Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 11th Dec, 2021
Hi fintech friends,
Please enjoy all the news and updates from the past week in today’s edition. If you feel TWIF brings you value, please share it with your friends (and maybe suggest they subscribe too).
Housekeeping: We are integrating our regional newsletters to one URL. From next week, this Asia edition will move to a new URL. Since you’re already subscribed, you will have to visit the link https://thisweekinfintech.substack.com/s/asia and select “Asia” as the region to receive fintech news and updates from Asia. You can also select from our UK & Europe, or LatAm or Global editions. Apologies for any inconvenience cause and thanks for your continued support.
Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to email@example.com.
Want to be a This Week in Fintech - Asia Sponsor? Reach fintech founders, industry professionals and enthusiasts. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week
📊 Stat of the week
The number of U.S. banks has dropped from an all-time high of 30,456 in 1921 to 4,377 at the end of 2020, a drop of 86%. (Source)
📰 Market Updates
Digital payments in India grew 53% in volume and 28% in value over the past 12 months.
Kotak Bank becomes the first major bank to partner with cryptocurrency exchanges starting with WazirX.
Navi, Sachin Bansal's fintech startup, has started a 2022 IPO process and already appointed bankers.
Razorpay claimed to have crossed $60bn in annual transaction value in 2021 and expects to cross $90bn in 2022.
Paytm Payments Bank received its scheduled payments bank status by RBI.
🚀 Product Launches
PhiCommerce launched PayPhi, a tokenisation service on RuPay card network.
IndiaGold launched India-first gold-backed finance product in partnership with a local bank.
Drumworks launched Asset.Money, a NFT portfolio management platform.
Razorpay launched three new products for businesses - Razorpay Magic, RazorpayX Tax Payment Suite and Razorpay Rize.
📝 Regulatory Updates
RBI (central bank): Will launch a UPI-like product for feature phones. Will enable small value transactions through an “On-device" wallet in UPI app to conserve banks’ system resources without any impact to users. Plans to float a discussion paper on digital payment charges "to ensure they are both affordable to users, and economically remunerative to providers". Increased the limit for UPI IPO subscriptions from $2,666 (INR 200K) to $6,666 (INR 500K).
SEBI (securities regulator): Released a consultation paper seeking comments on regulating trading algorithms by retail investors.
💰 Financing Announcements
LenDenClub, a P2P lending startup, raised $10mm.
CloudSek, an India/Singapore based cyber security startup, raised $7mm.
Probus Insurance, an Indian insurance brokerage startup, raised $6.7mm.
LoanKuber, a digital mortgage finance startup, raised $1.5mm.
Fego, an open-finance data startup, raised $1.5mm.
📰 Market Updates
NextPay, digital payments startup, partnered with Ayannah, a digital finance startup, in Philippines for O2O remittances.
GigaCover, a Singaporean gig worker insurance startup, is expanding to Philippines.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will propose legislation in 2022 to make it so only banks and wire transfer companies can issue stablecoins.
Revolut's Capital Market Services (CMS) license was approved by Singapore's central bank (MAS).
Kredivo, an Indonesian BNPL startup, launched a payment card product.
MoMo, Vietnam's largest payment startup, is raising funding from Japan's Mizuho Bank.
One in five (18%) people in Hong Kong who responded to a Visa survey say they have used cryptocurrency to send money, receive money, buy goods or accept payment.
Brankas, a South East Asian fintech infrastructure startup, was awarded a Proof of Concept grant by MAS for “experimentation, development, and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies in the financial services sector.”
Tonik, a Philippine digital bank, claims to have $100mm in consumer deposits within 8 months since launch.
💰 Financing Announcements
WeLab, a Hong Kong based digital banking startup, raised $240mm.
MatchMove, a Singaporean fintech infrastructure startup, raised $100mm ($20mm in cash)
Coinhako, a Singaporean crypto exchange, raised $75mm.
Tyme, a Singapore-based South African and Philippine digital bank, raised $70mm.
PeopleFund, a South Korean digital lending marketplace, raised $64mm.
Flip, an Indonesian payments startup, raised $48mm.
Xen Capital, a Singaporean wealth management startup, raised $7.5mm.
bolttech, a Singapore-based insurance infrastructure startup, raised an undisclosed amount.
Hg Exchange (HGX), a Singaporean private digital asset exchange, raised an undisclosed amount from Binance Asia.
Finblox, a South East Asia based high yield crypto investment startup, raised an undisclosed amount.
WeLab, a Hong Kong based digital banking startup, acquired Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), a 50-year old, Indonesian commercial bank.
Please find our global coverage and consider subscribing.
🧐 Looking for context, deep dives and further insights?
Read the latest edition of Fintech Inside, also authored by me. New editions get published every Sunday at 9AM IST.
📜 Notable Nuggets
If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at email@example.com. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.