3 Southeast Asian Startups Make World’s Top 100 Fintech Firms Listby Fintech News Singapore November 7, 2023
Three fintech startups from Southeast Asia have been named among the world’s largest and most successful financial technology companies, recognized for their scale, growth and ingenuity.
The Financial Technology Report has released its selection of the world’s Top 100 Financial Technology Companies of 2023.
This year’s selection features a wide array of companies, spanning both emerging players and established financial giants. Notable recipients of recognition include Intuit, a leading provider of fintech software, Fundbox, a company that has garnered acclaim on prestigious lists such as the Forbes AI 50 list; and PayPal, the operator of one of the world’s most popular payment systems that supports over 325 million personal and business accounts in more than 200 countries.
Among 2023’s 100 winners, three companies are headquartered in Southeast Asia. These companies operate in the digital payments, business payments and regulatory technology (regtech) domains, and have reached considerable scale and traction.
Today, we look at these three major Southeast Asian fintech players, showcasing their latest achievements and what we can expect from them moving forward.
Founded in 2018, Dana is a digital wallet-based technology financial company that provides payment platforms and financial services in Indonesia. The company provides complete digital transaction solutions that are safe, easy and convenient for users, merchants and financial institutions.
For consumers, the Dana digital wallet allows them to add their cards or bank accounts to make a payment, transfer funds, pay bills, shop online, and top-up their mobile account.
For merchants, the technology provides wide developer integration options and easy onboarding, supporting the national QR Indonesia Standard (QRIS) network, as well as the national open API payments standards (BI-SNAP).
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.
Most recently, Dana has been making inroads into social commerce with its group buying platform BoraBora. The platform, an initiative under Dana’s venture studio arm Dana Ventures, will build products that align with the digital payment firm’s core financial services, a top executive told DealStreetAsia in February.
Founded in 2016, Thunes is a global business-to-business (B2B) payment specialist. The company provides a payment infrastructure platform and 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 133 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 and has offices in 20 locations, including Beijing, Nairobi, London, Paris, Dubai and Barcelona. The startup has raised more than US$200 million in funding so far, its latest round being a US$72 million Series C secured in July 2023.
In September 2023, Thunes expanded its payment acceptance network across five Southeast Asian nations, allowing European and international merchants to receive payments from through popular payment methods and platforms in the region, including Atome, GrabPay and PayLater by Grab in Singapore; DuitNow, Boost and Touch ‘n Go in Malaysia; Dana, Ovo, Qris and ShopeePay in Indonesia; GCash, InstaPay and Maya in the Philippines; and PromptPay and Rabbit LINE Pay in Thailand.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Singapore, Tookitaki is an anti-money laundering (AML) and compliance technology firm. The company provides a machine learning (ML)-powered regulatory compliance platform for the financial services industry that’s designed to automate and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of compliance processes.
Tookitaki’s offering comprises two main products: the Anti-Money Laundering Suite (AMLS), which is an end-to-end operating system that modernizes compliance processes for banks and fintechs, offering comprehensive risk coverage, enhanced detection accuracy, and a substantial reduction in false alerts; and the Anti-Financial Crime (AFC) Ecosystem, which is a dynamic community of experts helping financial institution to learn, share and use typologies to counter emerging financial crime patterns and stay safe and secure. Powered by federated ML, the AFC ecosystem powers the AMLS to detect quality alerts, ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in AML processes.
Tookitaki serves some of the world’s leading universal banks including the United Overseas Bank (UOB), regional banks, digital-only banks, e-wallets, and payment companies, including global front-runners like Tencent.
Most recently, the company launched its Compliance-as-a–Service (CaaS) solution for small and mid-size financial institutions globally. This innovative SaaS offering is optimized for cost and efficiency, and gives financial institutions access to Tookitak’s flagship AMLS solution on a secure, self-service platform.
The CaaS solution delivers complete risk coverage across screening, transaction monitoring and customer risk scoring. It comes with standardized payload specifications, and application programming interfaces (APIs) for seamless integration, enabling financial institutions to go live in two weeks. Customers can also leverage pre-packaged watchlist data for screening in addition to existing watchlist data that they have.
Tookitaki is a subsidiary of Thunes, which acquired a majority stake in the AML and compliance tech firm in August 2022.