On-Demand Pay Financial Services Firm Raises $30M in Funding

Financial services firm Paywatch has raised an aggregate of $30 million in funding from equity and credit facilities, targeting growth in Asia.

An Asian earned-wage access (EWA) financial services provider has raised an aggregate of $30 million, or PHP 1.76 billion, in funding from equity and credit facilities.

Targeting to boost its growth, Kuala Lumpur-based Paywatch received over $14 million (PHP 821 million) in Series A equity investment, led by Third Prime and a consortium of U.S. investors, as well as $16 million (PHP 939 million) in credit facilities from global banks, including Citi and other major banks, to finance its product expansion. This is the largest funding round closed by an EWA financial services company in Southeast Asia, the company said in a statement.

Paywatch offers a debt-free EWA solution, also known as on-demand pay, an employee benefit that allows workers to instantly access a part of their accumulated salary in real-time as it is earned, and before the end of their payroll cycle. 

According to the statement, the solution has demonstrably decreased employees’ dependence on loans, alleviated household debt, and enhanced financial management. Further, the fully automated system has substantially boosted companies’ employee retention and productivity, resulting in significant cost savings associated with hiring and training.

Paywatch entered the Philippine market in 2023 with a 150% response to roadshows. In the market, Paywatch said it is the “chosen EWA partner of leading real estate developers, luxury hotels, BPOs, manufacturing and retail brands.” The rapid adoption of EWA in the country offers Filipino workers increased flexibility in managing their finances and reduces their vulnerability to debt traps, it added.

“The Philippines represents a pivotal market for Paywatch. The positive reception to Earned Wage Access (EWA) in the country is encouraging,” Paywatch Philippines President Rowell Del Fierro said. “The Series A funding underscores our commitment to Filipino workers. This achievement propels our broader impact, enabling us to reach more enterprises who share our vision of financial inclusivity and enhancing the country’s economic resilience.”

“Amidst this funding and tech winter, we take immense pride in the confidence shown by these esteemed investors and banks in our vision,” Paywatch Co-Founder and President Alex Kim said. “ From the outset, we firmly believed that providing Earned Wage Access at the lowest, nominal fee to users while ensuring access to major financial institutions was the sustainable path. Although it was a more challenging route to market, our rapid growth and portfolio of high-caliber enterprise clients validate our approach.”

Paywatch said it is also the first Asia-based tech startup to be invested directly by U.S.-based university endowment funds, including Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois Foundation.

“We have been advocating for financial inclusion for many years and believe that Paywatch’s earned wage access technology can push the movement forward in a meaningful way,” Travis Shore, Chief Investment Officer of the University of Illinois Foundation, said.

The company has processed over $58 million (PHP 3.40 billion) in salaries through its system to date and increased its disbursements to nearly $8 million (PHP 469 million) per month, which is growing month-over-month by as much as 15%.

Paywatch currently operates in Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and Indonesia, with support from Citi, UOB, Hana Bank, and Hong Leong Bank.

Learn straight from the top CEOs and business leaders.
Access exclusive articles and videos.

Lower Left

Learn straight from the top CEOs and business leaders. Access exclusive articles and videos.