7 Prominent Fintech Investors in Singapore Backing The Ecosystemby Fintech News Singapore January 29, 2024
In 2023, Singapore continued to dominate the Southeast Asian fintech landscape, securing a total of US$747 million in funding in the first nine months of the year or 59% of all fintech investments in ASEAN, according to data from UOB, PwC Singapore, and the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA), signifying a flurry of activities by fintech investors in Singapore
Some of these deals were among the largest rounds in the region and involved regional leaders such as Bolttech (US$246 million Series B), Aspire (US$100 million Series C) and Advance Intelligence Group (US$80 million Series E).
In addition to systematically claiming the lion’s share of fintech VC funding in ASEAN, Singapore also boasts the largest and most developed fintech ecosystem in the region. As of October 2022, the city-state was home to 1,580 fintech companies, representing 39% of the 4,000+ fintech companies presented in ASEAN at the time.
As Singapore continues to lead the Southeast Asian fintech landscape, we look today at some of the most active investors backing the city-state’s fintech innovators. For this list, we’ve used data from Tech in Asia, Dealroom and companies’ announcements, focusing on the most prolific fintech investors in Singapore and showcasing their participation in the local scene.
Headquartered in Singapore and established in 2017, Antlers is an early-stage investor with a focus on the technology sector and is widely considered an active fintech investor in Singapore. Founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future, Antler partners with exceptional founders across six continents to launch and scale startups that address meaningful opportunities and challenges.
Antler operates in 27 cities across 6 continents, including Austin, New York, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Bangalore, Jakarta, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and Sydney.
Since 2018, Antler has helped create and invested in more than 1,000+ startups across a wide range of industries and technologies, with the goal of backing more than 6,000 by 2030. In 2023, Pitchbook ranked the company as the seventh most active venture capital (VC) firm globally with 299 deals. Tech in Asia ranks Antler as the most active investor in Singapore, having participated in 66 deals in the past 24 months.
According to its website, Antler has backed 95 Singaporean startups, among which 13 fintech startups. These ventures include CashWise, a treasury management platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); Brick, a financial data application programming interface (API) that allows developers to offer in-app financial services; Pible, an embedded finance platform for Southeast Asian markets; and Volopay, a platform that simplifies business spending for SMEs in Southeast Asia.
Seeds Capital (Singapore)
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Singapore, Seeds Capital is the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, a government agency supporting enterprise development and growth.
Seeds Capital focuses on co-investing with institutional partners, including VC funds, corporate venture capital (CVC) arms, and family offices. Its emphasis lies in supporting innovative startups with robust intellectual content and global market potential, particularly in the advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences, and urban solutions and sustainability sectors. Additionally, the firm explores emerging areas such as agri-tech, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, quantum, and space technologies.
Since 2017, Seeds Capital has deployed more than S$220 million and stimulated more than S$950 million of private sector investments into more than 160 companies. The company’s portfolio encompasses over 100 startups and it collaborates with more than 50 co-investment partners.
Tech in Asia ranks Seeds Capital as the second most active investor in Singapore, having participated in 32 deals in the past 24 months. The company has at least 10 fintech startups in its portfolio, including Canopy, a weathtech company; CardUp, which provides individuals and businesses with a smarter way to pay and get paid; Crowdo is an environmental, social and governance (ESG)-driven neobank for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); Propine, which offers digital securities, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and fiat custody on a single integrated platform; and Tookitaki is a regtech company offering anti-financial crime solutions to banks and fintech firms.
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in the US, SOSV is a VC firm that provides pre-seed, seed, venture and growth stage funding to startups in the technology sector. The firm operates early-stage startup development programs in New York City, Newark, San Francisco, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo, including HAX (hard tech), IndieBio (human and planetary health), and Orbit Startups (emerging markets).
Each year, SOSV selects about 100 highly promising, seed and pre-seed startups to join its programs. The firm makes an initial investment of up to US$500,000 and the founders spend four-to-six months working side-by-side with SOSV staff and mentors who are deeply expert in science and engineering, design and product development, supply chain and product-market fit, growth, and raising capital.
As of January 2023, SOSV had more than 1,000 portfolio companies and US$1.5 billion in assets under management (AUM), and, according to Pitchbook, the firm is the top ranked investor in climate and food tech.
Besides health, food and climate, SOSV is also an active fintech investor and currently has 54 startups in its portfolio operating in the field. Among these, at least five are from Singapore: BizBaz, which offers financial intelligence solutions to financial institutions, fintech firms, e-commerce and telecommunication companies in Asia; ConfirmU, a business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) startup that enables lenders to assess first-time borrowers using a three-minute game; Credmark, which provides high-integrity decentralized finance (DeFi) data and risk metrics through a transparent, community-driven platform; Ensuro, the first decentralized, licensed (re)insurer on a public blockchain; and Wallet Engine, which helps app developers put a wallet inside their app, enabling them to make money from small-value, cross-border payments between users.
SOSV has been among the most active startup investors in Singapore, having participated in 27 rounds involving startups from the city-state over the past 24 months, data from Tech in Asia show.
