29 Fintech Leaders Make Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List This Year

29 Fintech Leaders Make Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List This Year

by June 11, 2024

Forbes has released its annual 30 Under 30 Asia list, recognizing the entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and changemakers who are leading transformative initiatives across key industries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2024 features 300 notable nominees selected across ten categories:  The Arts (Art and Style, Food and Drink); Entertainment and Sports; Finance and Venture Capital; Media, Marketing and Advertising; Retail and E-Commerce; Enterprise Technology; Industry, Manufacturing and Energy; Healthcare and Science; Social Impact and Consumer Technology.

Among these 300 individuals, more than 20 come from the fintech sector or have extensive experience in the industry. Today we take a look at the fintech experts and leaders that made it into this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list.

Enterprise Software Category (2)

Kunal Aggarwal, 27, Founder, Credflow, India

Kunal Aggarwal, 27, Founder, Credflow, India

Kunal Aggarwal is the founder of Credflow, a company based in India that develops cashflow management software. Established in 2019, Credflow provides tools for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to analyze business data and automate payment reminders. The software also offers credit lines to some users, determined by their cashflow strength.

Credflow’s mission is to transition MSMEs in India from being cash-strapped to becoming cash-rich. Credflow achieves this by offering a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based solution that integrates directly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, providing real-time analytics and deep insights into business operations. This allows business owners to easily understand complex metrics and drive their businesses toward growth.

Under Aggarwal’s leadership, Credflow has grown from a modest team of four employees to over 200, and has secured about US$9 million in funding from investors, including Stellaris Venture Partners and Omidyar Network India.

As a second-time entrepreneur, Aggarwal is dedicated to supporting Indian small businesses. He holds an engineering degree from IIT Delhi and comes from a family involved in small business, giving him firsthand insight into the challenges faced by this sector.

Kentaro Yamamoto, 29, Founder and CEO, SoVa, Japan

Kentaro Yamamoto, 29, Founder and CEO, SoVa, Japan

Kentaro Yamamoto is the founder and CEO of SoVa, a virtual accounting office based in Japan. SoVa provides a comprehensive service that guides users through administrative procedures related to tax, labor, and registration, as well as handling accounting operations. It serves 300 SMEs and has raised JPY 300 million (approximately US$2 million) in funding from investors, including CPA Partners, JAFCO, and East Ventures.

Yamamoto’s background includes a significant academic and professional journey. He graduated from Keio University’s Faculty of Commerce, passing the CPA exam in his third year and becoming a financial accounting instructor at a major certification school. After graduating in 2016, he joined Aoie Corporation, a company founded by a classmate, where he played a key role in launching the bathhouse business and later became director and CFO, overseeing back-office and financial operations.

Besides his role at SoVa, Yamamoto is also the president of Zenkairen, a community of young CPAs, further showcasing his commitment to the accounting profession and support for his peers.

Finance and Venture Capital Category (24)

Aleena Nadeem, 29, Founder and CEO, EduFi, Pakistan

Aleena Nadeem, 29, Founder and CEO, EduFi, Pakistan

Aleena Nadeem is the founder and CEO of EduFi, a Pakistani startup that aims to make higher education more accessible to students. EduFi partners with 27 Pakistani colleges, a number that has doubled in the past six months, to identify prospective students. After conducting its own credit-vetting process, EduFi pays the tuition fees for approved students, who then repay the loan on a monthly basis while they study.

Nadeem, an MIT graduate, has been involved in educational issues since high school. Her professional background includes internships at McKinsey and work experience at Goldman Sachs in London and Ventura Capital, a late-stage tech fund. At Ventura Capital, she led some of the largest fintech deals globally, including investments in Paytm, Upgrade, and Railsbank. She also played a role in the initial public offering (IPO) of Lyft and Auto1.

