Accion Venture Lab invests in fintech platform Pintek to improve access to quality education in Indonesia

In response to COVID-19, Pintek is growing partnerships with remote learning platforms, assessing customer needs, and fundraising to help teachers in need

May 12 2020, Jakarta, Indonesia – Accion Venture Lab, Accion’s seed-stage inclusive fintech investment initiative, has invested in Pintek, an Indonesian fintech platform that provides credit to both students and education institutions to improve access to education and the quality of education in Indonesia. Pintek will use the funds to expand its technology and platform as the company evolves its approach to best meet the needs of underserved students and schools during COVID-19.

In Indonesia, access to financing is often limited for both students and schools. Private schools – which make up more than half of total secondary institutions and 90 percent of colleges and universities – are required to register as foundations and often lack the ability to provide adequate collateral to access long-term loans to improve facilities and hire staff. According to Indonesian government data from 2017-2018, over 150,000 classrooms of the total schools in Indonesia are in a state of disrepair, and close to 25 percent of Indonesian schools do not have libraries. Pintek offers schools loans against their anticipated tuition revenue to support these needs.

Furthermore, low-middle income families often lack the cash flow to meet their educational financing needs: the average Indonesian family of four makes about $222 per month, and tertiary education averages from $1,000 to $5,000 per year. Pintek underwrites student loans and splits payments into more frequent and smaller amounts to make tuition fees more affordable. More than half of Pintek’s student loans are provided to first-time borrowers with no credit history. Through partnerships with payment processors and schools, Pintek is now reaching students in 26 of the nation’s 34 provinces.

Pintek is responding in innovative ways to support access to education during COVID-19. Pintek is conducting a survey to explore the impact of the pandemic on families and schools to inform their products and services. In response to preliminary results from the survey, Pintek has partnered with edtech platforms to provide schools with financing and access to remote learning platforms to help ease the transition to online learning. Pintek is also working to launch a fundraising campaign to help teachers in Indonesia who are currently unemployed due to COVID-19.

“Financial support is critical to enabling students to access education in Indonesia – and for schools to provide a high-quality education. Pintek’s innovative model supports both ends of the education spectrum to fill a gap in financing for students and schools in the country,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of global nonprofit Accion. “The company’s responsiveness to evolving customer needs in light of today’s pandemic can be a critical resource in supporting their financial health and recovery.”

“We are determined to continue supporting the Indonesian government’s mission for education, throughout and beyond the challenges of the current pandemic. With ongoing stakeholder engagement, from parents to education partners, we strive to provide the best financial products to suit their needs and ensure that quality education is maintained. We also want to assure parents and the wider education community that Pintek is here and always ready to assist any financial needs for education.” said Ioann Fainsilber, Co-Founder and Director of Pintek.

“There is a clear need for educational financing in Indonesia, and Pintek’s unique model, strong leadership team, and promising growth potential make them the ideal partner to address that need. We’ve been particularly impressed with their quick response to the pandemic, finding new ways to help customers during this difficult time. We’re pleased to add them to the Venture Lab portfolio,” said Vikas Raj, Managing Director of Accion Venture Lab.

So far, Pintek’s survey in response to COVID-19 has highlighted loss of income and transition to online learning as the primary concerns of parents. Over 90 percent of parents surveyed were concerned about their ability to cover the cost of their children’s education, and over 10 percent believe they will lose their current source of income within the next twelve months. The survey confirmed that Pintek is a viable solution for these parents, with over 80 percent expressing interest in Pintek loans to cover education costs. The survey also highlighted a real need to support Indonesian schools in their transition to online learning. Nearly half of the parents surveyed by Pintek were unsatisfied with the online learning program provided by schools, and over a third stated that schools should discount tuition fees given a perceived decrease in education quality during the online learning transition.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a deep impact on Indonesian teachers and their livelihoods: in West Java alone, nearly half of teachers have lost their jobs due to indefinite school closures. Pintek is working with the Indonesian Teachers’ Association (IGI), to launch a fundraising campaign, with all proceeds going to teachers economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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About Pintek

Pintek is a financial technology company (Peer-to-Peer Lending) that has a mission to become the key driver in education transformation through innovation in financial services. Registered and supervised by OJK (Financial Service Authority) since 2018, Pintek engaged in providing financial access to all communities and educational institutions regarding the needs of education in Indonesia, in reducing the number of dropouts in the country and improving educational facilities for a better quality of teaching and learning.

About Accion Venture Lab

Accion’s seed-stage investment initiative Accion Venture Lab provides capital and extensive support to innovative fintech startups that improve the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved and have the potential to scale. Backed by commercial and impact investors since the launch of its third-party fund in 2019, Venture Lab has invested in more than 40 early-stage startups that operate in 30 countries worldwide. Venture Lab is a part of Accion, a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. Accion catalyzes financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 110 partners in 50 countries. For further information, visit https://www.accion.org/venturelab.

For more information please contact: 

Fajar Kurniawan for Pintek

Katie Mounts for Accion Venture Lab

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