Financial Inclusion | March 6, 2024

Wagely inks $23 million to help Asia’s workers with cash stability and financial health

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, March 6 – Indonesia and Bangladesh have nearly 200 million wage workers. Unexpected expenses force many to resort to expensive payday loans.

Jakarta-based Wagely charges employers a membership fee to offer workers access to their earned wages before their normal payday. Last year, the company fronted $25 million in wages to more than 500,000 workers.

Companies like Abhi in Pakistan, ImaliPay in Kenya, and Floatpays in South Africa provide similar services to wage workers.

AI for impact

Wagely raised $23 million in a mix of debt and equity. Capria Ventures led the equity portion of the round, citing the potential to replicate the service in other countries in Asia. Capria invested as part of its second Global South Fund, which largely focuses on impactful applications of generative AI as a “talent and language equalizer” in emerging markets.

Capria’s Dave Richards noted Wagely’s potential to use generative AI in risk and fraud detection, assessing creditworthiness, and customer service, as well as for conversations in local languages “for workers to make better financial decisions.”