Though 2021 is coming to an end, the fintech sector in Asia and Australasia is showing no signs of slowing for the holidays. With the appetite for innovative fintech growth a constant presence in the industry, The Fintech Times takes a look at some of the top fintech funding rounds seen in the regions over the last few weeks.
Finder announced that it has secured its first external funding since its inception in 2006. Specialist technology growth investor Future Now Capital has committed an initial $30 million (AUD) which kicks off the capital raise process for Finder after 15 years of being bootstrapped.
The raise implies a pre-money $650 million (AUD) valuation for Finder, which launched in Australia and now operates as a global personal finance platform available in more than 50 countries. The funding will contribute to Finder’s development of innovative and compelling consumer products in key markets including Australia, USA, UK and Asia.
Finder founder, Fred Schebesta, said: “This is a milestone in Finder’s history. We are a 15-year-old technology company that has been bootstrapped since day one. And today we are taking on our first ever partner to help accelerate the accessibility of our innovative financial management platform to a global audience.”
Indonesian fintech Gajigesa announced that it raised $6.6million in pre-series A funding in November. The round was led by MassMutual Ventures, with participation from January Capital, Wagestream, Bunda Group, Smile Group and more.
The company was founded in 2020 by husband and wife team Vidit Agrawal and Martyna Malinowska, and offers Earned Wage Access (EWA) and other services for workers in Indonesia aiming to help the unbanked populations.
Gajigesa cofounder Martyna Malinowska said that the funds would be used to develop products and expand to markets across Southeast Asia.
“We welcome new investors as we look to double down on growth to expand financial stability for millions of workers in Indonesia and across the region,” Malinowska said in a statement.
Pace, a Singapore-based fintech solution company that allows customers to ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL), announced that it has raised $40 million in its Series A investment round. Investors that joined the round include UOB Venture Management (Singapore), Marubeni Ventures (Japan), Atinum Partners (South Korea), AppWorks (Taiwan), and a series of family offices from Japan and Indonesia.
Turochas ‘T’ Fuad, Founder and CEO of Pace, said: “This investment from some of the most successful and established investors signals confidence that Pace is a leading BNPL player in Asia. The region is expected to become the world’s fastest-growing BNPL market, and this funding supports Pace in achieving its mission of democratising financial services for all, by helping us pave our expansion into Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.”
Following this investment round, Pace is now the fastest-growing multi-territory BNPL player from Singapore. The new funding will go towards expanding technology, operations, and business development, to hit a Gross Merchandise Value run rate of $1 billion in 2022 and grow its user base by 25X over the next 12 months.
Online bank YouTrip raised a $30 million Series A, bringing YouTrips total funding to more than $60 million. Launched in 2018 as a multicurrency payments app and prepaid card aimed at travellers, the company has seen more than 1.5 million app downloads and processed around 20 million transactions across Singapore and Thailand to date. The round was led by prominent family offices in Asia who prefer to remain unnamed, according to founder and CEO Caecilia Chu.
The Singapore based fintech will utilise the funding to “supercharge the company’s technological capabilities to bolster its suite of payment products”, in particular, to enter the adjacent B2B payments space as well as accelerating its entrance into the wider Southeast Asia it announced in a blog post.
“We have transformed tremendously as a company since our last round of funding. From a mobile travel wallet, we have grown to establish a strong foothold in new territories such as overseas online spending to meet the extraordinary shifts in consumer behaviours,” YouTrip’s CEO and Co-founder Caecilia Chu said.
“We believe there is untapped potential in cross-border payments, and our market-leading position in this space puts us in a good place to serve more of our users’ payment needs – from travellers to online shoppers, and now businesses.
As a company, this latest round also gives us the resources to strengthen our multiple growth engines to stay resilient and well-primed for expansion into new vistas.”
Airwallex, one of the fastest-growing global fintech platforms, announced it has raised an additional $100 million in a Series E1 financing round. This new funding raises Airwallex’s valuation to $5.5 billion and comes just a month after Airwallex announced an oversubscribed Series E round as the company looks to accelerate its global expansion plans. This latest round takes Airwallex’s total Series E fundraising to $300 million, with $802 million raised in total.
Airwallex’s Series E1 funding round was again oversubscribed, on the back of strong underlying business performance and momentum. Lone Pine Capital remained the lead for this financing, alongside other existing investors including 1835i Ventures, the venture capital partner to ANZ, and Sequoia Capital China.
“Our record performance last quarter demonstrates the tremendous demand from customers who are seeking better solutions to operate their businesses,” said Jack Zhang, Co-founder and CEO of Airwallex. “As we approach our sixth anniversary, we want to continue to connect entrepreneurs, business builders, and makers with opportunities in every corner of the world. This new capital injection will allow us to do just that, fuelling M&A opportunities that will accelerate our global expansion plans, pursuing our mission to empower businesses to grow without borders.”
Ula, a B2B e-commerce marketplace in Indonesia, secured an additional $23.1 million funding from Tiger Global. Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart also participated to complete Ula’s Series B funding round.
The fresh fund infusion follows the $87 million previously announced in October in a round co-led by Prosus Ventures, Tencent and B-Capital, who were joined by Jeff Bezos’s Bezos Expeditions, Northstar group, AC Ventures and Citius. With a total Series B funding of 110 Million, Ula will continue to invest in geographic, product and team expansion, with a special focus on supporting underserved retailer communities through technology in Tier 2 to 4 cities. This includes expanding a Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) offering, empowering small business owners to sell within their communities, and incorporating advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) to support retailers in improving business management.
“The additional funding in our Series B round demonstrates continued investor interest and firm belief in Ula’s vision and mission. We are grateful and excited for the opportunity to build a platform that not only empowers traditional retailers, but one that reimagines the traditional retail industry. As we move forward, we will continue to take a customer-first approach to address underlying problems with technology,” said Nipun Mehra, CEO and Co-Founder at Ula.
AI Rudder, a voice AI startup based in Singapore, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia China Seed Fund. Existing investors Zhen Fund, IMO Ventures, Zizhu Xiaomiao Fund, and Huashan Capital also participated in the round.
Founded in July 2019, AI Rudder uses voice AI technology to help businesses solve B2C communication challenges across a range of different industries, such as banking and finance, fintech, and e-commerce. The fresh fund infusion will be used to further propel the company’s growth and expansion to more countries in Asia Pacific and beyond. On the product side, the new round will be used to enhance AI and product capabilities to provide more intelligent voice and language services.
“Consumers want faster, frictionless experiences while interacting with brands and their services, and AI Rudder’s technology makes this possible at scale. With the new funding, we will be able to support more languages and expand our capabilities, enabling our mission to boost customer experiences across industries. We are grateful to our investors for their support and feel supercharged for the next phase of growth,” said Kun Wu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, AI Rudder.