East Ventures (Singapore)
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Singapore, East Ventures is leading sector-agnostic VC firm that provides multi-stage investment, including seed and growth for over 300 companies in Southeast Asia. Additionally, East Ventures has expanded its operations into Japan, contributing to its regional footprint.
Recognized for its early belief in the Indonesian startup ecosystem, East Ventures holds the distinction of being the first investor in Indonesia’s unicorn companies, Tokopedia and Traveloka. Other notable companies in East Ventures’ portfolio include Ruangguru, SIRCLO, Kudo (acquired by Grab), Loket (acquired by Gojek), Tech in Asia, Xendit, IDN Media, MokaPOS (acquired by Gojek), ShopBack, KoinWorks, Waresix, and Sociolla.
East Ventures has also garnered global recognition, being named the most consistent top-performing VC fund globally by Preqin, and earning the title of the most active investor in Southeast Asia and Indonesia.
In terms of regional impact, East Ventures boasts a portfolio that includes 36 Singaporean startups among which Finantier, an open finance startup; Fraction, a complete, one-stop and full-service fractional ownership platform; Helical, a fintech investments platform that specializes in the alternative lending space; Moolah Sense, a marketplace lending platform for SMEs; and Qapita, a fintech and legal-tech startup. Tech in Asia recognizes East Ventures as one of the most active investors in Singapore, having participated in 26 rounds over the past 24 months.
Wavemaker Group (USA and Singapore)
Wavemaker Group is a multi-faceted cross-border VC firm founded in 2003. The firm is dual headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore and has raised over US$600 million across multiple funds. It currently has a team of more than 80 people across its various practices. Wavemaker Group claims it is one of the most active early-stage investors in Southern California and Southeast Asia and has invested in over 400 companies in the last 18 years.
In Southeast Asia, Wavemaker Group focuses on enterprise and deep technology companies. In Singapore, the firm has invested in 76 startups, including fintech companies Pilon, which offers supply-chain financing and earned wage access; Smartkarma, a platform that unites the fragmented investment industry, connecting investors, independent research providers, and corporates within a single network; Silent Eight, which provides banks with an AI-powered tool to combat money laundering and terrorism financing; Shield, a global fraud risk management solution that uses big data and machine learning to deliver instant decisions to predict and block fraud; and STACS, an enterprise blockchain provider and developer of a proprietary shared network for financial institutions in Asia-Pacific (APAC).
Wavemaker Partners is one of the most active investors in Singapore, having participated in 26 rounds over the past 24 months, according to Tech in Asia.
Peak XV Partners (India)
Peak XV Partners, formerly Sequoia Capital India and SEA, is a leading VC and growth investing firm investing across India, Southeast Asia and beyond. The firm operates across five offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, and Dubai, with a diverse team representing 14 nationalities.
Peak XV Partners’ distinctive approach involves working side by side with founders to help them realize their ambitions. The firm imparts knowledge through bespoke advice, support, and community-based programs such as Surge, Spark, Pathfinders, Pitstop, Build, and Guild. The firm collaborates with founders at various stages, from as early as two people with a paper plan to as late as their journey to go public.
With a remarkable 17-year track record in the region, Peak XV Partners has evolved to manage over US$9 billion in capital through 13 funds and has invested in more than 400 companies. Approximately 40 of these companies have achieved revenues surpassing US$100 million.
Peak XV Partners boasts a robust fintech portfolio, encompassing over 50 startups, with eight headquartered in Singapore. These include Funding Societies, a SME digital finance platform operating across Southeast Asia; Incomlend, a global invoice financing marketplace for SMEs; StashAway, an intelligent investment management platform; Sunrate, an intelligent global payment and treasury management platform; Tazapay, a Singapore-based fintech company designed to redefine the cross-border payment experience; Tonik, a neobanking startup; and Trusting Social, an AI fintech company revolutionizing credit scoring using big data technology, and social, web, and mobile data.
Peak XV Partners is one of the most active investors in Singapore, having participated in 22 rounds over the past 24 months, according to Tech in Asia.
500 Global (USA)
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in the US, 500 Global is an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator. The VC firm invests in founders building fast-growing technology companies and manages assets totaling US$2.4 billion. It concentrates its efforts on markets where the convergence of technology, innovation, and capital can unlock enduring value and stimulate economic growth.
Over the years, 500 Global has established itself as a key VC investor, having supported over 5,000 founders representing more than 2,900 companies operating in 80+ countries. It has invested in 35+ companies valued at over US$1 billion and 160+ companies valued at over US$100 million, including private, public, and exited companies.
500 Global has a notable presence in Southeast Asia, particularly in the fintech sector. It has backed more than 60 fintech startups in the region, including about 20 from Singapore. These companies include NFTgo, a NFT data aggregator; Call Levels, a real-time financial monitoring and notifications app; Coinpip, a cryptocurrency payment provider; InvestaX, a tokenization software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform; and Wallex, a payment and cash management solution for businesses.