Top 10 Wealthtech Players from Southeast Asia to Watchby Fintech News Singapore December 22, 2022
The recent years have been a challenging for fintech startups as investors scaled back their investment, valuations plummeted and tech firms were forced to undergo massive layoffs. But despite turbulent market conditions and shrinking fintech funding activity, several wealthtech players in Southeast Asia are looking ahead to 2023, managed to scale their businesses against all odds, expand to new geographies and secure fundraising this year.
Today, we take a closer look at top 10 wealthtech companies from Southeast Asia that made notable strides in recent years, will be poised for greater successes in the years to come.
Funding Societies (Singapore)
Founded in 2015, Funding Societies is a digital financing platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that started out to finance creditworthy Singaporean small businesses who could not obtain traditional loans. Recognising the investment gap for a lot of SMEs in the Southeast Asian region, Funding Societies provides short-term, fixed income financing options for both small businesses and sole proprietors.
The largest such platform of its kind in the region, its successful business model has seen it grow across Southeast Asia to provide debt relief beyond Singapore to countries like Malaysia and Thailand. Coming off the back of the pandemic, Funding Societies Malaysia has already disbursed MYR1 billion in business loans via over 17,000 financing deals, doubling its investment deals last compared to 2020.
And its Thai unit, Funding Societies Thailand, reached THB1 billion (US$27.8 million) in loan disbursements to SMEs in the country for 2022 by November this year. The company is looking to aggressively expand its financing reach for newer business models, targeting to disburse over THB2 billion ($55.6 million) within the next 12 months. Across the region, Funding Societies has already disbursed in excess of US2 billion to needy businesses using a number of financing schemes and initiatives. The company raised US$294 million earlier this year to fuel expansion plans including into Vietnam, its fifth regional market.
Founded in 2017, Endowus is the first wealthtech digital advisor in the Southeast Asia region that will span both private wealth and public pension savings in 2023. The firm’s proprietary systems provide data-driven wealth advice in constructing personalized solutions. Its portfolios are built on access to institutional-quality financial products at the lowest cost possible.
Endowus announced earlier this year its Hong Kong expansion plans, key management hires, and licensing by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC). This was followed in October by its acquisition of Carret Private, a Hong Kong-based multi-family office. The deal gave it a foothold in the ultra high-net-worth (UHNWI) wealth segment of clients and enlarged its assets under advisory from around S$2 billion in August to US$4 billion.
Since its inception in 2017, ADDX enables private market investing through a regulated, community-driven platform. Investors can trade in private equities, hedge funds, unicorns, and other private market opportunities from the convenience of a mobile app, where 60% of its investment subscriptions now take place.
Operating globally, ADDX has raised somewhere in the region of US$20 million in its latest funding round from new and existing shareholders, with Korea’s largest banking group KB Financial Group leading this pre-Series B investment round. That brings total equity in ADDX to around US$140 million, and the firm is relaying those funds towards growing ADDX Advantage, it’s wealth management platform launched in 2022 to cater to private banks, brokerages, and family offices.
Private credit and venture debt funds can now list on the ADDX exhange, including investment vehicle Innoven SEA Fund I that is managed by a joint venture (JV) between Temasek subsidiary, Seviora, and Singapore-headquartered United Overseas Bank (UOB). ADDX has grown its investor base by about 80 percent year-on-year, and recently enabled its first connection with securities brokerage CGS-CIMB Singapore to enable its clientele to access its private market products.
Founded in 2016, StashAway is a digital wealth management platform that offers access to globally-diversified portfolios. The company has designed optimal portfolios for every investment style, risk preference, and stage of life. Its technology automatically rebalances and reoptimizes clients’ portfolios when the market or economic conditions change.
StashAway is headquartered in Singapore, and operates in Malaysia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Thailand and Hong Kong. It launched in the UAE in May. The company claims it manages assets in excess of US$1 billion.
In September, StashAway secured an undisclosed amount of new funding that included a strategic investment from Hamilton Lane, a global investment manager. The company is said to be working on the launch of new products.
Founded in 2019, Hugosave is a so-called “wealthcare” provider, focusing on helping customers in getting healthy spending and saving habits.
Hugosave helps users to keep track of financial goals, save and start investing, through features like Roundups where card transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the excess automatically saved; and Gold Vault, which allows customers to invest in the precious metal.
Though founded three years ago, Hugosave launched its app just last year. In the span of a year, the company said it has amassed more than 60,000 customers.
