9 Southeast Asian Startups Named Among World’s Top 100 Fintechs of 2023by Fintech News Singapore October 10, 2023
Market intelligence platform CB Insights has announced its selection of this year’s top 100 most promising private fintech companies in the world.
Of this year’s Fintech 100 list, nine companies are headquartered in Southeast Asia, seven are from Singapore two from Indonesia. These startups, which operate across various segments including cross-border payments, insurance and digital wealth management, are being recognized for the traction they’ve received over the past year, the growth they’ve witnessed, as well as their market potential.
The 2023 Fintech 100 list, unveiled on October 03, 2023, features 100 private market companies selected from a pool of over 19,000 companies. These startups were chosen based on defined datasets and criteria encompassing equity funding, investor profiles, R&D activity, news sentiment analysis and tech novelty.
This year’s cohort includes a mix of companies at different stages of maturity, product development, and funding. 20 companies are in early fundraising stages and are representing emerging categories such as business-to-business (B2B) buy now pay later (BNPL) and account-to-account (A2A) payments.
Business-to-business (B2B) fintech companies were a prominent category this year. These companies, which include business spend management platforms, cross-border and real-time payment providers, and core banking and infrastructure platforms, took center stage, making up three-quarters of the 2023 winners.
Overall, the 2023 winners represent 24 different countries across the global with the US being the most represented country (43%) followed by the UK with 12 companies, and Singapore, with seven.
Today, we look at the nine Southeast Asian companies that made it into this year’s Fintech 100, highlighting their latest achievements and growth.
Founded in 2018, Aspire is a leading business-to-business (B2B) fintech platform, offering a unified suite of financial services tailored for businesses. Based out of Singapore, the company provides a range of services which include multi-currency accounts, international payments, corporate cards, payable and receivable management, all accessible via a single account.
Aspire serves over 15,000 startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia, helping them save time and money. The company claims it has recently witnessed a threefold increase in its annualized total payment volumes, reaching an impressive US$12 billion.
In February 2023, Aspire secured a US$100 million Series C. The company said at the time that it intended to use the proceeds to enhance its product offering further and expand its regional presence, while increasing its team to continue to innovate in the space.
Launched in 2020 and headquartered in Singapore, Bolttech is a leading embedded insurance provider operating as a business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) insurtech. Through its comprehensive services, Bolttech equips businesses to present contemporary insurance solutions designed to meet their customers’ evolving insurance and protection needs in the digital age.
Bolttech’s strategy involves connecting tailored and affordable insurance products to consumers via partner platforms in more than 30 markets across three continents. The company, which holds licenses to function across Asia, Europe, and all 50 US states, boasts an extensive reach, providing a global ecosystem of over 700 distribution affiliates, more than 230 insurance entities and giving rise to over 6,000 product variations. Bolttech claims it quotes US$55 billion in annualized premiums.
Bolttech secured US$196 million as part of its Series B round in May 2023 and an additional US$50 million in September. The company said it would use the proceeds to further fuel its organic growth, including investments in proprietary technology, digital capabilities for business partners and end consumers as well as talent. In addition, the funds will be used to explore inorganic opportunities to accelerate international growth.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Singapore, Endowus is an independent digital wealth platform that spans both private wealth and public pension savings. The company focuses on helping investors grow their money with expert advice and access to institutional investment solutions at low and fair fees.
Endowus provides goals-based investing services through automated portfolios professionally curated by Endowus’ investment office. The company also allows its customers to build single and multi-funds portfolios via the Fund Smart solution, where over 300 curated strategies by over 50 global fund managers are accessible across major asset classes including cash and money market, fixed income, equity, multi-asset and commodities.
Additionally, Endowus Private Wealth clients can gain access to hedge funds, private equity, private credit, private real estate and other alternatives at comparatively lower minimums, lower fees, and higher liquidity.
Endowus’ companies comprise entities licensed in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as Hong Kong-based Carret Private. The group claims it serves over a hundred thousand clients with content, advice and access, managing more than US$5 billion worth of assets.
Endowus has raised a total of US$95 million in funding. The company’s latest round was a US$35 million fundraise secured in August 2023. It said it would use to scale and strengthen its position in its core markets of Singapore and Hong Kong.
In 2022, Endowus said it delivered revenue growth of 80% organically, while tripling its group revenue as it completed the acquisition of multi-family office Carret Private.
Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Singapore, Multiplier is an employment platform that aims to bridge the gap between businesses and global talent. The platform enables companies to effortlessly and efficiently employ, onboard, nurture, and support top-tier talent worldwide.
Present in over 150 countries, Multiplier handles all facets of employment management, from intricate legal matters to complex compliance requirements such as contracts, payroll, benefits, and taxes. This comprehensive approach liberates organizations to focus on rapid expansion and team cultivation while ensuring security and efficiency.
