24 Fintech Founders And Investors Make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2022 Listby Fintech News Singapore June 1, 2022
Forbes has released its annual 30 Under 30 Asia list, recognizing 300 young entrepreneurs, leaders and trailblazers in Asia Pacific (APAC), all under the age of 30, across 10 different categories.
In Finance & Venture Capital, the 30 honorees include fintech startup entrepreneurs and forward-thinking venture capitalists, acclaimed for their role in reshaping Asia’s financial landscape as well as for supporting some of today’s most successful startups.
Of the 30 honorees in the category, 16 are fintech founders and eight are investors that have backed some of the region’s most renowned fintech leaders.
16 Fintech Founders Amongst Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2022 List
Jeffery Liu (27), Founder, Xanpool, Hong Kong
Jeffery Liu is the founder and CEO of Xanpool, a cross-border payments infrastructure provider. Xanpool offers custom software APIs that allow individuals and businesses more functionality in their financial infrastructures, such as bank accounts, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency wallets, enabling faster crypto and fiat settlements.
Xanpool has raised US$32 million in funding. The company expects its user base to reach 10 million by the end of this year and plans to expand to markets outside of the Asia-Pacific, including Europe and South America.
A system engineer and project manager by training, Liu has experience in managing both multi-nationals and startups.
Lavika Aggarwal (29) and Sajal Khanna (26), Co-Founders, Akudo, India
Lavika Aggarwal, Sajal Khanna, and Jagveer Gandhi (over 30) co-founded neobanking startup Akudo in 2020. Akudo provides a digital banking account that comes with a prepaid card targeting at teenargers in India. The offering focuses on helping teens and kids in the country gain financial knowledge and save money, and rewards them with gifts and perks under a gamified setup when they’re good at their personal finance.
Backed by Y Combinator, Akudo claimed in September 2021 over 100,000 registered customers with 75% week-on-week growth in transaction volumes. It had also issued over 25,000 cards.
Earvin Ang (29) and Jesse Manalansan (27), Co-Founders, Aqwire, Philippines
Earvin Ang (President) and Jesse Manalansan (CTO) are the co-founders of Aqwire, an international property and fintech platform that handles aggregated listing, mortgage and insurance brokerage, as well as property management.
Aqwire helps real estate developers in the Philippines access foreign investors. For buyers, the platform provides them with access to properties overseas via its listing and mortgage loans platform.
Aqwire closed a US$2.1 million Series A in late-2020.
Jason Choi (27), Founder, Blockcrunch Research, Hong Kong
Jason Choi is the founder of Blockcrunch Research, a company producing a popular blockchain podcast with up to 15 million monthly engagement on socials, and an angel investor that has backed startups like Dune Analytics, Illuvium and 1inch Exchange.
In parallel, Choi serves as general partner at Spartan Capital, a leading blockchain investment and advisory firm based in Singapore and Hong Kong. At Spartan Capital, Choi co-manages a $450 million crypto assets fund. He has led investments of over $100 million in more than 60 seed- and growth-stage blockchain protocols, producing unicorns like dYdX, The Graph, Maker and Nexus Mutual.
Diane Dai (24), Co-Founder, Dodo, Singapore
Diane Dai is the CMO and co-founder of Dodo, a decentralized exchange and on-chain liquidity provider. Dodo uses the innovative Proactive Market Maker (PMM) to determine the price of crypto assets via oracles dynamically. This results in reduced impermanent loss and lower slippage compared to competitors.
Dai’s journey into decentralized finance (DeFi) began in 2017, when she started to translate DeFi-related news and information from English into Chinese. In 2018, as her audience grew, she created a blog called DeFi Labs. This was followed in 2019 by the establishment of the first major Chinese DeFi social media group DeFi the World.
Samyak Jain (22) and Sowmay Jain (24), Co-Founders, Instadapp Labs, India
Jain brothers Samyak (CTO) and Sowmay (CEO) co-founded Instadapp in 2018 during a ETHIndia hackathon. Instadapp is a decentralized application (DApp) that acts as a bridge that connects several different protocols on the decentralized web. It seeks to provide a simple-to-use, middleware layer for users to seamlessly interact with various DeFi protocols.
Instadapp has raised US$12.4 million in funding.
Grace Kwan (29), Co-Founder, Orca, Japan
Grace Kwan is a co-founder of Orca, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange on the Solana blockchain. In its first year since launching in February 2021, Orca claimed US$20-50 million in daily trading volume, a peak total value locked (TVL) or assets deposited of over US$1 billion, and more than US$2 million donated to crypto education and sustainability.
