The launching of Islamic financing platform, iHarap, will give the company access to the trillion-dollar Islamic financing market, and solidifies its BNPL offering in Southeast Asia.

Tech venture firm FatFish Group (ASX:FFG) has made a leap forward in its fintech business in Southeast Asia, announcing that it is about to enter the fast-growing Islamic financing market.

The company says it will develop a technology platform called iHarap, which will undertake digital Islamic financing business that caters to the Muslim consumers in Malaysia.

iHarap will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fatfish, and its rollout will complement Fatfish’s ambitious BNPL plans in the region.


Why Islamic finance

In 2019,  Islamic finance assets globally amounted to US$2.88 trillion, the highest recorded growth for the industry since the Global Financial Crisis.

According to BNY Mellon, this will continue to grow to US$3.69 trillion by 2024.

Malaysia, being a predominantly Muslim country, is among  the global leaders of Islamic finance globally.

The country has successfully developed a complete Islamic financial system, including Islamic banking, Islamic capital market, and Islamic insurance.

iHarap, which translates to “I hope” in Malay, will be developed by working with third-party financiers, with the aim of providing ethical Islamic financing products via digital channels to the Muslim end-consumers.

Fatfish will also be using existing capability from its other digital financing fintech businesses to accelerate the development of the iHarap platform.

Specifically, it will utilise and share the common back-office components of other platforms in its portfolio, for developing the new platform.

This will enable it to develop an economy of scale, especially at marketing differentiated financing products to the target audience in Southeast Asia.

iHarap’s operations will be funded from existing working capital.


Complementing the BNPL offering

The launching of iHarap will not be a standalone service segment for Fatfish, as it will complement the company’s existing BNPL services in the region.

Fatfish has made a deep foray into the BNPL segment in Southeast Asia, recently acquiring several companies.

The recent acquisitions of Pay Direct and Forever Pay in Malaysia, and Smartfunding in Singapore, for example, have launched Fatfish into this highly lucrative market.

Apart from its footprints in Southeast Asia, Fatfish also owns a majority stake in publicly traded Abelco Investment Group, a company traded on the Swedish exchange, the Nordic Growth Market exchange.

From a trading range near 1c in early 2020, shares in FFG have now surged and are currency trading at 7.5c.


This article was developed in collaboration with Fatfish Group, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.