Data Vantage | SE Asia’s payment firms benefit from surge in transactions

Edition #112, 23 Sept 2021

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Singapore-headquartered super app Grab reported a record second quarter for its financial services business last week. Total payments volume on its platform ballooned 66% year-on-year to $2.9 billion, while the unit’s adjusted net sales grew 140% to $26 million.

On the back of the accelerated adoption of digital payments, payments integrator Xendit joined the region’s unicorn club after raising $150 million in its Series C round last week. Xendit co-founder and COO Tessa Wijaya said the company has seen a more than 200% year-on-year increase in total payments volume across Indonesia and the Philippines.

E-wallet operators in the region have shown huge jumps in transaction volumes over the last year, as sanitation concerns arising from the pandemic, coupled with incentives dangled by e-wallet operators, encouraged consumers in the region to go digital.

In a May 2021 survey by Facebook and Bain covering 16,706 digital consumers across Southeast Asia, 37% of respondents chose e-wallets as their preferred payment option. In comparison, 28% said they still prefer cash.

Source: Southeast Asia: The Home for Digital Transformation, Facebook & Bain

E-wallet adoption experienced a 70% year-on-year growth amongst Southeast Asian users, the report found. This is also reflected in the financial performance of other payment players.

Sea Ltd’s financial services business SeaMoney recorded a total payment volume of over $4.1 billion in Q2, an increase of close to 150% versus the second quarter of 2020. It reported 32.7 million quarterly paying users for its mobile wallet in the second quarter of 2021, up 109% year-on-year. The company said it continues to expand its off-platform digital payment use cases.

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Singapore-based digital asset exchange SDAX Financial received nearly $30 million in paid-in capital this week, with RHT Group pumping in some $20.2 million. The startup counts former Singapore politician Mah Bow Tan among its shareholders.

MiCare Healthtec Holdings, a subsidiary of Zuellig Pharma that administers medical claims, received $50 million in paid-up capital from two investors this week as part of a funding round announced in May. Mitsui and International Finance Corporation both contributed $25 million to this round, paying $18.84 per ordinary share. Zuellig remains MiCare’s largest shareholder.

Top shareholders in MiCare

Source: DATA VANTAGE

Automotive marketplace operator Motorist received about $1 million in paid-up capital last week, with a majority of it coming from an AngelCentral syndicate.

Stem cell research firm Cytomed received $600,000 this week from investors including Essex Bio-Investment.

Oyika, a battery swapping technology provider for electric vehicles, received $1 million from Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility Master Fund last week. The firm announced in April that it is raising $100 million for its energy-share business in Southeast Asia. It has received about $7.1 million so far this year.

Zipmex received about $41 million in equity investment this week as part of a previously announced Series B round. B Capital contributed $13.4 million through three different vehicles, while new investor Krungsri Finnovate, the corporate venture capital arm of Thailand based Bank Ayudhya, pumped in $2 million.

SME financing platform Funding Societies, also known as Modalku in Indonesia, recorded a more than 51% year-on-year increase in revenue in 2020 at the group level. It has raised a Series C equity round from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation and BRI Ventures this year. (Editor’s note: A previous edition of this newsletter had provided the financial data for a specific Funding Societies entity, which did not reflect the group’s financial health.)

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