In July 2022, Hugosave secured a US$4 million pre-Series A funding round which it said it would use to strengthen its presence in the region, widen its offerings and improve the user journey. The round was closed a few months after the startup won a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from MAS.
Founded three years ago, wealthtech platform Ajaib became Indonesia’s newest unicorn in 2021 when it closed a US$153 million (approximately 2.1 trillion rupiah) Series B funding round. This brought the total funding in the startup to be worth US$243 million, and slightly higher than what the firm had been valued at just one quarter before that, indicating continuing optimism in Indonesia’s budding wealthtech scene.
Confidence was high in the Series B round with many returning investors including SoftBank Ventures Asia, Ribbit Capital, Alpha JWC Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Insignia Ventures. The round was led by DST Global, which along with Ribbit Capital were also principal investors in Robinhood, a platform with many similar wealth management features to Ajaib.
Ajaib in fact was frequently compared to that famed platform, with many believing the comparison demonstrated Indonesia’s abilities to harness next-generation technology and understanding of global capital markets. Ajaib Group co-founder and CEO Anderson Sumarli said the injection will be utilised to aggressively recruit top talent as well as carry out educational campaigns to cement the new generation of Indonesian investors for modern financial services.
Founded in 2019, Pluang is an investment and micro-savings app that allows users to invest across several asset classes, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, gold and mutual funds. The platform’s deep integrations with regional super apps Gojek, Dana, Tokopedia, and Bukalapak provide it with a unique competitive advantage, and has helped it amass more than 7.9 million users.
The company says it has witnessed strong growth these past couple of months, with monthly transacting users soaring 22-fold between January 2020 and November 2021 and growth in users with an active balance increasing 28.5 times.
Pluang closed a US$55 million in a Series B funding round in January 2022, which it said it would use to further build out its technology capabilities and expand its asset classes. The company also plans to expand the availability of its app and services throughout key additional international markets.
Founded in 2022, Finhay is a licensed brokerage company that runs a wealth management platform designed to allow individual investors to access financial products digitally. The platform utilizes machine learning (ML) to identify and recommend investments for investors.
In Vietnam, Finhay claims more than 2.7 million registered users, making it the country’s leading digital investment platform. It said growth was particularly strong in 2021 during which it gained 150% more users, buoyed by the release of four new products: cash-wrapped accounts with CIMB, gold trading, a 12-month saving product and stock trading.
Finhay raised US$25 million in a Series B funding round in June, its only disclosed investment. The company said it would use the proceeds to invest in strategic business expansion, talent acquisition and technology development.
In addition to its fundraise, Finhay also made its first acquisition this year, snatching up security brokerage Vina Securities to expand its ecosystem of investment products.
Launched in 2014, Coins.Ph is a leading digital wallet provider and cryptocurrency exchange platform hosted in the Philippines. Its 16 million users can buy and sell a variety of cryptocurrencies and access a wide range of financial services via its mobile app.
Fully regulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Coins.Ph is the first crypto-based company in Asia to hold both Virtual Currency and Electronic Money Issuer licenses from the central bank. The fintech player was sold by Indonesian decacorn to the former CFO of the Binance crypto exchange, Wei Zhou, for nearly US$200 million earlier this year.
With its status as a financial blockchain innovator in the Philippines, Coins.Ph raised another US$30 million in a series-C funding round earlier this year, and this month it obtained an Advanced Electronic Payment and Financial Services (EPFS) license as the company moves towards offering mainstream financial products. The company also showed off Coins Access, its white-labelled solution to enable third-party platforms to easily offer crypto services, the first to be seen from a wealthtech player in Southeast Asia in 2023.
Conceived a decade ago in 2012, PitchIN is “the leading regulated ECF platform in the entire Asia Pacific region”, according to its founders. ECF is equity crowdfunding, and PitchIN was one of only two firms selected by the Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia to be an operator for the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) platform that is tasked with nurturing responsible innovation in the digital assets space.
With an aim of becoming the prominent digital fundraising and investments hub in Southeast Asia, the company will be unlike many wealthtech players in 2023, having already assisted at least 130 SMEs in Malaysia to meet their funding needs.
Since last year, the company has raised US$1.34 million (RM5.5 million) from 322 investors and is poised to progressively offer more fundraising and investment options for SMEs both in Malaysia and throughout the Southeast Asian region. The IEO platform appointment will enable PitchIN to offer digital assets as an investment option for small businesses, diversifying their fundraising potential.