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Paywatch secures $30 million funding for regional expansion and growth

By Eileen Mencias

Asian financial services company Paywatch has raised $30 million in a combination of equity and loans from a consortium of American and global banks and investors.

This funding round is the largest for the company to date.

Paywatch partners with employers to provide earned-wage access (EWA), enabling workers to access wages they have already earned ahead of payday.

The company plans to use the additional funding to accelerate its growth as a leading EWA service provider in Asia.

EWA reduces employees’ dependence on loans and improves financial management.

Its automated EWA service helps companies retain employees and enhance productivity, resulting in cost savings from reduced hiring and training needs. The company has partnered with brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’, and Park Hyatt for its on-demand pay services.

Paywatch secured over $14 million in equity investments from Third Prime and a group of US investors, including Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois Foundation, with additional support from Octagon Venture Partners and Wooshin Venture Investment Corp.

The company also obtained $16 million (P939 million) in credit from global banks, including Citibank. This marks the largest funding round secured by an EWA provider in Southeast Asia.

“Amidst this funding and tech winter, we are proud of the confidence shown by these investors and banks in our vision. We believed in providing earned wage access at a low, nominal fee while ensuring access to major financial institutions. Our rapid growth and high-caliber clients validate our approach,” said Paywatch president and co-founder Alex Kim.

Paywatch has processed over $58 million in salaries through its system, with monthly disbursements approaching $8 million. The company expects to reach over $120 million in salary disbursements by the end of the year, with monthly growth rates of up to 15%.

Operating in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea, Paywatch is poised to become a significant player in the EWA sector.

“We have seen EWA become a mainstream employee benefit in the US and Latin America. In Asia, Paywatch is emerging as a leading change agent with strong momentum,” said Michael Kim, General Partner of Third Prime, the lead investor in this funding round.

“The Philippines is a key market for Paywatch,” added Paywatch Philippines president Rowell del Fierro. Since entering the Philippines in 2023, the company has seen strong demand, partnering with real estate developers, luxury hotels, BPOs, and various manufacturing and retail brands.

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