EduFi, launched in November 2021, aims to provide student financing solutions to the masses, particularly focusing on assisting middle-class citizens in Pakistan to gain higher education. Following a successful pilot launch in 2021, EduFi began disbursing loans earlier this year. The startup secured US$6.1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Zayn VC in November 2023.

Yeshu Agarwal, 29, Co-Founder and CTO, Transak, India

Yeshu Agarwal, 29, Co-Founder and CTO, Transak, India

Yeshu Agarwal is the co-founder and CTO of Transak, a web3 payment gateway that simplifies the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Transak allows users to purchase crypto using various payment methods such as credit cards or bank transfers, and raised US$20 million in a Series A funding round in May 2023.

Agarwal began his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 16, creating his first micro SaaS Android app. He has since amassed over nine years of experience in technology, including product development, programming, and crypto trading.

Prior to founding Transak, Agarwal launched Capitally, a personal finance app designed to help users manage and save money. Although Capitally faced challenges and eventually closed, it provided him with valuable lessons in innovation and leadership.

Agarwal also founded Coinally, a crypto trading terminal that was successfully acquired by LCX, where he then served as CTO.

Aalesh Avlani, 29, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Credit Wise Capital, India

Aalesh Avlani, 29, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Credit Wise Capital, India

Aalesh Avlani is the co-founder and executive director of Credit Wise Capital (CWC), a financing company specializing in motorcycle loans. Founded in 2019, CWC uses technology such as a WhatsApp bot for credit scoring to minimize the application process and make it easier for people without credit histories to get loans.

Avlani is a fintech entrepreneur and angel investor based in Mumbai, India. Prior to CWC, he was the founder and managing partner of a fintech-focused micro VC called Samyakth Capital. Through Samyakth Capital, the team invested in over 65 companies at the seed stage. As an angel investor, Avlani has backed more than 20 companies, among which BharatPe, Liquiloans and Dukaan.

CWC is now reportedly expanding into personal loans and healthcare insurance after raised a US$6 million seed funding round in 2023.

Sarkhail Bawany, 27, Head of Product, Abhi, Pakistan

Sarkhail Bawany, 27, Head of Product, Abhi, Pakistan

Sarkhail Bawany is the head of product at Abhi, a Pakistan-based financial wellness platform that partners with companies to offer the service as a benefit to employees. Abhi, which operates in Pakistan, the Middle East and Bangladesh, provides a suite of solutions including earned wage access, payroll solutions, and SME financing. The startup claims it has established partnerships with over 450 companies.

Bawany is an experienced product executive with a demonstrated history of working in the fintech industry. He started off with working as a product manager in the innovation and digital banking team at United Bank Limited (UBL) before joining Abhi as a product manager. He quickly grew to become head of product and set up a new cross-functional team structure, articulating the product strategy and establishing strategic relationships with fintech partners to take Abhi’s product to new heights.

Bawany is also the CEO of Abhi’s payment services subsidiary, Abhipay.

Kushagra Manglik and Srinivas Sarkar, 26 and 28, Co-Founders, Coupl, India

Kushagra Manglik and Srinivas Sarkar, 26 and 28, Co-Founders, Coupl, India

Kushagra Manglik and Srinivas Sarkar are the co-founders of Coupl, a pioneering financial platform tailored for all types of couples. Established in early 2022, Coupl breaks barriers by offering joint accounts and linked ATM cards to couples, irrespective of marital status or sexual orientation. Unlike traditional banks, which often deny such services to unmarried or LGBTQ couples and impose high minimum balance requirements, Coupl provides an inclusive solution.

Coupl has been downloaded over 20,000 times, and is backed by Y Combinator and Entrepreneur First Global Fund.