The platform features built-out payment capabilities and is integrated with Wise Platform, allowing Multiplier’s customers to send payouts to their freelancers and contractors in 57 currencies around the world.
Multiplier secured its latest round in March 2022, raising US$60 million in a Series B. The round brought its total funding to US$77.2 million and took its valuation to US$400 million, TechCrunch reported.
Founded in Singapore in 2014, Nium is a leading real-time global payment provider that serves businesses worldwide. The startup allows businesses to efficiently manage cross-border funds collection, conversion, and disbursement, providing them with an expansive payout network accommodating 100 currencies and stretching across 190+ countries, 100 of which in real-time.
Using Nium, funds can be disbursed to accounts, wallets, and cards and collected locally in 35 markets. Additionally, Nium’s card issuance business is available in 34 countries.
Nium serves some of the world’s largest financial institutions, travel companies and digital platforms including Rippling, Payoneer, Currencycloud and eDreams. The startup holds regulatory licenses and authorizations in more than 40 countries, and it’s co-headquartered in San Francisco and Singapore, with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
Nium reported US$82 million in net revenue in 2022, representing a 2.7-time year-over-year (YoY) increase. It said it ended the year at more than US$100 million net revenue run rate.
The startup, which is valued at about US$2 billion, is preparing to go public in the US by the second quarter of 2025, co-founder and CEO Prajit Nanu said in a July interview to Bloomberg.
Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Singapore, Tazapay is a cross-border payment startup. The company provides a full-stack payment solution including cards and local payment methods globally with buyer and seller protection.
Tazapay’s platform allows businesses to transact with ease in 173+ countries and get paid on their preferred payment method via a single application programming interface (API). Its unified interface simplifies the onboarding process, allowing businesses to partner with just one entity, thereby streamlining their payment process.
Tazapay caters to industries such as travel, gaming, ed-tech, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and e-commerce. The startup secured a major payment institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in August 2023 and its Canadian wholly-owned subsidiary has a money services business license from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.
Tazapay has raised over US$18.9 million in funding so far. The company’s latest round was a US$16.9 million Series A secured in February 2023. It said at the time that it would use the proceeds to further scale its business across Asia, expand in regions where there is strong demand for its services, such as Europe and the Middle East, and enhance its core capabilities. Tazapay will also apply for payment licenses in major markets that can broaden its payment network globally.
Founded in 2016, Thunes is a global B2B payment infrastructure platform. The company provides a proprietary global network of direct connections to local payment brands, allowing businesses and consumers to instantly send and accept payments anywhere in the world, in any payment method.
Thunes currently supports 80 currencies, enables payments to 132 countries and helps to accept 300 payment methods. The company claims it connects four billion bank accounts across the globe, and says the reach of its mobile wallet network has quadrupled from 720 million in 2021 to three billion accounts in 2023.
Thunes, which claims it has processed circa US$50 billion of transactions since inception, serves some of the world’s fastest-growing businesses including Uber, Deliveroo, Grab, PayPal, Remitly, Finastra and Revolut.
Thunes is headquartered in Singapore, with regional offices in London, Paris, Shanghai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Miami and Nairobi. The startup secured a US$72 million Series C in July 2023.
Founded in 2018, Dana is a digital wallet-based fintech company that provides payment platforms and financial services in Indonesia. The company offers a mobile app that allows users to add their card or bank account to make a payment, transfer funds, pay bills, shop online, and top-up their mobile account.
Dana says it serves more than 135 million users in Indonesia. As of mid-2022, the company processed an average of over 10 million transactions a day and said that its technology was accepted by over 18 million merchants on the national QR Indonesia Standard network.
Dana raised US$250 million in August 2022 to expand in its home country. The company said at the time that it would use the funds to invest in new tech and roll out more financial services, Dana CEO Vince Iswara told Bloomberg News at the time.
Founded in 2018, Qoala is a multi-channel digital insurance distributor from Indonesia. The company offers various insurance protections, including health, motor vehicle, property, personal accident, and other needs that can be accessed through the Qoala app or website.
Qoala has a network of more than 50,000 independent insurance advisors that sell insurance products from over 50 different insurance partners. The sale and after-sale processes are entirely digital, improving the time to issue a policy from a previously estimated two weeks to only a few hours.
Qoala says the combination of a complete digital underwriting experience with a human touch offered by its network of agents has helped increase insurance adoption in geographies and demographic brackets where insurance has historically been hard to distribute or entirely unavailable.
Qoala operates in its home country as well as in Malaysia and Thailand. The company, which claims it has served more than 8 million customers, has raised about US$80 million in funding, data from CB Insights and Dealroom show. Its last round was a US$7.5 million Series B+ funding round closed in March 2023.
The company said at the time that it would use the proceeds to boost product and geographical expansion, and to widen its reach to more underserved geographies and populations in Southeast Asia.
Qoala was named as one of the world’s top 50 insurtech companies this year by CB Insights.