Rely, home-grown 'Buy Now Pay Later' startup, raises 7-figure pre-series A funding

Singapore, one of the fastest growing players in e-commerce, is expected to grow to US$5 billion by 2025.


Rely, a local fintech company that provides shoppers with an interest-free 'Buy Now Pay Later' service, announced today a seven-figure Pre-Series A funding led by Goldbell Financial Services. Additional funding comes from Octava, a family office based in Singapore and strategic investors from the financial and technology sector. Rely will use the fresh funding for regional expansion, scale up their team, as well as support more partnerships across the region with leading retailers.

Commenting on a successful round of funding, CEO and Founder, Hizam Ismail, says "With the rapid expansion of the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia and Singapore, we at Rely want to continue to stay at the forefront where the 'Buy Now Pay Later' concept is being touted as the perfect fit for the way consumers shop online. The e-commerce market in Southeast Asia makes for an exciting new world and we are ready for the new era."

How Does Rely Work?

Rely uses its proprietary decision engine, which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, to help determine shoppers' repayment capabilities for each transaction. With the use of this technology, spending limits are determined for each consumer to encourage responsible spending. Safeguards are also put in place to ensure that shoppers repay on time, and further purchases cannot be made if payments are not made on time.

With Rely, shoppers can use the 'Buy Now Pay Later' service upon checkout and enjoy their products without having to pay the full sum upfront. By linking a debit card to their Rely account, shoppers can split their purchases into three equal, interest-free monthly payments. The initial payment is collected at checkout, and the remaining sum is collected over the next two months.

Not only does Rely benefit shoppers by serving as a budgeting tool for their online spending, but merchants also reap the benefits of Rely's 'Buy Now, Pay Later' service. Through offering Rely, retailers typically experience an uplift of 20 to 40 per cent in conversion rate and order values. There is a particularly strong uptake from millennials, which makes up 75% of these 'Buy Now Later' transactions.

Currently, Rely has established partnerships with leading e-commerce retailers such as Zalora, Zilingo and Fitlion. This expansion is an addition to strengthening Rely's data analytics capabilities to provide retailers and shoppers with an enhanced online shopping experience when using Rely's 'Buy Now Pay Later' service.

Redefining the E-commerce Industry Landscape

According to a study 1 conducted by Google and Temasek, the Southeast Asian e-commerce industry is expected to exceed US$100 billion over the next couple of years. Singapore, one of the fastest growing players in the e-commerce industry, is predicted to grow to US$5 billion by 2025 2. Tapping on this immense growth in the e-commerce industry, especially in Singapore, Rely offers retailers and shoppers a new and innovative e-retail experience and a way to manage their spendings without falling prey to credit card debt.

Alex Chua, CEO of Goldbell Financial Services, says "The e-commerce industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia has grown tremendously since its inception. We recognise the 'Buy Now, Pay Later' industry in the region to be ripe with potential and complimentary to the e-commerce industry at this stage. With Rely's use of alternative data and machine learning to propel both industries, it will elevate both shopper's and merchant's e-commerce experience, and continue to shape and revolutionise the future of e-commerce retail. "

Recognizing a gap in the e-commerce industry where shoppers, especially millennials, have the tendency to mismanage their spendings and end up falling prey to recurring credit card debts, Rely offers a 'Buy Now, Pay Later' service where shoppers can break their payment into three equal monthly payment, interest-free.

'Millennials have distinctive spending habits from the past generations. They know what they want, and they seek instant gratification when it comes to their purchases. At the same time, they are also cautious when it comes to their spendings, and are wary of falling into credit card debt. We want to demonstrate to shoppers that we are different to traditional lenders and make shopping online fun and stress-free. Rely caters to these millennials and the relationship between what they want and what they think they ought to do, allowing them to be effortlessly in control of the way they chose to handle their finances. We are thrilled to welcome Goldbell Financial Services as a strategic investor. To be supported by one of the fastest growing non-bank financial group allows us the potential to accelerate our growth and serve millions of millennials across Asia,' says Hizam Ismail, CEO and Co-founder of Rely.