Orca closed a US$18 million Series A funding round in September 2021, which it said it would use to continue to develop its automated market maker.
Wonjun Lloyd Lee (28), Founder, Hyperithm, Japan
Wonjun Lloyd Lee is the founder and CEO of Hyperithm, a Tokyo and Seoul-based digital asset management firm. Founded in 2018, Hyperithm offers digital asset management and brokerage service dedicated to institutional investors and high net-worth individuals.
Hyperithm recently acquired a virtual asset service provider license from Korea Financial Intelligence Unit and completed the notification as an operator of SPBQII (specially permitted businesses for qualified institutional investors) to the Financial Services Agency in Japan. It closed a US$11 million Series B in August 2021.
Nguyen The Vinh (29), Co-Founder, Coin98 Finance, Vietnam
Nguyen The Vinh is the CEO and co-founder of Coin98 Finance, a blockchain-based DeFi company from Vietnam that provides a one-stop platform for users to access the DeFi ecosystem, including decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, on-chain governance, blockchain-based games, and cross-chain transfers. The company also provides a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet called Coin98 Wallet, and has closed US$5.25 million in total funding.
Prior to joining Coin98 Finance, Nguyen worked as a software engineer at FPT Software HCMC, and co-founded VIC Group, a cryptocurrency research and investment company.
Shiv Parekh (29), Founder, hBits, India
Shiv Parekh is the founder of hBits, a real estate fractional ownership platform from India striving to democratize and digital investments in commercial real estate. hBits claims more than 20,000 registered users and INR 30 billion (US$387 million) in assets under management (AUM).
In addition, Parekh also serves as a director of Raycon Group, an Indo-German real estate and infrastructure joint venture.
Prior to that, Parekh worked at Citi and Stanford Management Company, Stanford University’s US$30 billion endowment.
Felix Xu (29) and Yemu Xu (28), Co-Founders, Bella Protocol, Arpa and ZX Squared Capital, Singapore
Felix Xu and Yemu Xu are serial blockchain entrepreneurs. The duo co-founded Bella Protocol, a blockchain-based asset management platform; Arpa, a blockchain-based computation network focusing on improving privacy and scalability; and ZX Squared Capital, a crypto-focused hedge fund with the goal to deliver risk-adjusted, sustainable superior returns.
Kavin Phongpandecha (29), Co-Founder, Bitazza, Thailand
Kavin Phongpandecha is the CEO and co-founder of Bitazza, a digital asset platform from Thailand. The company provides users with access to an ever-growing ecosystem and features, including spot trading, derivatives trading, yield products and DeFi investment opportunities. It claims more than 600,000 users to date and a monthly trading volume of over US$600 million.
Bitazza holds a digital asset brokerage license in Thailand, and a digital asset exchange in Sri Lanka. The company has shared intentions to acquire additional licenses in other regulated markets, including Cambodia, the Philippines, Australia, and Europe.
Nadia Amalia (26), Nadia Fadhila (26) and Fransisca Susan (25), Co-Founders, Sribuu, Indonesia
Sribuu helps users budget, track spending, and save more with personalized advice. The app makes it easy for Indonesians to understand their financial condition by aggregating their financial accounts into one place, and helps them save more by identifying unnecessary expenses and giving personalized spending recommendations. Since its launch in 2021, Sribuu has amassed over 80,000 users, many of whom are women and small business owners.
Alif Jafar (24) and Hendri Wijaya (26), Co-Founders, UpBanx, Indonesia
Alif Fatkhurrohman (CTO), Hendri Wijaya, and Wafa Taftazani (over 30) are the co-founders of UpBanx, a startup developing a fintech platform for creators, brands, freelancers and agencies to manage their money, access financing, grow commercial partnerships, launch digital assets and raise investments.
The startup aims to tap into Indonesia’s booming marketing and influencer market that have been driven by the growth of social media combined with the amount of time spent by Indonesians on online media.
UpBanx closed a US$5.2 million pre-seed round in January 2022.
Darshan Bathija (28) and Sanju Kurian (29), Co-Founders, Vauld, Singapore
Darshan Bathija (CEO) and Sanju Kurian (CTO) are the co-founders of Vauld, a Singapore-based crypto lending and trading platform. It enables customers to buy, lend, borrow and trade crypto assets from one unified platform.
Vauld has raised US$27 million in funding and is backed by Peter Theil’s Valar Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, and other major names in the industry. The company claims about 100,000 active users.
Dayana Yermolayeva (23), Co-Founder, JiPay, Singapore
Dayana Yermolayeva is the CEO and co-founder of JiPay, a Singapore-based startup with the mission of giving financial independence to migrant domestic workers. Founded in 2020, JiPay helps families in Singapore manage their helpers’ expenses by providing them with a prepaid Mastercard which can be monitored through their app.
