This Week in Fintech - Asia | 16th Oct, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 16th Oct, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

Happy festive season to all the Indians celebrating. This week we had 10 Indian startups raising $157mm ($100mm was raised by one startup, two undisclosed). Asia (ex. India) had only 3 fintech startups raising $~10mm.

A fintech received a banking license in India and a POS payment startup launched an online payment gateway. Quite a few partnerships were announced in Asia including one worth $500mm!

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).


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to osborne@thisweekinfintech.com.


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - Asia Sponsor? Reach fintech founders, industry professionals and enthusiasts. Email me at sponsor@thisweekinfintech.com.


🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. Radiant Cash Management Services filed draft IPO prospectus for IPO.

  2. BharatPe appointed Rajnish Kumar, former Chairman of SBI Bank, as Chairman of the Board.

  3. UPI recorded 3.65 Bn transactions worth $88.4bn in Sept, 2021.

  4. Indian crypto exchanges are blocking accounts with suspicious activities.

  5. Salman Khan, an Indian film actor, is launching BollyCoin, a Bollywood NFT marketplace.

  6. LendingKart claimed to have disbursed $1bn in loans since 2015 to 130K SMB borrowers.

  7. Biz2Credit, a US based SMB finance startup, launched in India and plans to deploy $100mm over 5 years.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. Mudrex, a crypto investment startup, launched Coin Sets, a theme based cryptocurrencies to invest in.

  2. Pine Labs launched Plural, an online payment gateway platform in India.

  3. Razorpay launched an integration with Zapier to pull payments data.

📝 Regulatory Updates

  • RBI: Approved final Small Finance Bank license to Centrum-BharatPe group.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. Open, a SMB neo banking startup, raised $100mm.

  2. M2P Fintech, a fintech infrastructure starutp, raised $35mm.

  3. Colexion, a bollywood NFT marketplace startup, raised $8mm.

  4. Visit Health, a telehealth and wellness startup, raised $7.5mm from Policybazaar.

  5. Niro, a consumer fintech infrastructure startup, raised $3.5mm.

  6. Arcana Network, a blockchain storage and identity management startup, raised $2.3mm.

  7. EarnWealth, an agent driven fintech product distribution startup, raised $500K.

  8. SALT, a SMB cross border banking startup, raised $500K.

  9. Yobee, a thematic investing startup, raised an undisclosed amount.

  10. NFTically, an NFT marketplace, raised an undisclosed amount.

Acquisitions:

  1. Smallcase acquihired Niravana.work to extend its SaaS platform

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Chubb, the US insurer, will acquire Cigna's Asia and Turkey businesses for $5.8bn.

  2. Grab, the Singaporean ride hailing company, reduced its shareholding in OVO, the Indonesian payments company to comply with local FDI regulations.

  3. MyMy, a Malaysian e-wallet startup, partnered with Mastercard for a principal membership.

  4. Singapore’s SMBs generate 45% of B2C eCommerce exports totalling $1.03bn in 2021 per a report by Amazon.

  5. StraitsX crossed SGD 2bn ($1.5bn) in crypto transactions on its platform and Xfers, another crypto investing starutp, also crossed $1.5bn in transactions.

  6. Funding Societies launched a crowd funding platform in Thailand after raising from 500 TukTuks.

  7. CIMB Vietnam partnered with Finhay to launch a Smart Credit Card.

  8. Binance created a $1bn Crypto Mass Adoption Fund to accelerate crypto adoption globally.

  9. Hyphen Group (previously CompareAsiaGroup) a financial product marketplace, is going to go public via a SPAC.

  10. Standard Chartered Bank signed a 10 year partnership with Atome to invest $500mm in the company and launch multiple products.

