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BYJU’S raised another $250M from Blackrock

Byju’s recently secured a $250 million in fresh funding at a valuation cap of $22 billion earlier this month, indicating that the startup continues to be valued higher by other backers.

New $200M fund by 3one4 Capital to focus on contrarian bets

The fund, sixth overall for 3one4 Capital, was oversubscribed to $250 million but the firm is accepting only $200 million to keep itself lean and disciplined, said Pranav Pai, co-founder and partner at 3one4 Capital.

FinTech startup Acko about to land $120M in new funding

General Atlantic is in talks to lead a $120 million round into Acko, the first tranche of which is about $100 million, a source familiar with the matter said. The round values the Indian startup at $1.5 billion.

Credit Cards startup Kredivo raised Series D round of $270M

The round was led by Japanese bank Mizuho Bank, a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group that contributed $125 million. It included participation from returning investors like Square Peg Capital, Jungle Ventures, Naver Financial Corporation, GMO Venture Partners and Openspace Ventures.

Sequoia's Surge presented 12 new entrants to SEA and Indian markets

The 12 startups gathered in the presentation hall had been hand-picked from about 3,600 applicants for the latest cohort of Sequoia’s four-year-old early-stage-focused Surge program

Neobank Aspire raised Series C round of $100M in Singapore

Founded in 2018 to provide working capital loans for small to medium-sized businesses, Aspire began offering more services, including bank accounts for cross-border businesses, corporate cards, payable and receivable management and automated invoice processing connected to financial management software.

FinTech Tazapay raised Series A round of $17M led by Sequoia SEA

Its API covers over 170 markets for card payments, and 85 markets for local payments collection, which means its customers can accept payments in different countries without having to set up local entities.

PhonePe to see over quarter billion in revenue in 2022

PhonePe, which is valued at $12 billion, has projected a revenue of $325 million in the calendar year 2022 and $504 million in 2023, according to a valuation report prepared by the auditing firm KPMG and filed by PhonePe. A concern for PhonePe’s growth was Indian regulators enforcing a market cap check on each player, but the deadline for the new guidelines was extended last month and now won’t come into effect until 2025, giving PhonePe another two years of fast-growth. The nine-month financials marks a jump from the $201.6 million revenue that the Bengaluru-headquartered generated in the 12-month period ending in financial year March last year. The startup, backed by Walmart, doesn’t expect to turn EBIDTA positive, a key profitability metric, until the calendar year 2025, KMPG wrote in its valuation report.

Walmart to invest another $2.5B in India UPI based tech

Walmart is preparing to spend over $2.5 billion in India as the retailer doubles down on the opportunities it sees in India e-commerce and payments markets even as the firm contends with rising costs amid the market downturns. Walmart, which missed the e-commerce race in the U.S., has coughed up over $20 billion on Flipkart and PhonePe to buy the lion’s share in India’s e-commerce and payments markets. Amazon faced a very public setback in the country last year after India’s largest retail giant Reliance outwitted the American firm into securing retailer Future Group’s assets. The company, which owns majority stake in Flipkart, is now looking to spend about $1.5 billion to buy back e-commerce firm’s shares from early backers Tiger Global and Accel Partners, Indian newspaper Economic Times reported Thursday.

FinTech startup PeopleFund raised Series C extension round of $20M

Existing backer Bain Capital led the extension, with participation from previous investors such as Access Ventures, CLSA Capital Partners Lending Ark Asia, D3 Jubilee Partners, 500 Global, Kakao Investment, TBT Partners and IBX Partners. PeopleFund plans to use its new capital to continue to advance its AI-powered risk management and credit scoring system for its users, which includes borrowers and lenders. In 2021, PeopleFund raised $63.4 million (75.9 billion won) in equity for Series C, also led by Bain Capital, to further develop its credit-scoring system. Korea’s P2P lending startup PeopleFund gets $63.4M Series C led by Bain Capital

Pakistani SECP to limit the digital lending

Pakistan markets regulator issued new guidelines for digital lending in the country, cracking down on several sketchy practices that it said have become prevalent in the South Asian market. The non-banking finance firms will be required to share these key facts with consumers through audio or video and emails and text messages in both English and Urdu languages. Neighboring nation India also introduced strict rules surrounding digital lending in a move that has toppled the local fintech industry. (You can read the full-guidelines here {PDF}.)

FinTech superapp Toss raised Series G  $0.4B led by Tonic PE

The new capital will help also Toss accelerate growth for the challenger bank Toss Bank— launched last year by Via Republica — and a Robinhood-like retail investment app, Toss Securities, which both look to turn a profit next year, according to Seo. Viva Republica, an operator of South Korean finance super app Toss, has finalized a $405 million Series G funding and it says it is now valued at 9.1 trillion won ( $7 billion), up from 8.5 trillion won in June 2021, when it raised $410 million in pre-Series F funding at a $7.4 billion (8.5 trillion won) valuation. Viva Republica with Toss Securities, Toss Payments and Toss Insurance is expected to post about 1 trillion won ($ 767 million) in revenue next year, according to the company. In fact, Viva Republica claims it has the largest market share with its fintech super app in the country in terms of monthly active users (MAUs), with 24 million registered users for Toss and 14 MAUs as of August this year.

Akros Technologies raised $2.3M from Z VC

Akros Technologies wants to disrupt the current asset management industry via its AI-driven asset management software platform that mines market data for stocks. The outfit aims to maximize the finance management performance of data-driven ETFs and offer a portfolio management solution via the PMaaS for Akros’s users to help them compete with global ETF institutions like Vanguard or JPMorgan. To build a slew of investment strategies that lower the cost of portfolio modeling and generate scores of investment portfolios, Akros applies a generative AI model based on a decision transformer, which predicts future actions through the sequencing model, Chung said, adding the company also employs GPT-3 natural language processing (NLP) to analyze unstructured language data. The latest funding, which brings Akros’s total amount raised to $6.1 million since its 2021 inception, will help Akros to scale its software platform and asset management products and ramp up its users, including local and global financial institutions and fintech companies.

MAS to regulate retail investments by asking to pass crypto test

Singapore may soon require retail investors to take a test and not use credit card payments and other forms of borrowing for trading cryptocurrencies, the central bank proposed on Wednesday in a series of stringent measures as the island nation looks to make citizens aware of the risks surrounding volatile assets. The central bank acknowledged [PDF] that a number of industry players are supportive of some form of assessment on the retail customer’s knowledge of risks, but said they should also disclose whenever they have a financial interest in the tokens they offer to customers. The central bank also proposed that crypto firms licensed under the nation’s Payments Services Act should not be allowed to lend to retail investors in a move that could topple many firms’ businesses. Once a preferred global crypto hub for its policies, Singapore authorities have toughen their views of digital assets following the collapse of a series of firms including Terraform Labs’ stablecoin UST and native token LUNA, and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

New half a billion fund by Square Peg Capital for SEA, Australia and Israel

It a tough market for venture capital, but Square Peg Capital is plowing ahead with its focus on Australia (where it is based), Southeast Asia and Israel. Square Peg has a growing footprint in Southeast Asia, where partners Tushar Roy and Piruze Sabuncu are based. Part of Square Peg’s new capital will be used for its core venture fund, which invests in seed to Series B startups. Some of Square Peg’s investments so far from Southeast Asian include LottieFiles, Doctor Anywhere and FinAccel.

Startup K12 Techno Services raised $50M backed by Sequoia India

Sequoia India is in advanced stages of deliberations to invest over $50 million in K12 Techno Services, a startup that offers a range of services to education institutions and also runs its own chain of schools, doubling down on a firm that it first backed over a decade ago, two sources familiar with the matter told journalist. K12 Techno Services — which has raised over $75 million in previous rounds, according to Tracxn — also engaged with TPG and Accel in recent weeks but has decided to move ahead with existing backer Sequoia India, one of the sources said. The deal represents Sequoia’s aggressive and multi-faceted approach to tackling the edtech market in India, where over 300 million students go to school and participate in competitive college entrance exams. K12 Techno Services runs Orchids – The International School chain in over two dozen cities in India.

Thunes partners with Visa Direct to expand its digital payments

Visa’s network is now connected to Thunes’ B2B platform, which means Visa Direct can reach more than 1.5 billion new endpoints (for a total of 7 billion) and that the 78 digital wallet providers already integrated with Thunes get a new send-to-wallet capability.

API-first FinTech Ayoconnect raised Series B extension round of $13M led by SIG Ventures

Ayoconnect’s new funding will be used for leadership hiring, and on its Ayoconnect’s product and technology, including new solutions for payments, data and banking and new APIs for account opening and card issuing.

Blockchain startup Pillow raised Series A round of $18M led by Accel

Pillow’s founders says it differentiates with its goal of becoming a holistic home for digital asset-driven financial services that allows even first time crypto users users to earn, save, spend and invest from the same platform. For Bitcoin, yields are generated by wrapping Bitcoin to Ethereum-compatible assets such as $WBTC and $renBTC and deploying wrapped assets as liquidity to DeFi protocols such as Uniswap, with an effective rate of 1.52%. In some countries where Pillow has partnered with local, compliant on-ramp service providers, users can also buy crypto with their local fiat currency. Pillow aspires to be an all-in-one platform that says it helps even newbie users save, spend and invest in crypto currency.

