Over the past year, Asia has dominated the fintech investment scene, with nearly as much investment in the first 3 quarters of 2016 as in all of 2015, according to CB Insights and KPMG’s The Pulse of Fintech, Q3 2016 report.
Among the top 20 venture capital deals of 2016, seven went towards Asian companies. These include deals involving One97 Communications and MobiKwik from India, and Yunnex and Wangyudashi from China.
Especially, China-based fintech companies have done incredibly well, with unicorn companies such as Ant Financial, JD Finance and Lufax continuing to grow and attract investment both domestically and globally.
While China may be the central focus of fintech in Asia, the region’s diverse fintech hubs have helped turn Asia into a fintech leader. Hong Kong, Singapore, India: each of these jurisdictions is finding a way to set their fintech offerings apart.
Today, we take a look at seven ineresting Asian fintechs to watch in 2017.
Toast is a peer-to-peer money transfer application that allows Filipinos in Hong Kong to send money back home directly from a smartphone.
Since launching its money transfer app in the city in March, remittances from Hong Kong to the Philippines have grown to more than HK$7 million (US$902,750) a month. The company now plans to expand further in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
In November, Toast secured US$1.5 million in pre-series A funding round and obtained a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to operate as a remittance agent here.
AIMin is a tech platform that enables price discovery in bonds through innovative trading protocols. The company is tapping into a US$500 billion market by providing a solution that would benefit all stakeholders including issuers, investors and governments.
AIMin’s new age trade protocols enable intelligent match making between institutions allowing them to find appropriate counter party to trade in illiquid bonds.
The solution has been used by over ten institutions including top Indian banks.
Lenddo (the Philippines)
Incorporated in 2011, Lenddo is a software-as-a-service company which uses non-traditional data comprising social media and smartphone records in order to ascertain customers’ financial stability. The company launched operations in the Philippines in January 2011 but quickly expanded to other markets including Colombia in May 2012, Mexico in May 2013, as well as India and South Korea in January 2016.
Lenddo’s vision is “to improve financial inclusion for at least a billion people” in developing countries around the world.
They claims to onboard more than 200,000 applicants every month. Lenddo has raised US$14 million in funding so far.
8 Securities (Hong Kong)
8 Securities is a leading online and mobile investing service in Asia serving a large customer base with offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
8 Securities’ portfolio includes a robo-advisor service called Chloe, and a mobile stock trading app that allows users to trade over 15,000 US, Hong Kong and China H shares and exchange traded funds. 8 Securities was the first company in Asia to offer no-commission trading. The company also offers a robo-advisor solution for banks and asset managers.
8 Securities has raised US$17 million in funding so far.
MatchMove Pay (Singapore)
An award-winning startup, MatchMove Pay is one of Singapore’s fastest growing fintech companies, providing innovative enterprise solutions to help businesses increase revenue, user engagement and loyalty.
Founded in 2009, the company offers MatchMove Wallet, an electronic wallet that enables users to apply and keep track of multiple virtual cards for online shopping. It also allows consumer brands, banks, and regional e-commerce websites to easily issue secure mobile payment cards to potential customers with smartphones in Asia and other emerging markets.
MatchMove Pay is headquartered in Singapore with offices spanned across Vietnam, Indonesia, India and the Philippines.
Money Forward (Japan)
Money Forward is a Japanese fintech company specializing in financial management services.
Money Forward provides online personal accounting for individuals, allowing them to easily manage their daily expenses by integrating with their bank passbooks and credit purchase history with information scraped from their web bank and credit accounts. The service is also available for desktop, as well as iOS and Android platforms.
Money Forward has raised over US$41 million in funding so far.
Viva Republica (South Korea)
Established in 2013, Viva Republica is a fintech startup that provides an innovative peer-to-peer money transfer services through a mobile application called Toss.
Toss is an easy-to-use money transfer mobile application seeking to disrupt the antiquated payments ecosystem that plagues South Korea’s US$500 billion consumer market.
Since its launch in 2015, Toss has processed over US$1 billion in transactions and is at a US$2.6 billion annualized transaction run rate. Core use cases include peer-to-peer payments, mobile commerce and digitally closing the loop for offline transaction.
Featured picture via pixabay