This Week in Fintech - Asia | 28th Aug, 2021

Fintech news, updates and fund raise announcements from Asia for the week ending 28th Aug, 2021

Hi fintech friends,

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

Small business digitisation fintech startups were back in the news - Khatabook* raised $ 100mm, Bazaar (Pakistan) raised $ 30mm and mKhata (Pakistan) raised an undisclosed amount. Indonesia’s central bank introduced new rules and regulations for digital banks. Paytm forged a mega partnership with HDFC Bank and will soon launch products across payments, credit, insurance and wealth.

10 fintech startups raised a total of $ 194mm (4 undisclosed rounds) and 12 new fintech products were launched.

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

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🦉🏆 Tweet of the Week

📊 Stat of the week

Fintech startups in US diverted $8 billion to $10 billion in annual revenues away from banks. (source)

🇮🇳 India

📰 Market Updates

  1. ICICI Bank in Germany launched an instant digital banking product for Indian students studying in Germany.

  2. UAE integrated with India's UPI to launch cross border payments.

  3. India's finance ministry pulls up Infosys for the tax platform glitches.

  4. Bajaj Finserv received SEBI approval to set up a mutual fund.

  5. RBI (India's central bank) paused its plan to grant licenses to consortiums that applied to launch payment networks competing with NPCI.

  6. SEBI (securities regulator) and NSE (Indian stock exchange) banned brokerages from selling digital gold.

  7. PhonePe received an in-principle approval from RBI to operate as an Account Aggregator.

  8. Riskcovry reportedly generated $ 14mm in premiums in FY21 (ended Mar, 2021) and crossed 220K policies issued.

🚀 Product Launches

  1. Paytm partnered with HDFC Bank and is expected to launch a slew of products "across payment gateway, POS machines and credit products including Paytm Postpaid which is the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution, Eazy EMI and Flexi Pay"

  2. Cashaa partnered with Polygon in an effort to reduce ethereum network fees which is becoming a bottleneck for its growth.

  3. Google Pay launched fixed deposit savings product.

  4. WheelsEMI partnered with YES Bank for two-wheeler financing product.

  5. Freo (previously MoneyTap) launched a bank account with 7% interest on deposits greater than INR 1 lac ($ 1,351).

  6. INDMoney launched Super Saver Account, a US account for Indians to transfer money to invest in US stocks.

  7. MyGate, a neighbourhood community management app, launched insurance for house help.

  8. BharatPe launched 12% Club, a P2P lending app targeting $ 50mm AUM.

  9. Paytm launched a feature to pay merchants and friends directly from one's Paytm bank fixed deposit.

📝 Regulatory Updates

RBI (central bank): Expanded the scope of permitted devices for payment tokenisation to include laptops, desktops, smartwatches, IOT devices and more.

SEBI (Securities regulator): Introduced modalities for implementation of the framework for Accredited Investors. Approved implementation of blockchain for non-convertible debentures.

💰 Fund Raise Announcements

  1. Khatabook*, a small business digitisation startup, raised $100mm.

  2. IndiaGold, a digital gold loan platform, raised $12mm.

  3. Akudo, a teenage focused neo bank, raised an undisclosed amount.

  4. Winvesta, a cross border banking and wealth startup, raised an undisclosed amount.

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🌏 Asia

📰 Market Updates

  1. Mizuho Bank, Japan's 3rd largest bank by assets, suffered its fifth major systems outage in 2021

  2. Nium launched Amaze, a 5-in-1 multicurrency card where a person can link up to five currency bank accounts.

  3. Philippine Department of Finance released a statement that users of Axie Infinity will have to pay income taxes on "trade of pets"

  4. Brick, a fintech API startup, released new developer tools.

  5. OJK, Indonesia's banking regulator, introduced new rules and regulations for digital banking.

  6. Thunes partnered with a bank in Pakistan to offer cross border payments to Pakistan.

  7. VISA partnered with Singapore-based Ascenda to offer rewards and loyalty to VISA's customers in Asia Pacific.

  8. MarCoPay, a Philippine e-money app for seafarers, received its e-money license to operate in Philippines.

  9. Alipay invested $15mm into Singaporean restaurant management app Chope as part of partnership to build mini apps.

  10. Leading Indonesian bank (Bank Central Asia) is investing $200mm in its digital bank arm to fend off competition from Gojek, Sea and others.

  11. FinAccel, SEA BNPL firm, launched in Vietnam.

💰 Fund Raise Announcements

  1. Bazaar, a Pakistani digital ledger startup, raised $ 30mm.

  2. HonestBank, a South East Asian credit platform, raised $ 19.7mm at a $ 113mm valuation.

  3. XREX, a Taiwanese cross border trade platform, raised $ 17mm.

  4. Alethea AI, a Singaporean "intelligent" NFT platform, raised $ 16mm.

  5. Fundiin, a Vietnamese BNPL startup, raised an undisclosed amount.

  6. mKhata, a Pakistani digital booking keeping app for SMB, 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. The Intersection of Fintech & the Creator Economy

  2. Facebook's Diem: A Dream Deferred?

  3. Tesla Insurance: worth more than Aviva (by FT)

  4. Bank of America granted record number of patents

  5. Every Company Will Spin Out a Fintech Company by a16z

  6. Buy now, pay later: Five business models to compete by McKinsey & Co.

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