9 Fintech Firms from Southeast Asia Make CNBC’s 2023 Top 200 Fintech Leaderboardby Fintech News Singapore August 14, 2023
Nine fintech companies headquartered in Southeast Asia were named among the world’s top 200 fintech businesses, recognized by business media outlet CNBC and independent research firm Statista for their reach, growth and leadership position in the digital finance space.
These companies were chosen from more than 1,500 fintech businesses and are considered industry leaders in their respective market, surpassing their competitors on key performance indicators, including revenue, user numbers, and total funding raised.
Today, we take a closer look at the nine fintech companies headquartered in Southeast Asia that made the cut, looking at the products and services they offer and delving into their latest achievements.
Airwallex is a global financial platform for businesses, providing payments, treasury, expenses and embedded finance services. Airwallex’s products include multi-currency business accounts and payment cards, foreign exchange (FX) and transfers, as well as online payment acceptance.
Founded in 2015 in Melbourne, Australia, Airwallex claims to be one of the fastest-growing payments and financial infrastructure companies in the world and says more than 100,000 companies around the world use its software and APIs.
Airwallex is valued at US$5.6 billion and has raised over US$900 million from some of the world’s top investors including Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia and Tencent.
The company, which was previously headquartered in Hong Kong, recently shifted its primary office to Singapore, a spokesperson told the Australian Financial Review in July.
Aspire is a payment services institution located in Singapore. The company offers businesses a unified suite of financial services including international payments, corporate cards, payable and receivable management.
Founded in 2018, Aspire claims to serve over 15,000 businesses across Southeast Asia. The company announced in June that it had achieved profitability and reached US$15 million in annualized total payment volumes.
The company says it is now focusing on expanding in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. The fintech is also looking to grow its team of over 400 as it is actively hiring for 50+ open positions.
Grab Financial Group (Singapore)
Grab Financial Group (GFG) is the financial services unit of Grab, the Southeast Asian technology company that began as a ride-hailing service but rapidly expanded into other sectors like food delivery, digital payments, and financial services.
GFG comprises GrabFin, a new brand launched in May for the company’s digital payments, insurance, lending and wealth management offerings, as well as its new Earn+ investment product; and Digibanks, Grab’s regional digital banking business.
Planner Bee (Singapore)
Planner Bee is a one-stop app that supports consumers with their personal finance. The app features a financial dashboard to track spending, savings, insurance and investments, and an insurance marketplace that compares products across insurers and a content bank to help people with financial literacy.
Planner Bee’s platform is designed to offer users a unified dashboard that amalgamates details from banking, insurance, and investments. The app connects to all major financial institutions, presenting all of a user’s accounts, loans, and investment portfolios in one easily navigable location.
Users can track their insurance premiums, evaluate their coverage, and receive recommendations based on life changes. The app’s budgeting feature allows them to monitor their spending habits, compare them over time, and set informed budgets. For those investing, Planner Bee provides an at-a-glance overview of investment performance across different asset classes. Beyond its tech capabilities, the platform also offers human support from licensed experts for deeper insurance analysis and assistance.
StashAway is a digital wealth manager that offers investment portfolios and wealth management solutions for both retail and professional investors.
In January 2021, StashAway surpassed US$1 billion in assets under management. The company said it achieved this milestone faster than it took the world’s largest digital wealth managers, Betterment and Wealthfront, to reach the same milestone. In 2020, StashAway was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and a Top 10 LinkedIn Startup.
StashAway operates in Singapore, Malaysia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Hong Kong and Thailand. The company has raised more than US$70 million in funding. It secured its latest round last year, raising a $12.7 million Series D+ round, DealStreetAsia reported in September 2022. Lead investors in StashAway include Asia Capital & Advisors, Eight Roads Ventures, Square Peg and Sequoia Capital.
CapBay is an award-winning supply chain finance and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform. The platform relies on a proprietary credit-decisioning model and allows businesses of all sizes to obtain short-term financing while enabling banks and investors to participate in high-quality financing deals.
CapBay claims it has disbursed over MYR 1 billion (US$220.91 million) in P2P funding to more than 400 underserved small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. CapBay Group, which includes the company’s multi-bank supply chain finance platform and Islamic factoring house, has provided over MYR 2.5 billion (US$546 million) in financing, helping more than 1,600 businesses through its alternative financing solutions.
CapBay co-founder and chief business development officer Darrel Ang told TechNode Global in July 2023 that the company reached probability last year.
Zion operates ZaloPay, a mobile payment application built on top of messaging app Zalo. Established at the end of 2016, ZaloPay allows users to make payments, transfers, pay their bills, add credit to their mobile phone, and more. ZaloPay runs as a standalone mobile payment app or can be used right from Zalo as an integrated offering. The system can link with most domestic banks, including Vietcombank, VietinBank and Sacombank, as well as international payment cards such as Visa and MasterCard.
Vietnam Investment Reviews reported in May 2023 that ZaloPay had established partnerships with 39 banks and over 5,000 partners, with a remarkable 51% monthly user activity growth throughout 2021. In May 2022, the platform said it reached 10 million active users.
Recent studies conducted by market research and analytics company Decision Lab, in partnership with marketing trade association MMA Vietnam, have revealed that ZaloPay is now the second most popular e-wallet service in Vietnam.
GoTo Financial (Indonesia)
GoTo Financial is the fintech business unit of the GoTo Group, the operator of Indonesian super-app GoJek. The company aims to accelerate financial inclusion through innovative financial services and merchants solutions.
GoTo Financial’s consumer services include GoPay and GoPayLater, a leading digital wallet and financial services platform. Most recently, the company launched the standalone GoPay app in its home country, a move aimed at extending its reach to people who are not users of GoJek and nor Tokopedia, an Indonesian e-commerce company and a subsidiary of the GoTo Group.
GoTo Financial also serves businesses of all sizes through Midtrans, Moka, GoBiz Plus, GoBiz, and Selly. The company has operations Indonesia, India, Singapore and Vietnam.
Wave Money (Myanmar)
Wave Money is a mobile financial services provider in Myanmar. Founded in 2015, the company says it provides cash transfers, remittances and payment services to 35 million customers through an extensive agent network comprising over 65,000 Wave Money shops and covering 89% of the country. These agents assist with cash-in and cash-out services, allowing users to convert their mobile wallet balance to physical cash and vice versa.
Wave Money also provides WavePay, a mobile wallet app that claims to serve over 11.5 million customers.