For all of 2016, CekaAja got 20 million visitors, up 1,600% from 2015. The month-onmonth growth is now about 35%.
American John Patrick Ellis, 36, founded financial comparison site CekAja in 2013 to allow potential customers to have a quick and easy way to compare financial products online. John chose the name because it means “check it out” in Indonesia. “Financial matters can be boring or intimidating. We want to make it simple to understand, and easily accessible. We can break down the barriers,” says John.
Customers can look at side-by-side comparison of products such as credit cards, which can be a time-consuming and confusing process if done offline. Other products that can be compared on the site are mortgage loans, vehicle loans, insurance policies and mutual funds. If a visitor is interested to buy a product, the site will connect the buyer with the financial service company selling it.
For all of 2016, CekaAja got 20 million visitors, up 1,600% from 2015. The month-on-month growth is now about 35%. Monthly transaction reaches 80,000, generating $150 million monthly in gross application value, which is rising at 30% a month. To monetize the site, CekAja earns a success fee from banks and insurance company for clickthroughs converted into customers. For some partners, CekAja contributes 20% of their total bookings in a month.
In total, the site partners with more than 100 financial partners, including some of the country’s largest banks, such as Bank Mandiri, BNI and CIMB Niaga. The partners support the site because it helps with customer acquisition. To diversify his business, John established C88 Financial Technologies in 2013 as CekAja’s parent company in Singapore. Two years after starting CekAja in Indonesia, he set up the site eCompareMo in the Philippines, which provide a service similar to CekAja. Compare88 also co-operates Premiro, a licensed insurance e-brokerage services provider in Indonesia.
After John discovered many visitors wanted mutual funds, he signed an agreement with online marketplace Bareksa to sell funds listed on its site in a partnership deal. To expand its reach, CekAja also partners with Tokopedia, Jualo, and Orami allowing the portals to sell various financial products to their customers, which will then be processed by CekAja.
John has experience in financial services in Indonesia, as he previously worked in private equity firm Quvat Capital Partners with current BKPM head Thomas Lembong. He was graduated from Columbia University, majoring in international relations, moving to Indonesia in 2005 as a Volunteers in Asia (VIA) fellow, where he worked in Flores. He became fluent in Indonesia and even learned some Manggarai dialect.