Wetek and XOX to Introduce Micro-financing in Southeast Asia

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Wetek and XOX to Introduce Micro-financing in Southeast Asia



Wetek Technology (M) Sdn Bhd plans to introduce micro-financing in Southeast Asia (SEA) and will work together with XOX Bhd for this venture. Wetek director Howard Leung Hao said in a statement issued yesterday that it aims to be a market leader of micro-financing in Southeast Asia. 

Globally, the microfinance industry had serviced 139.9 million borrowers in 2018, and 65 per cent of microfinance borrowers live in rural areas where traditional banking and lending is difficult or impossible. 
  
Leung Hao said according to Microfinance Barometer 2019, this industry has been growing at an annual rate of 11.5 per cent over the past few years and projected to reach US$146.8 billion by 2021.
  
"There is a huge opportunity for Wetek to grow in this business," he said.
  
Wetek is expanding in micro-fiancing and starting this business in Malaysia.
  
Together with XOX, Wetek will provide micro-financing to the tune of RM1 billion to all XOX's existing 2.2 million subscribers.
  
XOX's subsidiary, XOX Media Sdn Bhd has inked a partnership agreement with Wetek, which has committed RM1 billion in financing for this.
  
Wetek wants to work with XOX because it has an e-wallet licence, and a strong existing subscriber base of 2.2 million, which could potentially increase to 4 million or more, by the end of this year as the company is building up.
  
A year ago XOX had proposed a rights issue with free warrants to raise up to RM66 million to fund its e-wallet and electronic SIM (e-SIM) businesses expansion. 

XOX allocated RM33 million of the proceeds raised from the rights issue to expand its e-wallet function by developing a new mobile application to support micropayments, the issuance of Mastercards and peer-to-peer e-money transfers. 
  
Some RM15 million was set aside for its e-SIM expansion as an alternative to the traditional SIM cards.
  
These initiatives, among others, are attracting more customers to XOX.
  
The NST quoted XOX CEO Ng Kok Heng who said the company aims to provide micro-financing to small business owners and individuals access to capital for expansion.
  
"Wetek is working in partnership with XOX as we have the e-wallet licence to carry out microfinancing. Micro Financing will be a growing business for both XOX and Wetek. It will also improve the bottom-line of the company. We expect by the end of this year XOX will double its existing subscriber base and this would provide more business opportunities for us to expand in micro-financing. We have several on-going initiatives and our subscriber count is increasing day-to-day," he said.
  
It is expected that this micro-financing business will do well in Malaysia and both Wetek and XOX may introduce a second tranche later on to serve entrepreneurs and small business owners who require quick access to funding.


  
A quick background check on Leung Hao and the other director of Wetek, who is Liang Zeng shows them both having strong financial backgrounds.
  
Leung Hao is the chairman and CEO of Brilliant (Hong Kong) Holdings Ltd and he looks after the overall strategic and international business development for the company. 
He started his career in the 1990s in the IT and mobile internet industry and founded Beijing Ruidong Technology Co. Ltd in 2013.
  
Leung Hao has an eye of identifying market opportunities across the globe with experience managing a cross-cultural team of management. He is also a supporter of start-ups as he believes in the opportunity with young people and great ideas.


  
So when he saw the opportunity to build the micro-financing business in Malaysia, he waited no further and roped in XOX Bhd as its partner to provide micro-financing to Malaysians.
  
Liang Zeng is an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He invests and incubates the companies in digital marketing, artificial intelligence and enterprise services. 
  
He has held senior positions as senior vice-president (VP) of Kingdee International Software Group, VP of Microsoft Greater China, and most recently, VP of Baidu Inc. and CEO of Baidu Nuomi. 
  
Liang Zeng also serves as board director and strategic advisor for multiple digital marketing and technology companies.
  
Looking at their profile, the micro-financing business introduced by them together with XOX will be a huge success.

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