Shahidul Islam, Abdul Gaffar Sadi, MD Tushar, 26, 27 and 27, Co-Founders, Drutoloan, Bangladesh

MD Shahidul Islam, Abdul Gaffar Sadi, MD Tushar, 26, 27 and 27, Co-Founders, Drutoloan, Bangladesh

Abdul Gaffar Sadi, MD Tushar and Shahidul Islam are the co-founders of Drutoloan, a Dhaka-based fintech startup that helps MSMEs get lending from banks and financing companies. Established in 2019, Drutoloan offers interest-free digital business loans to MSMEs using data as collateral. The company collaborates with banks, non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) and other financial company to serve unserved MSME entrepreneurs.

Since starting the company, the co-founders claims Drutoloan has disbursed over US$2 million in loans. In November, it secured US$125,000 in pre-seed funding.

Yasmin Gao, 29, Partner, Capital 49, Hong Kong

Yasmin Gao, 29, Partner, Capital 49, Hong Kong

Yasmin Gao is a partner at Capital 49, a VC fund established by the founders of fintech unicorn Airwallex that focuses on early-stage startups across SaaS, fintech, e-commerce, and business services.

Based in Hong Kong, Gao joined Capital 49 in 2022, a year after it was founded, and has already led four investments, including a US$15 million Series A investment in Singapore-based human resources startup Skuad and a US$9 million Series A investment in German expense management SaaS startup Finway.

Before joining Capital 49, Gao was an investment banking associate at Deutsche Bank, where she worked on Coupang’s US$4.6 billion IPO in 2021 and the 2019 merger of Naver’s Line and SoftBank’s Yahoo Japan.

Serano Tannason, 23, Co-Founder and CTO, Bang Jamin, Indonesia

Serano Tannason, 23, Co-Founder and CTO, Bang Jamin, Indonesia

Serano Tannason is the co-founder and CTO of Bang Jamin, an insurance brokerage startup in Indonesia. The company collaborates with insurance providers to offer a range of vehicle insurance products, including innovative options like affordable car insurance for senior citizens and a pay-per-kilometer model.

With Indonesia’s insurance penetration rate at less than 5%, Tannason recognized the opportunity and co-founded Bang Jamin in 2022. A software engineer, Tannason brings his expertise from previous roles at companies like Microsoft and RoboTutor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Regina Ho, 29, Senior Associate, Rakuten Ventures, Singapore

Regina Ho, 29, Senior Associate, Rakuten Ventures, Singapore

Regina Ho is a senior associate at Rakuten Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of the Rakuten Group. In this role, she provides analytical and business development support to portfolio companies and contributes to the sourcing and due diligence processes of new investment opportunities.

Ho joined Rakuten Ventures in 2017, fresh out of college, as an analyst in Singapore. Her contributions have been instrumental in deploying over US$60 million in investments across more than 20 companies. Notably, she played a key role in backing the marketplace unicorn Carousell and was part of the VC’s first beauty portfolio investment in Base, where she became the youngest board member. Ho also contributed to successful exits in portfolios like Coda Payment and GoTo, and has facilitated the expansion of some startups to Japan through Rakuten’s diverse business network.

Yash Vardhan Kanoi, 28, Partner, South and Southeast Asia, Alter Global, India

Yash Vardhan Kanoi, 28, Partner, South and Southeast Asia, Alter Global, India

Yash Vardhan Kanoi is the head of investments at Alter Global, a VC firm aiming to be a bridge between Silicon Valley and early-stage startups in emerging markets.

Since 2019, Kanoi has been instrumental in leading investments across Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Latin America, including Ula, BukuKas, and CoLearn.

Before joining Alter Global, Kanoi was chief of staff at Jakarta-based fintech company Investree and helped the company raise its Series C funding round. Kanoi also worked as an investment associate at edtech-focused impact investing firm Gray Matters Capital, and was a senior specialist at Deloitte in Mumbai and London where he focused on merger and acquisition (M&A) and restructuring deals.

Kanoi graduated with a degree in economics from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

Manish Maryada, 29, Founder and CEO, Fello, India

Manish Maryada, 29, Founder and CEO, Fello, India

Manish Maryada is the founder and CEO of Fello, an India-based platform that offers rewards to users to make investing more fun. Fello is a rewarding savings application that claims more than 1 million users, and which has secured over US$5 million in funding.

