The Most Well-Funded Fintech Startups in APAC by Country in 2019by Fintechnews Singapore September 18, 2019
Global fintech investment witnessed a massive surge in 2018 with most of that amount going towards companies in Asia Pacific (APAC).
Out of the US$55.3 billion raised by fintech companies last year, 54% of that was raised by APAC companies, including those in China, India, Australia, Japan and Singapore.
Based on officially disclosed funding and data provided by CB Insights, Tracxn, Owler, and other platforms, the following companies are APAC’s most well funded fintech startups by country.
Ant Financial Services Group – US$19.145 billion (China)
Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate company of e-commerce giant Alibaba, operates Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payments platform as well as Yu’e Bao, the world’s largest money-market fund. It also runs Sesame Credit, a third-party credit rating system.
Ant Financial is the highest valued fintech company in the world and the world’s most valuable unicorn startup company with a valuation of US$150 billion. It is also the the most well funded tech startup in China, according to CB Insights.
Grab – US$8.1 billion (Singapore)
Grab started as an on-demand transportation platform before expanding into other verticals, including financial services, and become one of Southeast Asia’s so-called super apps.
The Grab platform offers services that include include peer-to-peer (P2P) ridesharing, ride service hailing, food deliveries, digital payments, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) loans, and micro-insurance. The company is now looking to launch its first cross-border remittance corridor between Singapore and the Philippines in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Grab is Singapore’s first “decacorn” valued at more than US$10 billion, and is the most well funded tech startup in the city-state, according to CB Insights.
Paytm – US$2.3 billion (India)
Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company, based out of Noida, India.
Paytm is available in 11 Indian languages and offers online use-cases like mobile recharges, utility bill payments, travel, movies, and events bookings as well as in-store payments at grocery stores, fruits and vegetable shops, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies and educational institutions with the Paytm QR code.
Paytm claims that over seven million merchants across India use its QR code payments system to accept payments directly into their bank account.
In total, Paytm has raised US$2.3 billion in funding, according to Owler.
Gojek – US$3.335 billion (Indonesia)
Gojek is another Southeast Asian super app, providing an on-demand multi-service platform and digital payments.
The company was first established in Indonesia in 2010 as a call center to connect consumers to courier delivery and two-wheeled ride-hailing services. Today, Gojek provides more than 20 services, including GoPay, Indonesia’s fourth biggest e-wallet service, behind the country’s largest lenders.
Gojek operates in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines (through the acquisition of Coins.ph), and is Indonesia’s first unicorn and decacorn company. It is also the most well funded tech startup in Indonesia, according to CB Insights.
WeLab – US$425 million (Hong Kong)
WeLab is a fintech company that offers mobile lending services primarily in Hong Kong and mainland China. WeLab operates WeLend and the WeLab virtual bank in Hong Kong, Wolaidai, Taoxinji and Tian Mian in mainland China and Maucash in Indonesia. The company also offers business-to-business (B2B) enterprise solutions by partnering with traditional financial institutions, which utilize WeLab’s technology to offer fintech-enabled services to their customers.
Toss – US$250 million (South Korea)
Viva Republica, through its mobile app Toss, provides a P2P mobile payments platform in South Korea. Instead of the usual mobile banking involving OTP devices and multiple passwords, Toss models itself after Venmo and simplifies the process for bill-sharing, and other P2P-related transactions. Toss also partners with incumbent financial institutions, and other fintech players with services related to their financial lives, like loans, payments, investments, credit score management, spending analytics and insurance.
The company has raised about US$250 million in funding so far, according to the Investor.
Freee – US$227.9 million (Japan)
Japan’s Freee is an automated cloud accounting software that syncs with a company’s bank accounts and automatically categorize entries to create financial reports. Freee operates under a freemium model, and its paid plans begin at only 980 JPY (~US$10) per month per business.
Freee was launched in 2013 and is offered to SMEs operating under the Japanese taxation system. Since then, the company has expanded into HR cloud-based software as well, and claims to have over one million business accounts.
Freee has raised US$227.9 million in funding so far.
Easypaisa – US$185 million (Pakistan)
Easypaisa is a mobile wallet solution for offline and bill payments founded in 2009 by Telenor Pakistan in collaboration with Tameer Microfinance Bank.