  11. SWIFT Go, the real time, cross border, bank transfer system by SWIFT, signed up 100 banks since launch in July.

  12. Mastercard signed a partnership with the Pakistan Government to create the country's first cashless zone.

  13. Grab partnered with Mastercard to launch digital and financial inclusion products in Southeast Asia.

  14. PayMaya, a Philippine payment startup backed by Tencent, partnered with bolttech for insurance products.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. iSeller, an Indonesian point of sale SaaS startup, raised $8.4mm

  2. Talino Venture Labs, a Philippine fintech venture lab, raised $1.25mm.

  3. Surer, a Singaporean insurance intermediary SaaS platform, raised $1mm


🧐 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

  1. A look at Pix, Brazil's instant bank transfer system, launched 11 months ago and used by half of its population.

  2. 4 key stats from Finder’s report on digital banking adoption

  3. The financial wellness war – Malaysian banks vs digital banks

  4. Re-Imagining Acquiring: How should bank acquirers respond to the rapidly evolving acquiring market by VISA.

  5. The rise of Algo trading platforms & everything you need to know by Zerodha

  6. Decoding Card-on-File Tokenisation: All You Need to Know by Razorpay

  7. Mapping SEA’s key digital banking players 🔒

  8. Global payments 2021: Transformation amid turbulent undercurrents by McKinsey


If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at osborne@thisweekinfintech.com. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.

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This Week in Fintech - Asia | 09th Oct, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 09th Oct, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

Fintech investments are only getting hotter! Seems this last quarter will break all records. This past week, a16z made its entry in India with an investment in a crypto exchange. An NFT marketplace signed up with India’s fashion week for exclusive NFT’s.

India witnessed 6 new product launches and 10 fund raise announcements totaling $319mm. Asia (ex. India) also had 9 fund raise announcements totaling $486mm.

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).


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to osborne@thisweekinfintech.com.


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - Asia Sponsor? Reach fintech founders, industry professionals and enthusiasts. Email me at sponsor@thisweekinfintech.com.


🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week


📊 Stat of the week

During the period FY15-20, aggregate deposits of private sector banks grew 18% CAGR, whereas public sector banks grew at 6% CAGR. (Source)


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. Fino Payments Bank received SEBI's approval to float an IPO, expected to raised ~$175mm.

  2. Mobikwik, a payment startup, received SEBI's approval to float its IPO, expected to IPO in Oct-21.

  3. WazirX, a crypto exchange and NFT marketplace, partnered with Lakme Fashion Week to allow designers to sell exclusive NFT designs.

  4. SwissRe may invest in Paytm's insurance business.

  5. slice*, a genz credit card startup, is launching 3 day work week.

  6. Groww cofounder said it will launch cryptocurrency trading post getting clarity from regulators.

  7. Credit card spends in India crossed INR 2tn ($27bn) in the quarter ended Sept-2021.

  8. ETMoney claimed to cross INR 500 cr ($67.5mm) in monthly mutual fund investments, 70% organic users.

  9. India's crypto market grew 641% over the past 12 months.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. PAYBACK, BharatPe owned loyalty platform, launched PAY via UPI using loyalty points.

  2. ZebPay, a crypto exchange, launched an OTC Desk for large volume traders, HNI and global investors.

  3. BharatPe launched PostPe, a BNPL product, for one-click purchases at stores with credit limit up to INR 10 lacs ($13.5K).

  4. VISA partnered with Juspay to offer card-on-file tokenisation for merchants.

  5. Eko, a domestic remittance and payment startup, launched a consumer loan product, aims to disburse $1bn.

  6. Jupitice launched a SMB digital court for dispute resolutions through arbitration.

📝 Regulatory Updates

  1. RBI (central bank): Said it will introduce new guidelines for digital payment systems in offline mode. Enhanced the transaction limit for IMPS to INR 500K ($6,756) from earlier INR 200K ($2,700). Proposed to include geo-tagging framework in payment acceptance touch points including POS devices, QR codes and more. Introduced a new theme of "Prevention and Mitigation of Financial Frauds" as part of the Regulatory Sandbox and made on tap applications for previous sandbox themes.

  2. SEBI (securities regulator): Barred a news anchor and other persons (including those on twitter) from the securities market for influencing the market.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. CoinSwitch Kuber, a crypto exchange, raised $260mm at $1.9bn in funding.