JiPay recently hit $1 million in card spending, and its transaction volume has increased more than 10x in the past 6 months.
In April 2022, the startup secured a US$1.3 million seed funding round led by East Ventures, with participation from SHL Capital as well as strategic angels including the Manila Angel Network and Shivaas Gulati, a co-founder of Remitly.
8 Fintech Investors Amongst Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2022
Alexander Khor (27) and Adrian Petersen (28), Co-Founders, AfterWork Ventures, Australia
AfterWork Ventures’ portfolio companies include Wagetap, a pay-on-demand service that allows employees to access their money ahead of payday instantly, Cake Equity, an equity management platform, Send Payments, a money transfer company, and Art Money, a fintech company focusing on making it easier for people to buy art.
Mia Deng (26), Partner, Dragonfly Capital, Singapore
Mia Deng is a partner at Dragonfly Capital, a crypto asset firm managing US$3 billion of assets. At Dragonfly Capital, Deng leads investments in Asia and the non-fungible token (NFT) sector.
Deng started her career as one of the first product managers at Mobike, a bike-share unicorn company, before joining Hong Kong-based trading firm Amber Group in 2018 as its head of business development.
Retno Dewati (27), Principal, Access Ventures, Indonesia
Retno Dewati leads investments in Singapore and Indonesia at Hong Kong-based VC firm Access Ventures. She has closed a number of deals and follow-ons, including AI-driven credit scoring Credolabs, spend management platform Volopay, and Akseleran, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform.
Prior to Access Ventures, Dewati worked at Pegasus Tech Ventures where she was involved in many startup investments, including in mobile point of sale (mPOS) startup Moka, which was acquired by Gojek for US$130 million.
Melvin Hade (26), Partner, Global Founders Capital, Indonesia
Melvin Hade is a partner at Global Founders Capital (GFC), a seed and growth fund investing in companies globally across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US.
Based out of Jakarta, Hade leads the end-to-end investment process for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, from due diligence to execution. He focuses on companies in the fintech, consumer, business-to-business (B2B), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) spaces.
Prior to GFC, Hade was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company with experiences in consumers, logistics and banking.
Augustus Ilag (29), Associate, Sequoia Capital, Singapore
Augustus Ilag is an investor at Sequoia Capital based in Singapore. Ilag focuses on crypto and early-stage investments across Southeast Asia.
According to Forbes, Ilag has led or co-led 21 investments, including Filipino digital bank Tonik, international hiring platform Multiplier, and customer service software provider Wati. He also spearheads Sequoia’s investments in blockchain startups, driving eight of 13 such deals publicly announced in Southeast Asia.
Samuel Lie (26), Vice President, Northstar Group, Indonesia
Samuel Lie is the vice president of Northstar Group, a Singapore-headquartered private equity firm managing more than US$2.5 billion in committed equity capital investing in growth companies in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Since its founding in 2003, the Northstar Group has raised five private equity funds and invested in more than 35 companies across the banking, insurance, consumer/retail, manufacturing, technology, telecom, and agribusiness sectors.
According to Forbes, Lie took part in closing some of the most landmark deals in the region, such as Gojek, GoPay and Bank Jago.
Jun Park (29), Investment Associate, Hashed, South Korea
Jun Park is an investment associate at Hashed, a blockchain-focused early-stage VC firm. A Wharton graduate, Park focuses on gaming at Hashed.
Based in South Korea, San Francisco, Singapore and Bangalore, Hashed has cultivated industry-defining Web 3.0 founders around the globe by accelerating protocols such as Terra Money, Axie Infinity, Klaytn, Link, and The Sandbox. Hashed additionally operates metaverse studio UNOPND and Korean cryptocurrency custodian Koda.
Before joining Hashed, Park was a VC investor at Hanwha, one of South Korea’s largest chaebols.
Markus Liman Rahardja (29), Chief Investment Officer, BRI Ventures, Indonesia
Markus Liman Rahardja is the chief investment officer of BRI Ventures, an arm of Indonesia’s second largest bank by assets which invests in early-stage and growth-stage startups, including unicorns such as Bukalapak and Grab.
At BRI Ventures, he is responsible for managing strategic initiatives, expanding the investor network, and establishing and managing venture funds of BRI Ventures.
He previously served as BRI Ventures’ vice president of investment and business development during which he led the fund’s accelerator program, launching a US$30 million fund in 2020 that invests in tech companies and a US$50 million fund in 2021 to invest in direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands.