15 Southeast Asian Fintech Startups Worth Looking At
TECHINASIA: Vladislav Solodkiy, Life.SREDA VC: It has been almost 2 months since I relocated to Singapore. During this time I saw about 100 fintech projects at different stages. My last article was dedicated to 5 most promising mPOS-acquiring startups, and now I’d like to introduce 15 more projects.
Transfers and payments: Fastacash (Singapore), Ayannah(Philippines)
Online acquiring: 2C2P (Singapore-Thailand)
eWallets: VMoney (Philippines), HomePay (Singapore)
Alternative capital sources for SME: p2b-lending – CapitalMatch (Singapore) and crowdinvesting – Crowdonomic (Singapore)
Big-data: online scoring – Lenddo (Philippines-USA) and geo-tracking – TIDE (Malaysia)
Cash registers: Mobikon (Singapore-India), StoreHub (Malaysia), ARMS (Malaysia) REV (Malaysia), HotTab (Vietnam)
Trading: TradeHero (Singapore-China)
Online-lending: PawnHero (Philippines)
So let’s go down to the details:
An open API system for banks (Southeast Asia, India, South Africa), payment systems like Mastercard/Visa/AmEx, telecom operators and remittance systems that is integrated with social networks and messengers . It allows users to transfer money to anyone via any messenger or social network just by using a person’s nickname. Choose someone from your contacts and send him the money. The system withdraws it from your bank account or card and transfers it to that person. Fastacash recently integrated with Axis Bank – the second biggest bank in India. The company is managed by a very experienced and strong team.
Ayannah is one of the largest money transfer services in the Philippines. It operates through partners with 7000 selling points by integrating remittance software and providing customer service for the clients. Mikko is surely “offline genius” – because of a very weak banking system in the Philippines he had to learn how to “parasitise” on nonbank selling points (small shops, pharmacies, pawnshops and others). This allows him to increase the pace of development and cut his spendings on building a network.
2C2P is a payments company from Thailand and incorporated in Singapore. It’s striving to become the Southeast-Asian Stripe or PayPal. They are actively entering other countries and recently successfully closed another round of fundraising.
It is hard to call VMoney a startup – it is considered a successful company with a positive cashflow, which hopes to become the Asian Bancorp. They are not looking for investors and more interested in partners and advisors. The development team is located in Canada and it’s interesting how the company is making good use of cutting-edge technologies.
HomePay is still a small project in the very beginning of its journey. There are plenty of Simple bank clones around the globe, but HomePay has a very specific target audience. They want to create “Simple for families”.
CapitalMatch & Crowdonomic
Here we have two very promising SME alternative lending solutions: CapitalMatch and Crowdonomic – crowdinvesting service that launched in 2012 and received its trading license in Malaysia in 2015.
Just a reminder that there are no centralised scoring agencies in the Philippines so the idea of lending is still emerging and mainly disbursed by MFIs rather than banks. The R&D department is located in the US while the HQ is in the Philippines. Lenddo has recently opened a number of new offices in Columbia and a few other countries. The shareholders team looks extremely strong: Accel and Credit Suisse are two of the many. Their plan is to tapped on the unbaked markets around the world. The team has an incredible amount of ideas on the analyses of mobile and social networks users’ data. This can not only be used for lending itself, but also for marketing, advertising, business management etc.
A Malaysia startup focused on pinging nearby mobile devices (the area of IoT and O2O) and connecting them with others. The team is very strong: all the members comes from Silverlake – the biggest system integrator for banks in Southeast Asia. Here’s a very interesting Forbes article about them. The monetisation model is currently based only on advertising contracts with other companies and advertising agencies. TIDE is planning to cover card-not-present payments and cash registers. They already collected 10 million MAC-addresses (half of the Kuala Lumpur population) and has registered 800 million locations on the map. This startup is several months old and so far it only attracted 10 clients with 100 selling points.
POS management cloud solutions and the replacement of traditional cash registers with tablets are showing fast growth in Southeast Asia today. Therefore I would like to highlight the following players.
Mobikon – a very strong Singaporean-Indian solution of a merchant’s personal account. Vietnamese HotTab . Malaysian ARMS is already selling in several countries, including the US and Australia; they have 4 monetisation models and a very strong IT-team; they also provide loads of customised solutions for F&B. StoreHub is aiming to become the Asian Spotify. REV is the Singaporean spin-off form the Malaysian company Cuscapi that specialises on traditional cash registers and is selling at stock exchange.
And finally here are two “heroes”. In trading – TradeHero(Dinesh Bhatia – one of the TOP-100 most innovative persons in the world according to FastCompany) is expanding from Singapore to China. And in lending – PawnHero (David Margendorff, just won the Judges’ Choice award at Echelon) successfully implemented an online version of popular-in-Asia pawnshop model in the Philippines.