Top 5 Asian FinTech funding rounds that transpired in Jan 2021
By Edil Corneille
The beginning month of 2021 has already seen funding announcements taking place in the financial technology (FinTech) space in Asia. Individuals in the continent are considered to have a high acceptance for FinTech solutions. Across the globe, regulators cannot ignore disruption caused by FinTech in the financial services industry. Countries risk being left behind if they do not adapt quickly.
The COVID-19 pandemic has familiarised individuals increasingly with digital ways to carry out transactions, finding out the state of their financial health, and conducting banking activities, among others. This trend is expected to continue even after the pandemic ends.
Mentioned is a list of 5 top FinTech funding announcements where these Asian companies have managed to raise funds this month as the COVID-19 pandemic situation is said to get better.
Globe FinTech Innovations (Mynt), the FinTech arm of Globe Telecom and operator of the country’s mobile wallet, GCash, attracted fresh capital investment from ASP Philippines LP, a limited partnership fund managed by investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management (Bow Wave), to further spur the growth of financial inclusion and the digitisation of payments and financial services in the Philippines. Across 2020, GCash has been helping Filipinos get through their daily lives by providing them with digital payment options.
Mynt raised over USD 175 million in fresh capital from Bow Wave and its existing shareholders in multiple tranches, with post-money valuation of the final tranches close to USD 1 billion. Bow Wave is a close-ended private equity fund with a mandate to invest globally in online and mobile payment ecosystem companies. Bow Wave’s investment in Mynt, its first in the Philippines, will translate to a minority equity interest in the Mynt.
Jakarta-based Ajaib secured USD 25 million in its Series A round led by Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures and Alpha JWC Ventures, according to media reports. Existing investors such as SoftBank Ventures Asia, Insignia Ventures Partners, and Y Combinator participated in the round too. Ajaib is an online brokerage that allows Indonesians to buy and sell stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. Established in 2018, Ajaib is driven by a vision to increase the financial inclusion rate of the Indonesian people through investment.
The funding is intended to be used in the expansion of Ajaib’s technology infrastructure, recruitment of engineering talent, and the deepening of the company’s product offerings. Part of the capital will be invested for the MentorInvestasi education campaign to support the Indonesian government’s effort in the education of investing and financial planning for millennials.
InnoVen Capital, Asia’s venture debt and specialty lending firm, recently invested INR 600 million in BharatPe, an Indian FinTech payments platform. The recent investment was said to underline InnoVen Capital’s commitment to back promising companies that are disrupting their respective categories. BharatPe supports merchants to access credit and other value-added services. BharatPe was founded with the vision to make financial inclusion a reality for merchants.
BharatPe is a merchant focused payments platform that offers merchants a single interface for all existing UPI apps and allows merchants to accept UPI payments for free through the BharatPe QR. In India, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments into one hood.
Zerone Microsystems raised USD 1.3 million in its pre-Series A funding round led by IAN with participation from IAN Fund and TCA. Angel investors Sanjiv Bajaj, Raman Roy, Sanjay Rishi, and Mahesh Ramachandran led the funding round, according to media reports. Zerone offers cost-effective tech and FinTech solutions for rural and urban India.
The FinTech has built a cloud-based, ultra-low-cost solution called Bharat ZupPOS. It is said to help convert a smartphone into a payment terminal. Merchants can accept payment from credit cards, debit cards, and UPI apps such as BHIM without any additional hardware required. Zerone claims to have over 30,000 merchants. Zerone is said to thrive to bring solutions that are massively scalable and provide the best experiences.
The Qatar-based FinTech startup has closed a USD 220,000 pre-seed funding round from its founders and MBK Holding. Cwallet is now working closely with the Qatar Central Bank to obtain necessary licenses to launch its payroll and remittance feature in the near future. This blockchain-powered wallet provides enables merchants, including startups and e-commerce platforms, to use Cwallet as a built-in wallet for their app via API (application programming interface) integration.
Cwallet is looking to empower the unbanked community by granting them access to online payments without the use of credit cards. It has established numerous strategic partnerships with local and global players with a network of 447,000 locations in 160 countries and over 1 billion transfers securely sent. Cwallet was founded in June 2019 and aims to disrupt the current financial landscape model in Qatar.
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