This Week in Fintech - Asia | 21st Aug, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 21st Aug, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

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

We’ve had a bunch of product launches this week - 11 in total (7 in India, 4 in Asia)! There were 9 fund raises for a total of $815mm raised ($700mm raised by one fintech). The Philippine central bank is pausing its digital bank license approvals for 3 years and the South Korean central bank is expected to tighten cryptocurrency regulations.

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.


🦉🏆 Tweet of the Week


🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. FloBiz claims to have 250% growth in monthly active users, 5mm downloads and $ 883mm in transaction volume recorded on its small business invoice app MyBillBook.

  2. Pine Labs was allegedly hit by ransomware with potential impact on bank clients.

  3. ZestMoney received IRDAI’s corporate agent licence to enter the insurance distribution business.

  4. RBI allowed HDFC Bank to begin issuing cards again after an 8-month ban.

  5. July, 2021 recorded the lowest failure rate for auto debits in FY22 of 33.2%. Failure rates hovered around 34-36% so far.

  6. TrueBalance, an instant digital loan app, raised $ 15mm in debt for its NBFC arm.

  7. Dozens of businesses including Amazon, Zomato, TATA Group, Reliance, Razorpay, CRED and more, have applied for Payment Aggregator licenses from RBI.

  8. Fintech and Ecommerce startups are preparing for disruptions as RBI’s payment norms deadline nears.

  9. Clear, formerly ClearTax, is investing $15mn to build MaxITC, an automated input tax credit product, for businesses.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. Plum and Razorpay partnered to launch a payroll and employee health insurance product for all of Razorpay's small business users.

  2. PayNearby partnered with Visa and RBL Bank to launch SoftPoS and mPOS solutions.

  3. Uni, a credit card startup, launched Pay 1/3rd card.

  4. CRED launched CRED Mint, a P2P lending platform for its users to lend to each other.

  5. Capital Float and Razorpay partnered to launch BNPL products for end-consumers of Razorpay's 100K online businesses.

  6. Facebook launched small business loans product in partnership with Indifi.

  7. Setu launched an account aggregator sandbox.

💰 Fund Raise Announcements

  1. PhonePe, Walmart-owned Flipkart's payments company, raised $700mm.

  2. Smallcase, a investment platform for stock and ETF basket creation, raised $ 40mm.

  3. Klub*, a revenue based finance company, raised $ 20mm.

  4. Eduvanz, an education finance platform, raised $ 15mm.

  5. Xpresslane, a 1-click checkout platform, raised $ 500K.

  6. YPay, a teenager focused payment platform, raised $ 400K.

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Indonesia and Thailand launched instant cross-border QR payment linkage.

  2. PayU controlled Red Dot Payments in South East Asia received VISA and Mastercard direct acquiring licenses.

  3. Global cryptocurrency platforms operating in South Korea are stopping transactions locally in anticipation of strict crypto regulations

  4. Kakao Corp. launched blockchain business in Singapore.

  5. Union Bank of Philippines partnered with Hex Trust to provide digital asset custody services.

  6. UPaisa, a payments platform of Pakistan's UBank and Ufone, launched government payments feature.

  7. Wave Money, Myanmar's largest payments platform, lost half of its app users since Myanmar’s coup in February, 2021.

  8. Fatfish, an Australian BNPL public company, raised $ 8mm for BNPL growth in Southeast Asia.

  9. Liquid, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, was hit by a hack with theft estimated at $ 94mm.

  10. Coinbase launched in Japan through partnership with MUFG.

  11. Thai Central Bank is set to test retail digital currencies in 2022.

  12. Philippine Central Bank said it will stop accepting digital bank license applications and limit digital banks in the country to seven.

  13. Tencent's financial services business reported 40% growth in Q2 2021 to $ 6.5bn driven largely by digital payments.

💰 Fund Raise Announcements

Fund raises:

  1. PDAX, a Philippine digital asset exchange, raised $ 12.5mm.

  2. LifePal, an Indonesian insurance marketplace, raised $ 9mm.

  3. Jenfi, a Singaporean revenue based finance startup, raised $ 6.3mm.

Acquisitions:

  1. HSBC acquired AXA Singapore for $ 575mm to expand its wealth management footprint in Asia.

  2. AMTD Digital acquired DigFin, an online financial content firm.


🌏 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. Insurance industry is poised for its “PayPal moment” in Asia

  2. 🔒 What does Brazil's new receivables regulation mean for Fintechs

  3. As a part of Bahrain’s vision 2030, the National Bank of Bahrain launched its digital banking challenge

  4. 6 takeaways from Startup Indonesia’s report on opportunities in the digital economy

  5. Southeast Asia Gears up for Open Finance Movement

  6. A look at Nigeria's growing fintech ecosystem which has seen 40% of total funding and how 60mm adults without bank accounts are using fintechs

  7. Embedded Insurance: Where insurance is bought, not sold

  8. The digital transformation of Manulife, a 134-year-old insurance company


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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