Maryada has been associated with the fintech ecosystem for over six years and helped in scaling early stage startups like Koinex and Flobiz across product, strategy and operations. At Koinex, he was one of the first team members and worked along with the founders in scaling the company to an exchange doing a trading volume of US$265 million per day. Post Koinex and Flobiz, he was one of the Founders in Residence of EF-Bangalore’s 4th Cohort where he started to build Fello back in 2021.

Priyesh Srivastava and Anuj Srivastava, 24 and 27, Co-Founders, OnFinance AI, India

Priyesh Srivastava and Anuj Srivastava, 24 and 27, Co-Founders, OnFinance AI, India

Priyesh Srivastava and Anuj Srivastava are the co-founders of OnFinance AI, an Indian startup that has developed a ChatGPT-like service for the finance industry. Called NeoGPT, the company’s foundational large language model (LLM) powers artificial intelligence (AI) co-pilots for various internal teams, enhancing productivity and simplifying data-driven processes.

Anuj Srivastava, who serves as CEO, is a visionary entrepreneur, and BITS Pilani Goa alum of 2020. With a passion for fintech, startups, generative AI, entrepreneurship, and AI, he has dedicated his career to revolutionizing financial services through technological innovation.

His professional journey is marked by significant achievements and contributions to several leading firms including Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Worldquant, Anthem, Accern, IIFL, and AT&T. His work has spanned across quantitative finance, investment banking, and AI, demonstrating his versatility and deep expertise in both finance and technology.

Priyesh Srivastava, who serves as CTO, is a software engineer with experience working at JioSaavn, a leading Indian audio streaming service, and Nutanix, a global leader in cloud software.

Udita Pal, 27, Co-Founder, Salt, India

Udita Pal, 27, Co-Founder, Salt, India

Udita Pal is the co-founder of Salt, a Bangalore-based fintech company that offers remittance services and which helps startups with their pre-funding compliance processes and documentation. The company provides a banking, documentation management, and workflow automation platform for exporters across India, aiming to reduce complexities in the operational and banking experience.

Pal has been in the startup industry for almost a decade now, and has worked with several leading startups, such as Opentalk, Tapchief, and Manch, performing roles varying from brand management, growth management, product marketing management. She has also served as a consultant to over 35 startups worldwide, helping them scale from zero to one.

With her strong experience in the startup world, Pal is now a driving force behind Salt and has played a vital role in building the company’s brand and expanding its reach within India and internationally to receive foreign payments.

Seethalakshmy Narayanan, 29, Vice President of Growth Investments, Premji Invest, India

Seethalakshmy Narayanan, 29, Vice President of Growth Investments, Premji Invest, India

Seethalakshmy Narayanan is the vice president of growth investments at Premji Invest, a multi-family office specializing in private equity and VC investments across financial services, technology, consumer, healthcare, industrials and buyouts.

Narayanan joined Premji Invest as an associate in 2021 and has played a pivotal role in seven significant investments, totaling over US$300 million. These investments span diverse sectors, including consumer technology, healthcare, financial services, and fintech. Notable deals Narayanan led include growth-stage investments in Mintifi, a financing startup, and FirstCry, an e-commerce site, as well as increasing Premji Invest’s stake in fintech company KreditBee.

Before joining Premji Invest, Narayanan gained valuable experience at True North Private Equity Fund, a US$3 billion domestic buy-out fund, and Investec in the corporate finance team.

Fahad Ahmed, 25, Principal in Residence, Team Ignite Ventures, Singapore

Fahad Ahmed, 25, Principal in Residence, Team Ignite Ventures, Singapore

Fahad Ahmed is the principal in residence of VC firm Team Ignite Ventures. Ahmed’s investment focus covers seed-stage companies, with a particular interest in business-to-business (B2B), AI, SaaS and fintech. Notable investments include North, Piction Health, Dost, and Textla.com.