  2. ProgCap, a SMB finance startup, raised $30mm.

  3. GramCover*, a rural insurance startup, raised $7mm.

  4. Mobileware Technologies, a banking API startup, raised $4.75mm.

  5. Smartstaff, a blue collar workforce management startup, raised $4.3mm.

  6. Stader Labs, a crypto staking management startup, raised $4mm.

  7. PazCare, an SMB employee health insurance startup, raised $3.5mm.

  8. Trica, a startup crowdfunding startup, raised $3mm.

  9. Hyperface, a credit card infrastructure startup, raised $1.3mm.

  10. IBSFintech, a treasury management startup, raised $1mm.

Acquisition announcement:

  1. Paytm acquired CreditMate, a digital debt collections

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Singapore's central bank, MAS, will launch COSMIC - a centralised data sharing platform to curb money laundering and terror financing.

  2. DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek to form a new JV - Partior, a blockchain-based clearing and settlement technology platform.

  3. Hong Kong's central bank released a technical overview of launching an e-HKD, it's central bank digital currency.

  4. Mezan Bank in Pakistan partnered with MYGLU to roll out MGPay - a POS payment service.

  5. Singapore's MAS in a report said that BNPL does not pose a significant risk at this stage, pointing out that BNPL accounted for SGD114mm in transactions compared to SGD92bn credit and debit card market.

  6. METACO, a Swiss digital asset infrastructure company, set up an office in Singapore.

  7. Ascend, a Thai payments company, is looking for partners to start lending in Vietnam.

  8. mKhata, a Pakistani bookkeeping startup, claims to have 100K users in a month since fund raise.

  9. UangTeman, an Indonesian online finance startup, sued for $1mm by its finance partner.

  10. Paper.id, an Indonesian B2B invoicing startup, launched B2B BNPL product.

  11. Modalku, Funding Societies' Indonesian arm, plans to raise $50mm. Funding Societies raised $18mm in debt and is expected to raise $120mm.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. Ajaib, an Indonesian stock investing startup, raised $153mm at $1bn valuation.

  2. Sky Mavis, developer of popular crypto based game Axie Infinity, raised $150mm from a16z.

  3. Ula, an Indonesian B2B commerce marketplace, raised $87mm.

  4. Incomlend, a Singaporean ESG focused SMB finance startup, raised $60mm.

  5. QisstPay, a Pakistani buy now pay later startup, raised $15mm.

  6. Qapita, a Singaporean equity management startup, raised $15mm.

  7. Bizzi, a Vietnamese bookkeeping automation startup, raised $3mm.

  8. PostEx, a Pakistani SMB logistics and finance startup, raised $1.5mm.

  9. Bank Jago, Indonesia's first full digital bank, raised an undisclosed amount.


🧐 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

  1. The Nigerian fintech boom, by the numbers

  2. Rethinking Concentration Risk in B2B Fintech Infrastructure

  3. Opportunity for Fintech in India's insurance market

  4. Bitcoin is a Ponzi

  5. IMF Head Says Central Bank Digital Currencies Are Reliable, Hard to Think of Bitcoin as Money

  6. Digital Assets Primer: Only the first inning by Bank of America (Summary)

  7. Foolish Fintech Questions: Part II by Alex Johnson

  8. Inside BillDesk's 20 year build for the next innings

  9. The Fintech 250: The Top Fintech Companies Of 2021 by CBInsights


If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at osborne@thisweekinfintech.com. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.

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This Week in Fintech - Asia | 02nd Oct, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 02nd Oct, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

We’ve had another week of off-the-charts financing activity, product launches and more. In India, we had 14 fund raise announcements totaling $441mm (one raised undisclosed amount). In Asia (ex. India), there were 11 fund raise announcements totaling $461mm (two undisclosed).

India saw its largest Series A fund raise of $90mm. Thailand minted its first fintech unicorn. There were a few announcements by central banks/governments of India, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines.

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).


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to osborne@thisweekinfintech.com.


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - Asia Sponsor? Reach fintech founders, industry professionals and enthusiasts. Email me at sponsor@thisweekinfintech.com.


🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week


📊 Stat of the week

Net National Income (NNI) per capita (at current prices) FY2020 of top 5 Indian states:

Goa - $5,891
Sikkim - $5,451
Delhi - $5,048
Chandigarh - $4,460
Haryana - $3,346
All India - $1,873 (Source: RBI’s Handbook of Statistics)

Bangladesh (GNI per capita) - $2,003


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. NASSCOM released a report stating that the cryptotech market will reach $241mm by 2030.

  2. UIDAI, the Aadhaar authority, said it will charge INR 3 ($0.04) for every Aadhaar E-KYC verification.

  3. RBI's Innovation Hub CEO said it is working on an instant credit product and expects Indian fintech market to reach $84bn in 2025 growing from $31bn today.

  4. Xiaomi India will launch NFC-enabled watch straps to enable contactless payments.

  5. HDFC Bank claims it issued 400K credit cards in one month since the ban on its credit card business was lifted.

  6. BharatPe claims to have facilitated $675mm (INR 5,000 crs) in P2P financing transactions to 1mm users.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. INDMoney launched US stocks as rewards for card spends.

  2. ICICI Bank partnered with Amazon launch instant overdraft facility for Amazon's sellers.

  3. Paytm partnered with Ria Money Transfer to launch inward international remittances to digital wallets.

  4. Muthoot Finance partnered with SenseForth.AI to launch an AI assistant.

  5. PhonePe launched silver investment option.

📝 Regulatory Updates

  1. RBI (central bank): Deputy Governor of RBI, speaking at a fintech event, said fintech startups that offer liquidity services should be regulated like banks.

  2. SEBI (securities regulator): Approved higher net worth cap of INR 1,000Crs (~$130mm) for promoters of publicly listed companies to have differential voting rights. Approved the framework to launch a gold spot exchange and a Social Impact stock exchange.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. OfBusiness, a B2B lending and commerce firm, raised $200mm at $3bn valuation.

  2. CredAvenue, a digital debt marketplace, raised $90mm at $410mm valuation (India's largest Series A round).

  3. CapitalFloat, digital lending startup, raised $50mm.

  4. DMI Alternatives, a wholesale financing company, raised $40mm to invest in fintech startups.

  5. Bijnis, a SMB digitisation startup, raised $30mm.

  6. Loop Health, an SMB employee health insurance startup, raised $12mm

  7. Homeville, a housing finance and technology startup, raised $7mm.

  8. Akudo, a teenager neo bank, raised $4.2mm.

  9. MultiSafe, a treasury management platform for crypto platforms, raised $2.5mm.

  10. Cashbook, an SMB accounting startup, raised $2.3mm.

  11. The Money Club, a digital chit fund startup, raised $1mm.

  12. Stockal India, the India arm of global investment platform Stockal, raised $1mm from HDFC Bank and HDFC Securities.

  13. RupiFi, a SMB embedded finance startup, raised $1mm.

  14. Sanctum Wealth, an HNI wealth management firm, raised an undisclosed amount.

Acquisition Announcement:

  1. M2P Fintech (YAP), a fintech infrastructure startup, acquired Origa.AI*, a digital debt collection startup.

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Alipay (Macao) launched cross border payments to pay over 25,000 offline merchants in Hong Kong.

  2. 2C2P partnered with banks and wallet platforms in Vietnam and Cambodia for its expansion.

  3. Vietnam's government approved a resolution to create a financial regulatory sandbox.

  4. Singapore announced plans to integrate its instant bank transfer platform PayNow with Malaysia's DuitNow.

  5. BSP, Philippine central bank, urged policy makers to immediately pass an anti-cybercrime law to protect financial consumers.

  6. Ripple launched a $250mm creator fund for NFT projects.

  7. Alibaba's Singaporean subsidiary applied for 20+ trademarks related to the metaverse.

  8. KakaoBank plans to expand to Thailand and Indonesia for regional expansion.

  9. Independent Reserve, a Singaporean crypto exchange, received its Major Payment Institution license from MAS.

  10. Central Bank of Malaysia said it will issue digital banking licenses to five entities (out of 29 applicants) in early 2022.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. Aspire, a South East Asian SMB finance platform, raised $158mm.

