Ex-Lazada CMO’s neobanking platform for SMEs, Aspire, raises US$32.5M to grow in Southeast Asia

via e27

Aspire provides SMEs with a 60-day, interest free credit line of up to S$100,000 to solve their working capital needs

Singapore-headquartered Aspire, a neobank for small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Southeast Asia, announced today it has secured US$32.5 million in Series A round of financing.

The round was led by Singapore-based Mass-Mutual Ventures (MMV) Southeast Asia, with participation from Silicon Valley’s Arc Labs and existing investors Y Combinator, Hummingbird Ventures, and Picus Capital.

The fintech startup will use the capital to boost its financial product offering and strengthen local presence.

This round comes exactly a year after Aspire raised a seed round of US$9 million from investors, including Insignia Ventures Partners, Mark 2 Capital, and Hummingbird.

Founded in January 2018 Andrea Baronchelli (former EVP and CMO at Lazada), Aspire aims to “reinvent SME banking in Southeast Asia”. The startup is serving a new generation of internet businesses with a mobile-first digital account across Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

The startup’s flagship product AspireAccount, targeted at digital merchants across the region, can be opened online in just few clicks. It is free and comes with an instant credit limit for daily business expenses, a virtual B2B payment acceptance and other tools to help SMEs manage their cash flow.

Aspire claims it provides SMEs with a 60-day, interest free credit line of up to S$100,000 to solve their working capital needs. Its goal is to provide business owners with fast and simple access to the funding they need to grow.

A business credit card is next in line and it will be available and linked to each business account as early as this year.

Aspire graduated from Y Combinator Winter 2018 batch.

“We are extremely excited about the problem we are solving for this fast growing generation of digital entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia,” said Andrea Baronchelli, Founder and CEO. “We have seen 30 per cnet month on month growth since we founded the company in January 2018 and expect to open more than 100,000 business accounts by next year.”

MMV invests in seed to growth stage companies in North America, Europe, Israel and Southeast Asia. Its key areas of investment focus include fintech, insurtech, cybersecurity, data analytics, digital health and enterprise software.  Today, MMV manages US$250 million across two funds based in Boston and Singapore.