This Week in Fintech - Asia | 04th Sept, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 04th Sept, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

Welcome to the fifth edition of This Week in Fintech - Asia!

Whoever said there’s nothing exciting happening in the payments industry was clearly wrong. India saw its largest ever fintech acquisition in the payments sector - Prosus-owned PayU India announced it will acquire Billdesk for $ 4.7bn.

11 fintech startups announced raising a total of $ 225+mm this week. There’s also news on Indian startups receiving various licenses and expanding globally. Asian startups as well saw license approvals, Chinese regulatory clampdown effects and more.

Note: There will be no TWIF Asia edition next week i.e. 11th Sept, 2021. Taking a break from the fintech news cycle. Will be back with an edition on 18th Sept, 2021. Thanks for your support. If you need to reach me, I’m at osborne@thisweekinfintech.com.

Please enjoy all the details 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

India’s household gold holding, largely in the form of jewelry, i.e. 21,733 tons, accounts for 11% of the total gold mined in the world and is more than the combined gold reserves of USA, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, China, Singapore and other central banks. (Source)


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. Government reported 430mm total Jan Dhan bank accounts as on 18th Aug, 2021.

  2. Fino Payments Bank is exploring a reverse merger with its holding company.

  3. Turtlemint claims to have 120K agents in the network with quarterly premiums growing 110% YoY.

  4. EnKash claims to have issued 200K corporate credit cards between Feb-2020 and Jul-2021 with over 70K businesses as customers.

  5. RBI data reported that non-bank food credit grew 6.2% in July, 2021 whereas growth in credit the Industry sector grew 1% in July, 2021.

  6. Razorpay is in talks to raise $ 250mm at $ 4bn valuation.

  7. Zerodha received approval from SEBI (securities regulator) to set up an AMC.

  8. RBI released names of two entities i.e. Tally and Cosmea that applied for small finance banks licenses.

  9. PhonePe received its insurance brokerage license approval.

  10. Indian banks launched Account Aggregator framework to manage financial data consent.

  11. Reliance Jio surrendered its Account Aggregator license.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. Signzy launched in UAE in partnership with Seed Group, a company of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum.

  2. BharatPe partnered with Axis Bank to roll out POS devices.

  3. mSwipe launched e-RUPI integration across its POS devices.

💰 Financing Announcements

Fund Raise announcement

  1. Skeps, a POS financing platform, raised $ 9.5mm.

  2. deserv., a wealth management startup for affluent Indians, raised $ 7mm.

  3. OTO Capital, a two wheeler leasing startup, raised $ 6mm.

  4. Jar, a round up investing app, raised $ 4.5mm.

  5. Altius Investech, a pre-IPO investing platform, raised $ 810K.

  6. Karbon Card, a corporate card startup, raised an undisclosed amount.

Acquisition announcement

  1. Prosus owned PayU India will acquire BillDesk for $ 4.7bn, subject to approvals, which will be India’s largest Fintech acquisition.

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


🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Paidy, a Japanese BNPL platform, is expected to file for IPO later in 2021.

  2. UnionBank of Philippines partnered with VISA's fast track program to offer startups in VISA's program BIN sponsorship.

  3. Standard Chartered partnered with its portfolio company LinkLogis to build Olea - a trade finance origination and distribution platform on blockchain.

  4. Chinese regulator pledged to take action against fake and mismanaged private mutual funds and wants to be more assertive on the $ 9.2tn industry.

  5. FOMO Pay has been granted three licenses including payment token services from MAS.

  6. Kakao Pay, South Korea’s largest online payment service, lowered its targeted IPO to $1.3bn at the request of Korean regulators concerned about soaring tech valuations.

  7. Futu Holdings, a Hong Kong online brokerage and wealth management platform, reported that it has more than doubled its quarterly revenue to $ 203mm.

  8. Singapore exchange may relax guidelines for SPAC listings.

  9. Mercari, Japanese recommerce platform, partnered with Zip to offer BNPL on the website.

  10. Airwallex, Australian cross border payments startup, received its international payments license in Malaysia.

  11. China's Weibo banned 52 stock tip accounts, including one with 3.52mm followers, to comply with new finance regulations.

  12. Nayapay, a Pakistani payments company, became the first startup to receive license to operate as an electronic money institution.

  13. Bytedance is planning to downsize its financial services business starting with finding suitors to sell its securities businesses in China and Hong Kong.

  14. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) added Binance to its Investor Alert List.

💰 Financing Announcements

  1. AwanTunai, an Indonesian small business finance startup, raised 56.2mm.

  2. Sunday, a Thai insurance startup, raised $ 45mm.

  3. KiotViet, a Vietnamese POS startup, raised $ 45mm.

  4. Zipmex, a Thai digital asset exchange, raised $ 41mm led by Kungsri (Thailand's fifth largest bank)

  5. Ayoconnect, a Indonesian open finance data startup, raised $ 10mm.


🌏 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. APAC E-Commerce Customers Embrace Digital Wallets and Buy Now, Pay Later

  2. SEBI is planning regulations for digital gold trading platforms.

  3. The microfinance debt crisis that is crushing Cambodia

  4. Southeast Asia added 70 million online consumers during pandemic

  5. NFTs and Intellectual Property


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