  2. Ascend, a Thai payments firm, raised $150mm at a $1bn valuation (Thailand's first fintech unicorn).

  3. SCB Abacus, the micro loan and BNPL spin off of Thai Siam Commercial Bank, raised $12mm.

  4. PolicyStreet, an Malaysian insurance startup, raised $6mm.

  5. Moolahgo, a Singaporean payments startup, raised $3.3mm.

  6. Oraan, a Pakistani financial inclusion platform for women, raised $3mm

  7. VeriHubs, an Indonesian customer verification startup, raised $2.8mm.

  8. Friz, a Singaporean neo bank for freelancers, raised $1mm.

  9. Pina, an Indonesian personal finance startup, raised an undisclosed amount.

  10. Makmur, an Indonesian investment startup, raised an undisclosed amount.

  11. FinAccel raised $125mm in a PIPE transaction from MDI Ventures, Cathay Innovation and Endeavour Catalyst.


🧐 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

  1. Emerging markets leap forward in digital banking innovation and adoption

  2. What’s driving banks to go big on credit cards?

  3. Thoughts around modernising banks

  4. The Trillion Dollar Cross-Border Payments Market is Getting a Makeover

  5. Recko: Empowering finance decisions of fast-growing Internet businesses without a single line of code

  6. Trends shaping India’s FinTech sector by EY

  7. Banking-as-a-Service: The $1T Market to Build the Twilio of Embedded Finance

  8. Where do Indians invest? | Ep.1 | India in numbers [VIDEO]


If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at osborne@thisweekinfintech.com. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.

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This Week in Fintech - Asia | 25th Sept, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 25th Sept, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

This was a monster funding week for fintech startups in Asia. 10 Indian fintech startups announced raising $162mm (excluding two with undisclosed amounts).

9 fintech startups in Asia (ex. India) $716mm (excluding two with undisclosed amounts)!! A Pakistani fintech raised Pakistan’s largest seed round of $12mm.

Many products were launched this week along with other updates. Bhutan is expected to start trials on its CBDC while China’s regulators banned all crypto trading and mining.

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).


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to osborne@thisweekinfintech.com.


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - Asia Sponsor? Reach fintech founders, industry professionals and enthusiasts. Email me at sponsor@thisweekinfintech.com.


🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week

Translation of above tweet (for the international audience):

Me : Careful analysis + allocation, portfolio performance: 19% YTD

Husband : Random trading on tips from telegram groups, perf: +83% YTD

Me looking at latest addition to his portfolio: Do you even know what this company makes?

Husband : it makes me money!!


📊 Stat of the week

More than 50% of Indians live in an urban setting but only 3% of India's landmass is occupied by cities. Further, cities contribute to 60% of India's GDP. (Source)


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. LoanTap, a personal loan platform, announced a debt listing on BSE and raised ~$13.5mm.

  2. Indian government launched a fund to back fintech startups to take digital payments beyond cities.

  3. Fresh loans by NBFC's has reached pre-covid levels.

  4. US Government's senior trade officials privately called RBI's Mastercard ban "draconian".

  5. YES Bank started rolling out its VISA cards as Mastercard continues to be banned for new card issuance.

  6. Axis Bank committed $4bn in sustainable lending till FY26.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. Zomato partnered with InCred to launch zero fee working capital loans for its restaurant partners.

  2. Flipkart Wholesale partnered with Davinta Financial to launch BNPL for its SMB merchants.

  3. Fyp, a teen neo banking startup, launched "India's first holographic card" for teenagers.

  4. WheelsEMI launched its used two-wheeler finance product.

  5. Antworks launched AntPay - it's neo banking super app.

  6. FinBox launched Account Aggregator integration to augment its digital lending infrastructure.

  7. KFintech and CAMS launched MFCentral - SEBI-mandated, common platform for mutual fund investor services. Feature list here.

  8. OneCard partnered with Federal Bank to launch mobile-first credit card.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. ZestMoney, a BNPL startup, raised $ 50mm from Zip, an Australian BNPL company.

  2. KFin Technologies, a registrar and transfer agency service, raised $ 42mm from Kotak Mahindra Bank.

  3. Flobiz, a neo bank for small businesses, raised $ 31mm.

  4. Karbon, a SMB corporate credit card startup, raised $ 12mm.

  5. ePayLater, a BNPL platform for small businesses, raised $ 10mm.

