With 1,350 fintech companies as of October 2021, Singapore is Southeast Asia’s fintech powerhouse, and a major fundraising and operational hub for fintech companies operating across the region.
In 2021, Singapore-based fintech firms continued to attract the strongest funding in ASEAN, securing almost half (49%) of the total 167 deals, amounting to US$1.6 billion in funding. This includes six mega-rounds worth US$972 million in total, according to the Fintech in ASEAN 2021 report by UOB, PwC Singapore, and the Singapore Fintech Association.
The year also saw Southeast Asian super-app Grab begin trading on the Nasdaq, becoming the largest-ever company to close a special purpose company (SPAC) merger and go public. Headquartered in Singapore, Grab operates across 465 cities in eight countries with 1 billion transactions completed in the first half of 2021.
So far, 2022 has seen a number of large rounds of financing being closed by Singaporean fintech startups, indicating that the momentum is continuing this year also. To get a sense of Singapore’s up-and-coming fintech leaders, we look today at the top nine most well-funded fintech startups from the city-state. For this list, we’ve excluded startups that were acquired or which went public in stock markets.
Founded in 2016, the Advance Intelligence Group has built an ecosystem of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, credit-enabled products and services, including Asia’s leading buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform Atome, software-as-a-service (SaaS) big data analytics and enterprise solutions provider Advance.ai, Indonesia’s top digital lending platform Kredit Pintar, and omnichannel e-commerce merchant services platform Ginee.
The Advance Intelligence Group currently operates in 12 markets across South and Southeast Asia, Greater China, and Latin America, and employs 1,500 staff. Today, its enterprise and consumer business serve more than 800 enterprise clients, 100,000 merchants and 20 million consumers.
The Advance Intelligence Group has raised US$536 million in funding and is valued at US$2 billion, according to CB Insights and Dealroom data. The company is reportedly weighing raising about US$300 million in a new funding round, sources told Bloomberg in March.
Nium, formerly known as Instarem, is an embedded finance startup that provides banks, payment providers, and businesses of any size with access to global payment services.
Nium’s modular platform enables frictionless commerce, helping businesses pay and get paid across the globe with services for pay-outs, pay-ins, card issuance, and banking-as-a-service (BaaS). Once connected to the Nium platform, businesses have the ability to pay out in more than 100 currencies to over 190 countries, 85 of which in real time. Funds can be received in 27 markets, including Southeast Asia, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, India, and the US.
Nium’s card issuance business is available in 34 countries, including Europe (SEPA), the UK, Australia and Singapore. Nium’s license portfolio covers 11 of the world’s jurisdictions, enabling seamless global payments and rapid integration, regardless of geography.
Founded in 2010, M-Daq is a cross-border payments specialist. The company facilitates cross-border transactions for businesses with its foreign exchange (FX) solutions.
M-Daq’s Aladdin FX solution allows customers on e-commerce platforms to shop in their home currency, while allowing merchants to receive payment in their preferred currency. Since 2016, the solution has processed nearly S$30 billion in cross-border transactions covering 45 markets globally and supported by two-thirds of the world’s FX liquidity, enabling e-commerce ecosystems such as AliExpress, Tmall, and JD.com.
M-Daq has raised US$246 million in funding, according to Dealroom data, its latest round being a S$200 million (US$147 million) Series D closed in August 2021. M-Daq acquired in February 2022 rival Wallex, a business-to-business (B2B) cross-border payments provider. The combined entity is expected to process in the excess of S$15 billion (US$11 billion) of gross transaction value (GTV) this year.
Funding Societies is the largest small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) digital financing platform in Southeast Asia. An award-winning fintech startups, Funding Societies provides business financing to SMEs and uses alternative forms of credit scoring, annualizing US$1 billion disbursement in 2021.
Founded in 2015, Funding Societies is now looking to become a full-fledged SME neobank. In March 2022, it launched the Elevate virtual card for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Singapore. The card is available on a credit line on the fintech platform’s website and mobile app, and entitles qualified MSMEs to interest-free credit for a period of up to 55 days.
Funding Societies is licensed and registered in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and operating in Vietnam. The company has raised US$218 million in equity financing, according to Dealroom data, the latest round being a US$144 million Series C+ fundraise in February 2022.
Bolttech is an international insurtech startup that provides a full suite of digital and data-driven capabilities that empowers connections between insurers, distributors, and customers to make it easier and more efficient to buy and sell insurance and protection products.
Bolttech claims it has built a global footprint that serves more than 7.7 million customers in 26 markets North America, Asia and Europe. The company is working with over 150 insurers, 700 distribution partners, and now has US$5 billion worth of premiums transacting through its insurance exchange. In February 2022, it completed the acquisition of AVA Insurance Brokers and AVA Insurance Agency, a Singapore-based insurance intermediary and specialist broker, to further build out its insurance exchange in the city state and beyond.
Bolttech closed a US$247 million Series A funding round last year, which the company claimed was the largest ever Series A round for an insurtech at the time. The startup is valued at US$1 billion, according to CB Insights data.