Filipino startup Lista raises over USD 5.1M to expand financial inclusion services

  • Lista has raised over USD 5.1M in its latest fundraising round, led by Singapore-based Openspace with other notable investors including East Ventures, Saison Capital, and 1982 Ventures
  • Lista has recorded over 1,000,000 downloads in only 10 months, from both business and individual users
  • Funds will to be used to fuel growth, team expansion and enter new verticals

Lista, a fast-growing financial management platform for small business owners and individuals in the Philippines, has raised over USD 5.1 Million in its most recent funding round. The funding round was led by Singapore-based Openspace Ventures, a leading regional venture capital firm, which was the early backer of GoTo (Gojek) and Kumu Philippines. Existing investors East Ventures, Saison Capital, and 1982 Ventures also participated in the round.

Additional new investors include Stephen Cu Unjieng (Former Chairman and CEO of Evercore Asia), Aurelien Pichon (Google), Roland Ros (Kumu CEO), Rexy Dorado (Kumu, President), and more. Earlier individual backers include Brian Cu (ex-President, Grab Philippines), Willy Arifin (Monde Nissin Family Ventures), Amrish Rau (Pinelabs CEO), Kunal Shah (CRED founder), Jitendra Gupta (Jupiter Bank CEO), among others.

Gervin Yang, Executive Director at Openspace also said: “We are excited to add Lista to our growing roster of exciting investments across Southeast Asia and in particular the Philippines. We believe their vision and business model have the potential to be a transformative tool for Filipinos, especially as they continue to bounce back from the pandemic.”

Investors are recognizing the Philippines as a top location for potential investments. In 2021, the country’s GDP expanded by 5.7% and exceeded expectations with its 8.3% growth in the first quarter of 2022.

With this fundraising round, Lista is planning to expand beyond business management tools and further develop products for personal finances. “About 30% of our user base are Filipinos who do not have any business but want to take charge of their personal finance. They monitor their salary, bills payment, and even savings using Lista. We think this is a category that holds a lot of growth potential for us,” shared Khriz Lim, co-founder of Lista.

Lista co-founder Aaron Villegas also shared, “We are grateful for the trust these investors have given, not just in us, but in the vast potential of the rapidly developing fintech industry in the Philippines. We continue to grow organically at a very accelerated pace, but we also seek out opportunities beyond what we are doing. We have a very aggressive pipeline.”

Accessible financial management for millions of Filipinos

Launched in September 2021, Lista now has over 1,000,000 downloads. Lista’s mission is to help Filipino merchants and individuals better manage, save and grow their finances through simple software that offers transparency and greater control.

Lista’s massive traction was attributed to ease of use and localized solutions that function without wifi or data connection. Many merchants and individuals in the Philippines cannot access or consistently afford wifi or data connection. Lista’s product and features began to attract individual users, referring to those who use the app for tracking their personal finances.

The Lista app allows both merchants and individuals to conveniently track the flow of money in and out, and see their profits and savings in real-time. Additionally, they can record debts and use Lista to help collect receivables with its built-in SMS notification feature that automatically reminds borrowers of due dates.

On top of this impressive growth, Lista is seeking to strengthen and further establish its market leadership position, triple in size, and broaden its product offerings to better suit customer needs. Co-founder Khriz Lim said: “The additional funding will also be used to fill additional key roles including product and engineering especially as the startup is looking into launching new verticals this year.” That includes going beyond financial management and introducing more financial services, including payments and credit. Ultimately, Lista will provide much-needed financial services to the Philippines’s underserved citizens.