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.

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


🌏 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.

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

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn