Workmate, a Singapore-based workforce management platform and marketplace for informal workers, announced that it has secured a loan of up to $10 million from Lendable Inc, a provider of debt to financial technology companies in emerging and frontier markets.
The loan will allow Workmate to onboard more workers in Indonesia and Thailand and pay their wages in a fair and timely manner, according to the announcement.
A committed amount of $1.5 million will be available for immediate use to support Workmate’s worker marketplace.
Headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Thailand and Indonesia, the startup serves over 200 enterprise clients across logistics, F&B, and hospitality sectors, providing 1.5 million hours worth of work to workers each month.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Workmate said its business grew 200%, focusing on essential services such as warehousing and delivery.
There are 160 million informal workers in Southeast Asia who collectively receive $320 billion in wages per year.
Without the certainty and protections enjoyed by formal employees, informal workers face challenges finding fair and regular employment. They are often subject to unfair employment practices, such as wage disputes or late salary payments.
This myriad of challenges significantly reduces income for informal workers and businesses report a 30% loss in productivity caused by the inefficiencies in the informal labor market.
Workmate said its digital platform that operates in Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia allows workers to find jobs quickly, be paid on time and demonstrate the quality of their work to new employers.
Workmate is Lendable’s third client with a presence in Indonesia and first in Thailand. Lendable’s facility will allow Workmate to deepen its presence in Indonesia, while solidifying its market presence in Thailand.
“In Lendable we have found a strong partner who we are excited about working with to help us scale our platform across Southeast
Asia,” said Workmate founder and CEO Mathew Ward.
“Lendable’s focus on supporting companies who are building innovate solutions to help people in emerging markets means that they understand the external challenges we face, and bring with them a wealth of experience in addition to the financial support they provide,” he added.
Founded in 2015, Lendable has an active portfolio of debt financing investments in fintech companies across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.