After record sums were invested in the region’s fintech startups last year, investors predict that financial technology will remain one of the hottest sectors in Southeast Asia. The region’s adoption of digital technology witnessed a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, which also increased demand for embedded financial solutions and pure-play digital financial services. The interest of investors in the payment industry has grown as more people make purchases online.
Neobanking’s transaction value will likely reach USD 66.81 billion in 2022. The value of transactions should grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.81% from 2022 to 2027, with the total value of transactions reaching USD 171.90 billion and 22.07 million users. The fastest-growing sectors this year were technology and cryptocurrencies. Here are the top five fintech startups in Southeast Asia:
Singapore-based fintech startup banco is a funding platform for developing Asian companies. It uses the RABC group’s expertise in lending to micro, small, and medium-sized firms (MSMEs) to provide sector-specific and long-term green financial solutions for optimising cash flow and enhancing sustainability across their whole value chain.
In March 2022, it formed a partnership with renowned real estate advisor Savills (Singapore) to digitise financing options and improve sustainable standards within the industry. The startup raised USD 6.7 million in Series A funding, led by the SBI Group of Japan, with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), R3, Savills, and KZM & Company contributing.
Funding Societies is Malaysia’s first digital financing platform for SMEs. It provides short-term funding options and offers people and organisations Malaysian investment opportunities. It has carried out more than 5.1 million transactions, resulting in over USD 2.6 billion in funding disbursements.
Funding Societies shares what’s next for Malaysia’s MSMEs and SMEs
Recently, it announced a USD 50 million credit facility from HSBC Singapore. Since the beginning of 2022, it has raised USD 144 million in Series C+ equity, invested in Bank Index in Indonesia, entered the Vietnamese market, and acquired the Singaporean payments platform, CardUp.
FOMO Pay, a Singapore-based fintech startup, offers global virtual banking solutions for businesses and financial institutions to enhance the digital economy. Its flagship products enable institutional clients to connect to e-wallets, credit cards, cryptocurrencies, and more.
In August 2022, it received a USD 13 million investment for its Series A round which was led by Jump Crypto, with HashKey Capital, Antalpha Ventures, Ab Initio Capital, and Republic Capital also taking part. FOMO Pay has made several high-profile collaboration announcements in the past year, including partnerships with Circle, Acentrik, and Ripple. The company will accelerate its expansion and invest in infrastructure and talent acquisition, including working closely with regulators on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) projects.
Another Singaporean fintech startup, SuperAtom, is a leading platform that brings innovative financing options to millions of underbanked consumers globally. Its UangMe product is a credit platform that gives people in Indonesia access to low-cost loans and provides Buy Now and Pay Later (BNPL) options. It claims to have attracted millions of users and issued hundreds of millions of dollars in loans since it debuted in 2018.
In July 2022, SuperAtom secured USD 22 million in Series C funding led by Nue 3 Capital, a Malaysia-based digital investment firm. It plans to use the funds to expand its digital banking and credit products around the globe, beginning with Mexico and then to the rest of Latin America. In the coming months, SuperAtom will establish a presence in the region by employing local people, applying for financial licences, and focusing on new product development.
A Malaysian fintech startup, TNG Digital, provides secure, swift, and convenient digital transactions to all, with the vision of realising a cashless society. It has grown from its starting point as a commuter convenience product to offering a range of fintech solutions used throughout the region.
In July 2022, the company announced that it had raised USD 168.3 million from its latest equity funding round. Lazada Group, a new investor in TNG Digital, took the lead in this fundraising round. With this fundraising round, it has raised more than USD 224 million in total over the past 18 months. Other TNG Digital shareholders include Ant Group, the insurance company AIA Group, and the US-based venture capital firm BowWave Capital. This new investment strengthens the partnership between two prominent market leaders, one in eCommerce and the other in digital financial services and payments.
The emergence and growth of new fintech startups in Southeast Asia reveal that despite the global economic crisis, investments in the industry have not decreased. These top 5 fintech startups are not an anomaly, as many other companies working in the sector are also proliferating.
With fintech becoming a central aspect of digitalisation in the region, new industries continue to develop and provide clients with practical digital solutions, including solving the issues of financing and being underbanked.