Prior to joining Team Ignite Ventures, Ahmed co-founded Wind.App, a cross-border remittance platform that uses blockchain technology and stablecoins to offer faster and cheaper transactions. Founded in 2022, the startup secured US$3.8 million in pre-seed funding led by Global Founders Capital and Spartan Group in November.

Before Wind.App, Ahmed was part of the founding team and head of product at Pathao, where he launched services such as food delivery, payments, and ride-hailing in Bangladesh and Nepal.

A self-taught coder, Ahmed earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Dhaka.

Sagar Sheth, 28, Vice President of Investments, Eight Roads Ventures, India

Sagar Sheth, 28, Vice President of Investments, Eight Roads Ventures, India

Sagar Sheth serves as the vice president of investments at Eight Roads Ventures, a VC firm backed by Fidelity. He is part of the tech investing team and focuses on investments in fintech, enterprise tech and consumer tech.

At Eight Roads Ventures, Sheth holds the distinction of being the youngest vice president within the firm. He joined the firm back in 2018 as an analyst, where he honed his expertise for two years. During this time, he co-founded goDutch, a fintech startup that secured US$1.7 million in seed funding led by Matrix Partners India. In 2021, Sheth returned to Eight Roads Ventures and made his first investment in Whatfix, a software company. Since then, Whatfix’s valuation has skyrocketed from US$40 million to over US$600 million. Sheth has also been involved in other strategic investments, including Uni Cards, Wint Wealth, and Bank Bazaar.

Jai Sumer Singh, 29, Co-Founder, Riverwalk Holdings, India

Jai Sumer Singh, 29, Co-Founder, Riverwalk Holdings, India

Jai Sumer Singh is the co-founder of Riverwalk Holdings, an India-focused and sector-agnostic early-stage VC fund established in 2021. The fund is anchored by the Thakral Group and has also raised capital from prominent Asian family offices. It specializes in investing across seed to Series A stages in the SaaS, fintech and consumer sectors.

Singh played a pivotal role in co-founding Riverwalk Holdings, where he leads the Investments team and has backed companies such as The Ayurveda Experience, Spotdraft and Venwiz.

Before starting Riverwalk Holdings, Singh led investments for the Thakral Group through their investment vehicle, SGAN. From SGAN, he invested in and managed a portfolio of 50+ companies at the seed stage. Notable exits include Karza Technologies, Loginext, FabAlley, and Dropsuite (ASX:DSE).

Singh is a CFA charterholder and was also part of the valuations team at EY where he led the execution of valuation engagements for startups raising growth stage rounds and publicly listed companies doing M&As.

Sherman Tanuwidjaja, 29, Co-Founder and CEO, Gajiku, Indonesia

Sherman Tanuwidjaja, 29, Co-Founder and CEO, Gajiku, Indonesia

Sherman Tanuwidjaja is the co-founder and CEO of Gajiku, an Indonesia-based startup that allows blue-collar workers to access their salary in advance.

Tanuwidjaja has years of experience developing enterprise technology with a focus on human resources (HR) solutions for major clients including Temasek. Before co-founding Gajiku, he co-founded Vara, an employee management application, and Ocurise Consultancy, a 20-person development shop.

Gajiku is an on-demand payroll and people management solution provider founded in 2021. The platform allows employees to access salary on-demand through an employer-centric approach. Working closely with employers, Gajiku offers a full suite of employee management processes for attendance, payroll disbursal, and KPI tracking, helping employers digitize their human resource and accounting operations. It claims it has partnered with 70 companies with over 100,000 employees.

Aashish Vanigota, 28, Principal, Investments, IvyCap Ventures, India

Aashish Vanigota, 28, Principal, Investments, IvyCap Ventures, India

Aashish Vanigota is a principal at Mumbai-based IvyCap Ventures, which manages US$550 million in assets.