  6. Chqbook, an SMB neo bank, raised $5.4mm.

  7. New Street, a blockchain transformation startup, raised $ 4mm.

  8. Inai, a payments orchestration platform, raised $ 4mm.

  9. CredRight, a SMB finance platform, raised $ 2.7mm.

  10. HappyCredit, an instant cashback and rewards platform, raised $ 670K.

  11. IppoPay, a payments platform for small businesses, raised an undisclosed amount.

  12. Razorpay, an Indian payments platform, raised an undisclosed amount from Salesforce.

Acquisition announcement:

  1. M2P/YAP acquired Wizi App, a credit card sourcing startup for $ 5mm.

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. China's regulators banned all crypto trading and mining.

  2. Stripe's Indonesia launch might face regulatory hurdles.

  3. Singapore is expected to launch new licensing regime for cyber security providers by 2022.

  4. Fraction, a Thai fractional real estate investment platform, received its final regulatory approval to launch its service.

  5. Tonik Bank, Philippines' first digital bank, launched Quick Loan a 15 min loan product.

  6. NTUC Income, an insurance cooperative in Singapore, launched a micro investment-linked plan (ILP) on its app.

  7. In 2020, 55% of new e-commerce users in Indonesia chose to use BNPL options as banks are starting to launch their own offerings.

  8. Indepay, an Indonesian social commerce app, launched tara.app, an open transfer platform for digital payments between consumers and MSMEs.

  9. iFast, a Singaporean stock broker and Singapore's best performing stock in 2020, valuation crossed $2bn

  10. PayMaya, a Philippine, Tencent-backed payments platform, received its digital bank license in the Philippines.

  11. Traveloka launched Southeast Asia’s first PayLater ‘Virtual Card Number’ for payments outside Traveloka.

  12. ADB Bank launched an NFT Challenge inviting applications from startups for NFT solutions.

  13. Report suggests that embedded wealth opportunity in APAC is ~$32bn.

  14. Bhutan is expected to pilot its carbon-neutral CBDC with Ripple.

  15. GooglePay partnered with Fave to offer Singaporean users loyalty cashback.

  16. InvestaX launched a Securities Token Exchange as part of Singapore's MAS Fintech Sandbox.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. Advance Intelligence Group, the Singaporean holding company of Atome, Advance.AI, Kredit Pintar and many others, raised $400mn.

  2. XTransfer, a Chinese cross border payments startup, raised $ 138mm.

  3. Cobo, a crypto custody and financial services startup, raised $ 40mm.

  4. Spenmo, a Singaporean spend management company, raised $ 34mm.

  5. Oy! Indonesia, an Indonesian payments company, raised $ 30mm at $ 100mm valuation.

  6. Bolttech, a Singaporean Insurance infrastructure company, raised additional $30mm as part of its $ 180mm Series A funding.

  7. Evermos, an Indonesian sharia-compliant social commerce company, raised $ 30mm from UOB Bank.

  8. TAG, a Pakistani payments platform, raised $ 12mm (Pakistan's largest seed round) at $ 100mm valuation.

  9. Komunal, an Indonesian rural neo-bank, raised $ 2.1mm.

  10. Leflair, a Vietnamese data-driven loyalty startup, raised an undisclosed amount in its Series C.

  11. Sribuu, an Indonesian personal finance startup, raised an undisclosed amount.


🧐 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

  1. Decentralised freedom fighters🕊

  2. Wall Street Influencers Are Making $500,000, Topping Even Bankers

  3. Coatue: The cub on the prowl

  4. Ransomware payments made in half of global attacks; 87% of U.S. targets paid up, against 33% in Japan, survey finds

  5. 6 thoughts on India’s Gen Z from 2am VC

  6. The Fintech Cauldron- Loan Risk Calculation in SME Lending

  7. What is a Managing General Agent (MGA) in insurance parlance?


If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at osborne@thisweekinfintech.com. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.

