Although formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income in emerging economies, access to finance remains a key constraint to their growth. East Asia and Pacific accounts for the largest share (46%) of the total global finance gap,1 and the gap is even larger when micro- and women-owned enterprises are taken into account.
These small firms have limited access to capital markets and difficulty obtaining formal finance from private lenders. They often face onerous loan terms, such as high-interest rates and collateral requirements2.
Founded in 2017, Hong Kong-based Kiu seeks to address this issue through a feature-rich business management solution for (m)SMEs which includes bookkeeping, accounting and ERP tools. The data points, are analyzed against several hundred risk factors to generate advisory credit scores for banks and MFI partners to support credit decisions.
Headquartered in Vietnam, Kiu is also active in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand. Across these markets, Kiu targets small and medium enterprises in the agriculture and horticulture sectors, which employ a high percentage of female workers. Kiu has earned several accolades and awards including Inclusive Fintech 50, Vietnam Fintech Challenge, Mekong Agritech Challenge, and Seedstars Myanmar.