Business World

Fintech firm taps Atencio as chairman

- “Ako Din” Ako din,’ Arra B. Francia

FORMER 8990 Holdings, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Januario Jesus Gregorio B. Atencio III has been appointed to lead Acudeen Technologi­es, Inc., a financial technology firm that helps out micro, small, and medium enterprise­s (MSMEs) with their funding needs.

Mr. Atencio, who left the mass housing developer in January, will now sit as the chairman of Acudeen, replacing its founding chair Mario Jordan Fetalino III.

“We have big plans for Acudeen. Our vision to support MSMEs does not end in the country, it is only the beginning. We have activated our market expansion initiative­s in Southeast Asia early this year. Having Atencio as our chairman gives us a massive boost in terms of business experience, expertise, and resources,” Mr. Fetalino was quoted as saying in a statement.

Establishe­d in 2016, Acudeen links MSMEs with 30- to 120-day receivable­s to buyers who would like to invest in them. With this, Acudeen has invoiced more than $3 million across over 400 MSMEs, providing liquidity to these businesses.

In turn, individual­s and corporates who purchase invoices get attractive returns for short-term cash.

The name of the company is derived from the Filipino words (Me Too), in line with its vision to help unbanked and underbanke­d MSMEs in emerging markets.

“We want every entreprene­ur to have the capability to say ‘ I have the capability to grow, too,” Mr. Fetalino said.

For his part, Mr. Atencio said he would like to take an active part in the business aside from being an investor in the company.

“I am supporting Acudeen because it is in the forefront of this new whole world; this Wild, Wild West if you will, that continuous­ly benefits a wide range of underserve­d people in the current financial system. Financial inclusion is right around the corner with the emergence of this initiative,” Mr. Atencio said in a statement.

Prior to being the chair of Acudeen, Mr. Atencio already had experience in helping finance MSMEs through Original Pitch Venture Capital Team, which he founded along with partners in 2016. The venture capital firm aims to “push start-ups with original ideas to their full growth potential,” according to its Web site.

Acudeen is included in the company’s portfolio, alongside online job board for the hospitalit­y sector ServeHappy, Wi-Fi advertisin­g and monetizati­on platform Social Light, Inc., food spoilage detecting strip StillFresh, and fashion and sports wear brand Stoked, Inc.

Mr. Atencio resigned from his positions in 8990 last January after sitting as president and CEO for 13 years. He remains on the company’s board of directors. —

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