1-min Anonymous Feedback: Your feedback helps me improve this newsletter. Click UPVOTE 👍🏽 or DOWNVOTE 👎🏽

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn

This Week in Fintech - Asia | 18th Sept, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 18th Sept, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

We’re beyond excited to share that Christine Chang is joining us to run our new Latin America fintech newsletter. She joins Nik (US/Global), Katie, Michael (Europe), Cristina, and Ben in helping us build out the world’s best fintech news overview and community.

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).


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to osborne@thisweekinfintech.com.


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - Asia Sponsor? Reach fintech founders, industry professionals and enthusiasts. Email me at sponsor@thisweekinfintech.com.


🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. India and Singapore will link their instant bank transfer payment systems UPI and PayNow to enable instant cross border remittance.

  2. CoinSwitch Kuber, an Indian crypto exchange, is expected to raise funds from a16z (its first in India) and others at a valuation of $ 2bn

  3. SBI’s Global Deputy CTO Amit Saxena joined RBI Innovation Hub as CTO.

  4. Invesco Mutual Fund filed documents with SEBI (securities regulator) for blockchain fund.

  5. The Indian Finance Ministry announced $ 4.2bn guaranteed support for the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL) or bad bank.

  6. Indian stocks listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange crossed $ 3.54tn in valuation and is the 5th largest globally.

  7. White Oak Capital received approval from SEBI (securities regulator) to acquire YES Mutual Fund.

  8. M2P/YAP claimed to process 13mm credit card transactions in Aug-21 representing 7-8% of overall CC market.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. OneCard partnered with PineLabs to enable EMI option at POS for OneCard's customers.

  2. Razorpay launched Address Verification System (AVS) for cross border payments, first Indian payment gateway to launch this feature.

  3. Tata Capital launched digital loans against mutual fund investments.

📝 Regulatory Updates:

  1. RBI (central bank): Sandbox cohorts. Allowed non-bank regulated entities to apply for Aadhaar e-KYC license. Announced the acceptance of 8 participants, including Open and Cashfree, in the cross border payments sandbox. Opened applications for its third regulatory sandbox cohort for SMB lending.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. Bright Money, an AI-powered wealth management startup, raised $ 31mm.

  2. Livquik, a payment platform, raised $4mm in strategic funding from M2P (YAP).

  3. Paytail, a BNPL startup, raised $ 1.5mm.

  4. Jupiter, a neobank, raised additional funding from QED.

  5. Easiloans, a home finance startup, raised $ 1.1mm.

  6. 4Fin, a loan distribution startup, raised $ 1.1mm.

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Chinese regulators are formalising a plan to split Alipay to have a separate app for loans.

  2. DBS partnered with SWIFT Network to launch cross border payment tracking.

  3. MAS Singapore and SEC Thailand launched Depository Receipt linkages to increase cross border investment in stocks between the two countries.

  4. Tazapay, a cross-border trade digital escrow startup, launched escrow-as-a-service (EaaS) in partnership with eight global B2B marketplaces.

  5. Indonesian tech execs met with parliament to discuss e-commerce, data security, and tech sector maturation.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. Xendit, an Indonesian payments startup, raised $ 150mm at a unicorn valuation.

  2. Pine Labs, a South and South East Asian payments company, raised $ 100mm in its pre-IPO round.

  3. Pluang, an Indonesian wealth management app, raised $ 35mm.

  4. Bluesheets, a Singaporean bookkeeping startup, raised $ 1.5mm.

  5. Rey Assurance, an Indonesian health insurance startup, raised $ 1mm.

  6. Vida, Indonesian digital identity startup, raised an undisclosed amount.


🌏 International

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

  1. Digital Economy: India's Account Aggregator System Is Plagued by Privacy and Safety Issues

  2. India video apps have 4x more influencers than TikTok did pre-ban

  3. The Apple v. Epic Decision by Stratechery

  4. What buying its first NFTs says about Visa’s broader crypto strategy

  5. Financial services unchained: The ongoing rise of open financial data by McKinsey

  6. How fintechs are addressing financial inclusion barriers in the Philippines

  7. B2B Payments: Unlocking a Multi-Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

  8. Understanding BNPL

  9. Fintech in LatAm: Banking the Unbanked


If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at osborne@thisweekinfintech.com. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.

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