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5 top exciting Asian FinTechs that raised funding in Nov 2020

fintech, Asia, funding, LinkAja, OurCrowd, Cashfree, True Balance, Statrys, Edil CorneilleCOVID-19 has accelerated the adoption and acceptance of financial technology (FinTech) with consumers increasingly using digital means to carry out transactions, find out the state of their financial health, and conduct other banking activities, among others. Banks are heavily focussing on investing in technology and staying relevant in the financial services market where FinTech startups are offering alternative solutions to existing banking services.

Regulators across the globe cannot ignore disruption in the financial services industry or else they risk being left behind as economies are rapidly adopting FinTech. Asian consumers are said to be tech-savvy when it comes to acceptance of FinTech solutions. In the present scenario, consumers are wary of conducting their banking activities by physically visiting the locations of financial institutions amidst the pandemic. The physical handling of cash is also considered risky. Thus, the outbreak has acted as a catalyst for the rising usage of FinTech.

In countries such as China and India, improved financial services and innovation in FinTech is inevitable due to the large existing populations in these countries. Traditional institutions are collaborating with FinTech startups to remain competitive in the market or else they risk losing customers due to a lack of personalised financial services. Below is a list of FinTech companies in Asia that have managed to raise funds in spite of the ongoing challenging situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

LinkAja

LinkAja IndonesiaSouth Jakarta-based LinkAja, a financial technology (FinTech) app, received a strategic investment from Grab, Southeast Asia’s super app. Grab led the series B stage as a minority shareholder and Telkomsel, BRI Ventura Investama and Mandiri Capital Indonesia also provided the funding.

The funding raised amounted to $100 million. It will be used to accelerate LinkAja’s growth focusing primarily on middle-class/ aspiring consumers and MSMEs in Indonesia.

Starting its operational business on June 30, 2019, LinkAja is the result of the synergy of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) in Indonesia. LinkAja has mentioned that it has continued to present electronic payment services for users and partners, as well as building a FinTech ecosystem. The company currently has over 58 million registered users, with more than 80 per cent of its users coming from tier 2 and 3 cities in Indonesia.

In this investment fundraising, Credit Suisse and Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung acted as exclusive fund placement agencies and legal advisors for LinkAja, while Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners acted as legal advisors for Grab.

OurCrowd

OurCrowd, venture investing platform, Jerusalem, IsraelIsrael’s OurCrowd, a venture investing platform, received an investment of $60 million from ORIX. OurCrowd plans to provide the Japanese diversified financial services giant ORIX with access to technologies and companies.

Under the terms of the agreement, ORIX and OurCrowd will collaborate in agreed focus areas and will establish financial products and investment opportunities suited for the Japanese and global markets. This will include curated access to both venture capital funds and individual portfolio companies on a deal-by-deal basis.

ORIX and OurCrowd will work to further increase cooperation between the two countries and enhance opportunities for Israeli startups throughout Asia.

The OurCrowd community consists of almost 60,000 registered investors from over 183 countries. OurCrowd has more than $1.5 billion in commitments and has made investments in more than 220 companies and 23 funds. OurCrowd has had many exits, including the IPOs of Beyond Meat and Lemonade, the acquisition of JUMP Bike by Uber, the acquisition of Briefcam by Canon, the acquisition of Argus by Continental, the acquisition of Crosswise by Oracle, and the acquisition of Replay by Intel, among others.

Nomura International acted as Adviser to OurCrowd in connection with the transaction.

Cashfree

Cashfree, FinTech, payments, banking, IndiaIndian FinTech Cashfree raised $35.3 million in its Series B funding round. The investment was led by growth stage financial services investor, Apis Growth Fund II, with participation from existing investor Y Combinator.

Cashfree processes online payments for thousands of Indian businesses. The company is a 2017 alumnus of Y Combinator, the start-up incubator based in San Francisco, and has processed over $12 billion annualised payment volumes as of March 2020.

The investment comes as Cashfree’s rapid growth is said to have accelerated with rising e-commerce penetration. The investment will support the company’s growth plans including launching and further rolling out new products.

More recently Cashfree has introduced solutions such as an instant settlement offering on its payment gateway and a UPI Stack with 15 ready-to-use integrations for all business payment needs including collections, disbursals, and verifications using UPI infrastructure. The investment will also assist the company in making selective bolt-on acquisitions to further augment its geographic and product reach.

True Balance

True Balance, India, Korea, FinTech, credit, lending, Indo-KoreaTrue Balance, a FinTech app operated by Balancehero India, the wholly owned subsidiary of Balancehero Korea, raised $28 million in funding from a cohort of investors including SoftBank Ventures Asia, Naver, BonAngels, Daesung Private Equity, and Shinhan Capital.

The Seoul & Gurugram headquartered FinTech had previously raised $62 million from SoftBank Ventures Asia, Line Ventures Corporation, D3 Jubilee Partners, and a host of other global investors.

Said to have earned the trust of its users through its digital financial services, True Balance has expanded its portfolio to bring full stack financial services to low-income citizenry, making finance available for all.

In early 2020, True Balance pivoted the business to a very strong focus on small loans across India. The Series D investment will largely fuel Balance Hero’s mission to achieve breakeven point for their business and achieve profitability by Q2 of next year.

Statrys

Statrys, digital, payments, FinTech, Hong KongHong Kong-based digital payment services platform, Statrys, accepted a $5 million funding round to help kick off its newest products. This round was led via a closed-door funding arrangement with an angel investor in the region with the expectation for Statrys to carve out its market share in the growing digital payment and remittance space.

Statrys is a payments solution alternative geared towards SMEs, startups, and entrepreneurs who require flexible banking and advanced forex solutions.

The funding round was a part of Statry’s global growth strategy, starting with a big push into Asia to help support SMEs and entrepreneurs with business accounts, forex needs, and other payments solutions that larger payment processors charge higher fees for, or banks simply won’t provide.

The investment is intended to expand the company’s presence and its ability to serve clients in ASEAN countries like Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Statrys will be launching its own Statrys Debit Payment MasterCard for Hong Kong for local entrepreneurs so that they can make payments from their Statrys business accounts at all MasterCard participating retailers and vendors, currently in Hong Kong Dollars only.

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