AVCJ coverage: Deal Focus - Fave wins endorsement for ecosystem pivot

Having found online-to-offline services and mobile payments too crowded, Malaysia's Fave turned itself into a digitization guide for small businesses. Collaboration with India's Pine Labs should strengthen its offering

When 500 Startups backed Malaysia-based Fave in 2005, it wanted to support expansion of the company’s nascent online-to-offline (O2O) services and mobile payments platform. But the landscape has since changed, forcing Fave to change with it.

“Southeast Asia's digital economy is dominated by a multitude of apps offering rebates, rewards, reservations, and payments. Merchants have too many options. These single-solutions make costs higher for merchants and they are hard to integrate with functions like financing and marketing,” says Khailee Ng, a managing partner at 500 Startups.

Fave is now an ecosystem player offering digital integration services. More than 35,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have signed up to its marketing, data, financing and operations suite. There is also a big data and analytics business as well as a microlending platform, which helps SMEs secure pre-approved loans based on their payments data.

Services can be tailored to meet the needs of individual merchants, but collectively they amount to a significant presence. “Fave serves as a fintech aggregator for the most popular cards and e-wallets helping fully digitalized payment acceptance. Merchants can focus on what they do best for their customers because Fave takes care of everything else," says Ng.

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