.

Paywatch’s EWA solution helps employees access their earned salary instantly.

Serving more than 200,000 employees globally, Paywatch has
experienced rapid growth of 40 percent month-on-month in the past year, processing over MYR5 million ($1.2 million) in monthly wages through its app.

The solution has also improved retention rates for both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) in Malaysia, with businesses that leverage Paywatch reporting reduced turnover rates up to 75 percent, saving over MYR2.1 million ($500,000) in annual rehiring fees.

Founded by brothers Richard Kim and Alex Kim, Paywatch aims to provide fair financial access to all employees. The firm operates in South Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

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