Vanigota has over seven years of experience in early-stage investing and investment banking. Before joining ivyCap, he was part of the investment team at Fosun RZ Capital, a leading global VC fund with assets under management (AUM) of US$1.3 billion, where he invested in India and Southeast Asia markets. At Fosun, he was instrumental in managing six companies and successfully exiting two companies generating stellar returns equivalent to the fund and total deployment in startups in India.

Before Fosun, Vanigota spent more than four years at Carpediem Capital, a domestic early-to-mid market private equity fund, focused on early-stage investing across consumer-tech and B2B managed services. He was one of the early employees of the fund and was instrumental in managing three companies. He focused on sourcing, investing, managing, and exiting the investments.

Before Carpediem, Vanigota spent time at Yes Securities in the investment banking division, with a focus on executing transactions in the media and technology sector, and BDO India in the transaction advisory division focusing on valuations for startups and M&A transactions.

Heinrich Vincent, 29, Founder and CEO, Bizhare, Indonesia

Heinrich Vincent, 29, Founder and CEO, Bizhare, Indonesia

Heinrich Vincent is the founder and CEO of Bizhare, a Jakarta-based digital investment platform for SMEs. Bizhare helps SMEs expand their business by sharing the ownership of their business to public investors. Investors, on the other hand, get to invest in profitable businesses or franchise businesses together and earn passive income streams through dividend and profit sharing scheme.

Besides his role at Bizhare, Vincent is also a founding member and the vice chairman of ALUDI, the Indonesia Crowdfunding Association.

Notable as a SWA Indonesia Young Business Leader in 2021, Vincent participated in the Y Combinator Startup School Advisory Track in 2018 and received the Alibaba E-Founders Fellowship in 2019.

Aryaman Vir, 28, Founder and CEO, WiseX, India

Aryaman Vir, 28, Founder and CEO, WiseX, India

Aryaman Vir is the founder and CEO of WiseX, formerly known as Myre Capital. WiseX is a fractional investment platform in real estate that allows retail investors to participate in institutional grade investment opportunities.

Under Vir’s guidance, WiseX has achieved remarkable success, managing investments worth over INR 2.75 billion (US$33 million) in less than three years of existence.

With a strong educational foundation in networked and social systems engineering (Undergraduate) and systems engineering (Masters) from the University of Pennsylvania, Vir combines his engineering background with a passion for algorithms and big data analytics. This unique blend empowers him to develop a robust model that caters to diverse audiences seeking secure and profitable real estate investments. Vir’s expertise lies in utilizing advanced models and data analysis techniques to identify industry trends and anomalies in the real estate sector.

Mumtahina Anika and Sultan Moni, 25 and 28, Co-Founders, Zatiq, Bangladesh

Mumtahina Anika and Sultan Moni, 25 and 28, Co-Founders, Zatiq, Bangladesh

Mumtahina Anika and Sultan Moni are the co-founders of Zatiq, a fintech startup based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Zatiq’s mission is to assist small companies in enhancing their accounting practices through user-friendly software and hardware solutions.

Moni, who serves as CEO, boasts a decade-long entrepreneurial journey marked by the establishment and growth of various ventures. His notable ventures include Ongrocery, a grocery delivery app headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario, which rapidly expanded to 15+ cities within its first year before being acquired. He also co-founded Expresscart, a logistics and food distribution company, supplying food products from over 100 international and local brands to supermarkets and restaurants across the Greater Toronto Area.

Anika, who serves as COO, has a five-year background in enhancing profitability, reducing costs, and elevating customer service standards through lateral thinking and strategic planning. At Zatiq, she oversees financial, personnel, and operational aspects. Her entrepreneurial journey began at age 15, culminating in the establishment of a successful four-district chain business generating US$50,000 in daily revenue and empowering approximately 50 women without external investment.