Many tech startups in Southeast Asia kickstarted the 2021 business year on a positive note. This is a result of the influx of venture capital investments, which has become one of the emerging trends in tech startups. According to S&P Global, January saw investments totalling $1.71 billion USD raised by eight SPACs.
Some of the more prominent startups raising funds include Podcast Network Asia, LottiFiles, and Advantir. Fundraising plays a key role in the growth of startups, helping transform unknown companies into significant industry players. We take a look at some fintech startups who also got 2021 off to a good start.
We explore Indonesia’s strong fundraising ecosystem right now.
This Singapore-based startup’s mission is to create a business-friendly financial control centre. It secured seed funding of $2.1 million USD with Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen’s assistance. Joining Mateen were CP Ventures, Soma Capital, Y Combinator and others.
Volopay was born from the discovery that many startups had trouble tracking various categories of expenses. Since then, Volopay has helped many entrepreneurs keep track of their expenditure, thereby increasing accountability.
Its founders, Rajesh Raikwar and Rajith Shaji, intend to use the funding to hire professionals, develop products, expand internationally and secure strategic partnerships.
Grab Financial Group
On January 14, 2021, Grab Financial Group (GFG) announced that it had raised over $300 million in a Series-A funding round. Hanwha Asset Management, a South Korean firm, led the round with GGV Capital, K3 Ventures, and Arbor Ventures, amongst others. The CEO of Hanwha Asset Management, Yong Hyun Kim, expects GFG to continue growing exponentially using its cutting-edge business model.
A report published by the Financial Times reveals the funds increased GFG’s valuation to $3 billion USD. The company stated that these funds would go into hiring new talent and expanding the company’s operations across Southeast Asia.
The fintech subsidiary of Globe Telecom, Mynt, raised a $175 million USD seed investment in January 2021. Reports showed that Bow Wave Capital Management and other existing shareholders led the funding round, taking the company’s valuation to nearly $1 billion USD. Mynt, also called Globe Fintech, is the operator of the eWallet known as GCash.
Mynt is embarking on another round of fundraising to take its overall valuation to $1 billion USD. In 2020, the Philippines-based company was among the top gainers, thereby establishing itself as one to watch.
On January 27, 2021, Lendela, the Singapore-based personal loan matchmaker, announced that it had secured $2 million USD seed capital in a pre-Series-A funding round led by 2be.lu Investments and Promise Future International. Lendela has earmarked the funds to boost its growth by hiring professionals in business development, tech development, and marketing to keep up with emerging tech startup trends.
The company allows individuals to borrow money by completing an online application which is then shared with available lenders. Applicants usually receive multiple loan offers within 24 hours, allowing them to choose the most suitable option before finalising the loan process.
Indonesian-based fintech startup, Pintek, secured a $21 million USD debt facility from the US-based company Accial Capital. Established in 2018 by Tommy Yuwono and Ioann Fainsilber, Pintek offers loans to educational institutes, suppliers and students. It aims to use the debt facility to provide more funds for the education sector in Indonesia.
Not only does Pintek offer loans but it also provides business solutions to schools and their suppliers, helping them invest in technological tools and infrastructure. The lack of funding is a pressing issue for many schools in Indonesia; Pintek co-founder, Fainsilber stated that the company would build products that play important roles in improving the Indonesian education sector.
The Sharia-compliant fintech company, Alami, raised more than $20 million in debt and equity funding in early January 2021. Funding firms AC Venture, Golden Gate, and Quona Capital led the funding round that helped the company to boost its overall valuation. Alami is a registered peer-to-peer loan company focused on providing credit facilities to micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
Its CEO, Dima Djani, revealed that the company aims to use the seed funding to grow exponentially and disburse over $71 million USD (1 trillion Indonesian Rupiah) to various sectors, including agriculture and healthcare logistics, and other industries in the country. Even during the current global pandemic, startups are pushing to secure more venture capital investments. It is likely that this trend of SPACs and VCs funding the region’s growth will exist for an extended period. With the surge of investments in the startup ecosystem, tech startups in Southeast Asia will likely achieve more growth in 2021. However, this growth will only occur in companies ready to take advantage of the current climate and the ever-changing, emerging trends in tech startups.