Finder buys GoBear to help forage Asia
By Leon Gettler >>
LITTLE ATTENTION has been placed on Finder, a fintech company headquartered in Australia, announcing that it had acquired South East Asia-focused brand GoBear as part of its global expansion. The acquisition was for an undisclosed sum.
Based in Singapore, GoBear has operated as a comparison site for insurance, credit cards, and loans. In January, however, it announced it was ceasing operations because of the challenges of COVID-19.
Enter Finder, which compares more than 200 different verticals ranging from personal finance products such as credit cards, home loans and savings accounts to online shopping, cryptocurrency, share trading and much more.
Finder operates in 80 markets, with offices in Australia, the US, the UK, Poland, the Philippines and Canada, and a lot of its categories are global in nature.
FINDER FINDS ITS WAY ACROSS ASIA
Finder co-founder and global CEO Frank Restuccia said it was a natural fit for Finder and was perfect for expanding its market into South East Asia. Go Bear operates out of Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines and its main office is in Singapore.
He said the two had such similar business modes and he felt a “real alignment” with the brand.
“I knew that the customers that were using Go Bear would be very aligned to what our new service will be in that region for them so that was really the main attraction for me,” Mr Restuccia told Talking Business.
He said many of Go Bear’s clients were “unbanked” and he saw it as a great opportunity for Finder.
The other great opportunity was that all Go Bear’s were using mobile devices and Finder had recently developed an app.
“I see a great opportunity for those customers in the region to benefit from the Finder app in their mobile device so we are bringing that service straight into their mobile. That’s a massive motivation for this acquisition,” Mr Restuccia said.
MOVING INTO CRYPTO
Finder has now moved into cryptocurrency as a growth market.
“It’s changing the world of finance so rapidly that we would be remiss not to keep on top of it,” Mr Restuccia said.
Back in 2016, Finder built a brand called HiveEx which was an over-the-counter brokerage which helped people trade in cryptocurrencies. While that was subsequently sold, Finder retained the knowledge and insights from that experience and is now looking to expand again into that space.
“A lot of consumers out there don’t fully understand cryptocurrencies, but they want to put some of their wealth into purchasing Bitcoin and Ethereum,” he said.
“It actually creates a new world of possibilities for participants, for consumers, to try and do things differently, to use technologies like blockchain to make things more accurate and to make things more transparent and to break down some of those walls and legacies that exist in the banking world.
“We are at the cusp of major change.”
Finder launched in 2006 so it is celebrating its 15th anniversary.in July.
“We feel like we are starting,” Mr Restuccia said. “We are building this brand and service to live beyond our lifetime. That’s the motivation for me.
“I want my children and their children to be able to experience the service and get that utility and satisfaction of being able to get some advice, use some of the tools that we provide and make some amazing decisions that are going to transform and help them live their life,” he said.
“So 15 years may seem like a long time, to me it’s just the beginning. It may sound odd to say this but we are gearing up for a 1000 year old company.”
Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.