Easypaisa services either through over-the-counter (OTC) transactions by visiting Easypaisa outlets or through mobile phones using mobile accounts. Services offered include bill payment, sending or receiving money, purchasing airtime, salary disbursements, giving donations, disbursing social cash transfers, insurance and savings, Inter-Bank Funds Transfer, online payments, handset lending and health insurance.
According to Tracxn, Easypaisa has raised US$185 million in funding so far.
MoMo – US$134 million (Vietnam)
MoMo, a product of Vietnamese startup M_Service, is a mobile payments platform. The product helps customers in Vietnam make nationwide cash transfers, pay more than 100 types of bills, recharge mobile phone accounts, settle personal loans, and purchase services such as software licenses and online game cards, airline tickets, movie tickets, and more. The company’s payments system is partnered with more than 20 domestic banks and foreign payment networks, and is used by over 10 million people.
Tyro – US$103 million (Australia)
Tyro is an Australian fintech providing credit, debit and electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) card acquiring, Medicare and private health fund claiming and rebating services, as well as an interest-bearing transaction and deposit account offering integration with Xero accounting software.
Founded in 2003, Tyro was the first new entrant into the Australian EFTPOS business since 1996, and the second company in Australia to be granted a Specialist Credit Card Institution (SCCI) license. In 2015, Tyro was granted a banking license, and is now Australia’s fifth largest payments provider.
According to Tracxn, Tyro has raised US$103 million in funding so far.
Omise – US$50 million (Thailand)
Omise is a payments gateway operating in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, providing both online and offline payments solutions to merchants.
The company offers a payments solution that’s simple to setup and which works seamlessly across multiple devices. It has raised US$50 million in funding so far, including US$25 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the development of Omise Go, a decentralized payment platform intended at disrupting the current banking system.
Vend – US$48 million (New Zealand)
Vend develops web-based applications for retail management. The company offers applications for point-of-sale (POS), product management, inventory, customer relations, and digital dashboards.
Vend serves the retail market in New Zealand and the US, and according to CB Insights, is the most well funded tech startup in New Zealand at US$48 million.
Acudeen – US$41 million (Philippines)
Acudeen is a P2P invoice marketplace that allows SMEs to sell their receivables to its network of funders, enabling them to receive funds ahead of time. Acudeen’s online platform allows transactions to happen fast, from receivables uploaded to cash within days, in a secure and trustworthy environment.
Jirnexu – US$27 million (Malaysia)
Founded in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Jirnexu is a fintech startup providing technology to financial institutions manage different stages of the customer journey including marketing, acquisition, fulfilment and retention.
Jirnexu currently has both B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) operations in Malaysia and Indonesia. It operates and provides RinggitPlus, a comparison site for credit cards, Internet connections, insurance, savings accounts and loans, as well as XpressApply, a B2B offering that lets banks manage marketing, sales, and the delivery of complex financial products.
Jirnexu has raised US$27 million in funding so far, according to Aseanup.com
BKash – US$11 million (Bangladesh)
BKash is a mobile first service that allows users to send money via their mobile phone without having to download an app. Users can dial a number to initiate a transaction, fill in the BKash account information, amount and the money will be sent to the receiver. Beneficiary can cash out at any agent locations, or partnered locations of Western Union or ATMs.
BKash users can deposit money into their mobile accounts and then access a range of services, in particular domestic money transfers, payments and airtime top-up purchases.
BKash, a subsidiary of BRAC Bank, started as a joint venture between BRAC Bank Limited, Bangladesh and Money in Motion LLC, USA, in 2010. According to Tracxn, the company has raised US$11 million in funding so far.
Clik – US$2 million (Cambodia)
Cambodia’s Clik is a payment gateway and aggregator that aims to provide a safe, seamless and simple payment experience to everyone. The startup has partnered with established Cambodian retailers, such as uCARE Pharma, Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh and MEAS Group.
Clik also provides e-wallet services and supports payments via International Payment Scheme cards, P2P transactions, and offline payments.
Clik has raised US$2 million in funding so far.
Countries including Taiwan, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were not mentioned because of lack of available information.