Author: Sheldon

Singapore-based fintech firm Volopay raises $29m Series A to expand business to APAC and MENA

Singapore-based fintech firm Volopay has raised $29m in a mix of equity and debt from investors in a Series A led by Justin Mateen, the co-founder of Tinder. 

Other notable investors that participated in the Series A round include Acrons chief executive Jeffrey Cruttenden, Winklevoss Capital Management, Rapyd Ventures, Accial Capital, Access Ventures, VentureSouq, and Antler Global. 

Volopay was founded in 2019 by former MoneySmart Group employees Rajith Shaji and Rajesh Raikwar. The startup offers businesses with multi-currency corporate cards, invoice automation, bill payments, and multi-currency business accounts. The multi-currency wallet enables our customers to hold money in their base currency and any major currency (USD, SGD, EUR, and GBP) and subsequently use it for payouts. It also offers a 2% cashback on all software subscriptions, hosting, and international travel through its corporate card startups.

In a recent statement, Volopay stated that it will use the funding to expand its operations into the Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and North Africa targetting high foreign currency exchange charges on international payments, and addressing the lack of a uniform platform to access spending data. 

The Co-Founders of Volopay said in a joint statement “With APAC and MENA churning out several unicorn level enterprises every year, it is indeed making a big wave on the global frontier. And this is only the beginning. Accelerating their growth would require an efficient expense management tool that is simple yet scalable, something that Volopay has always aimed for.”

However, it seems that Volopay has set its sights on even bigger targets as Co-Founders Rajith Shaji and Rajesh Raikwar stated that they want to take their vision of a unified spend management system across the world after their expansion into the APAC and MENA markets. 

Part of the funds will also be used for market launches as well as for building technologies to complement its existing product and developing integrations with enterprise software and project management applications. The company is hiring aggressively for key positions in each of its markets. 

Volopay has over 150 employees in countries such as Singapore, Australia, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The list of clients includes Funding Societies, Zipmex, Moneysmart, Smartkarma, and Austrionva.

PayMongo, Philippine fintech startup aims to be a one-stop shop for Southeast Asia’s financial needs as it explores regional expansion

In April 2019, four co-founders, namely Francis Plaza, an MIT engineer; software engineer Jamie Hing II; business entrepreneur Luis Sia; and former Philippines Cabinet official Edwin Lacierda launched PayMongo to facilitate payments for businesses.

The fintech startup is backed by the likes of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, payment giant Stripe, and famed Silicon Valley accelerator Y combinator. PayMongo recently announced that it has raised $31-million in a Series B funding round to scale its operations and venture into more financial services. This brings the total investment of the three-year-old startup to nearly $46-million.

PayMongo CEO and co-founder Francis Plaza stated that “With this Series B, we will invest further in our merchant’s successes by giving them more means to move money seamlessly online” in a statement to Forbes. The injection of fresh capital will allow the company to build more products inter alia disbursements, capital lending, BNPL, subscriptions, and recurring payments. The firm has also stated its intention to expand its business beyond the Philippines in the broader Southeast Asian region.

In 2019, the startup raised $2.7-million in seed funding while the latest Series B round comes less than a year after PayMongo raised $12-million in a Series A funding round led by Stripe. 

PayMongo said it has achieved a 4x growth in monthly transaction volumes and a growth of 3x in merchant base.

The company works with businesses of all sizes. However, the company targets micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, in particular, by enabling them to accept different forms of payments, including online wallets, credit cards, and over-the-counter payments.

Small and medium-sized businesses account for 99% of businesses in the Philippines and have been historically been underserved by traditional payment providers. PayMongo’s API delivers a consistent checkout experience by lowering the integration time to a few lines of code. Onboarding and fraud detection systems are also featured on its payment platform.


Indonesian fintech Akulaku Inc. secures $100m funding from Thai lender to expand its business in Southeast Asia

Following a $125-million funding in 2021 co-led by Hong Kong multi-asset investment firm Silverhorn Group, Akulaku managed to pull in $100-million from one of Thailand’s biggest lenders, Siam Commercial Bank plc. to expand its business in Southeast Asia. 

In a statement, the company’s Chief Executive Officer said that funding raised would allow the Jakarta-based company to further expand its business’ geographical reach, specifically within its region of Southeast Asia. 

From a fintech lending platform in 2016, Akulaku inc. has ventured into Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and consumer financing platform in Indonesia. The company claims that throughout 2021, it has distributed over $2.2-billion of credit to over 6-million users. 

The company also operates an online wealth management platform as well as a mobile digital bank Neobank which is supported by its subsidiary Bank Neo Commerce and an e-commerce platform with BNPL services additional to the Akulaku virtual credit card and e-commerce platform.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Akulaku’s banking subsidiary – Bank Neo Commerce, completed a public rights issue on the Indonesia Stock Exchange for approximately $175-million. Bank Neo Commerce formerly known as Bank Yudha Bakti also launched its mobile digital banking service in march 2021 and has over 13 million users before Akulaku took control of Bank Neo Commerce in October of 2021. 

The $100-million strategic investment from Thai lenders SBC would provide the company with enough firepower to grow its core business in Jakarta as well as to grow its business within the region. Southeast Asia as a region has a population of 650-million people. This has seen a surge of fundraisings and startup deals as companies look to expand their businesses aggressively and move to win over consumers in one of the world’s fastest-growing digital markets.


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