Crypto Tax startup Binocs raised $4M led by BEENEXT

Shingal, the startup’s CEO, said crypto hedges and investment funds often run with a small number of staff, and the process of calculating tax and performing compliance is time consuming because they have to pull data from multiple sources, merge it and then adhere to different compliance and reporting regulations for each type of transaction. Founded in May 2022 by Tonmoy Shingal and Pankaj Garg and based in Bangalore, Binocs currently has over 1,000 users, including retail and institutional investors who need to perform forensic accounting and risk management. He added that regulations are one of the biggest obstacles to more adoption of crypto, with about 15 to 20 countries that currently tax crypto investments, and 60 to 70 that will in the future. Binocs’ founders point to figures from the Coin Market Cap that say the total market cap of the crypto industry rose from about $325 billion in September 2020 to $1 trillion in September 2022.

InsurTech Zopper raised Series C round of $75M led by Creaegis

Kuila said PhonePe never held any stake in Zopper, and the startup, which counts Tiger Global among its backers, continues to be supported by its early backers and new investors. Zopper currently has presence in over 1,200 Indian cities and has partnered with over 150 players in the industry, including retail group Amazon, ride-hailing startup Ola, retail chain Croma, phonemaker Xiaomi, Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, and Equitas Small Finance Bank. He said Zopper is initially aiming to first reach nearly $1 billion in revenue, and over the course of about five years it will file for an initial public offering. That business, an API platform for insurance infrastructure, said on Tuesday it has raised $75 million in new funding.

SEBI suspends InsurTech Digit before its $440M IPO in India

Founded by Kamesh Goyal, an ex-KPMG executive with more than three decades of experience in the insurance industry, Digit has simplified the process of buying insurance, allowing users the ability to self-inspect, claim submissions and process service requests from their smartphones, it said in the filing last month. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Indian market regulator, updated the status of Fairfax-backed Digit to note that it had moved the process of issuance of observations for the startup’s filing into abeyance. The Indian startup, valued at $3.5 billion and which also counts Sequoia Capital India, TVS Capital, A91 Partners and cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma among its backers, filed the draft red herring prospectus to go public last month. SEBI’s move comes at a time when several local startups, including budget hotel chain Oyo and financial services platform MobiKwik, have delayed their IPO plans as they closely monitor the condition of the global market, which has reversed much of the gains from the 13-year bull run.

CRED to invest $10M in its lending vendor LiquiLoans

CRED partnered with LiquiLoans last year to launch CRED Mint, a service that allows CRED customers to lend to one another at an interest rate of up to 9% annually. CRED, backed by Tiger Global, Sequoia India, Alpha Wave Ventures and Dragoneer and valued at $6.4 billion, also engaged with Amazon-backed Smallcase earlier this year, initially to explore an investment and later for a majority acquisition, journalist reported earlier. CRED plans to invest about $10 million in its lending partner LiquiLoans as the Indian fintech startup broadens its ownership in financial services, journalist has learned and confirmed. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup investment in Mumbai-headquartered LiquiLoans increases the lender’s valuation to close to $200 million, the firms said in a statement.

Indonesian FinTech startup Reku raised Series A round of $11M

Crypto exchange and marketplace Reku has been riding the wave with what it says are the lowest fees on the market, and a platform that is aimed at both newcomers and experienced traders. Its founders say that Reku’s five years of operation mean that they know how to scale and endure fluctuations in the market, including the pandemic and this year’s recession. It is compliant with Indonesia’s commodities future trading agency (BAPPEBTI) and emphasizes user safety by offering only well-established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Today, the startup, founded in 2017, announced it has raised $11 million in Series A funding, led by AC Ventures (ACV) with participation from Coinbase Ventures and Skystar Capital.

EWA technology first-mover to enable earned wage access in the payroll

Despite concerns that the EWA technology is replicable, Aris Xenofontos, partner at Seaya, is of the belief that EWA is a defensible business model because the moving parts are complex enough to deter corporations from coming up with their own solutions. For accounts that start on an employee-pays model, employers will get a better understanding of how EWA improves employee productivity and retention over time. What we’ve found is that EWA startups typically service a mix of customers across both models, where the employer pays in some cases and the employee pays in others. Despite a few different EWA models seeing varying success at the moment, Ho believes the model that places the cost on the employer is the one that will win.

New $250M fund for SEA by ACV

AC Ventures (ACV), a venture firm focused on early-stage startups in Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia, has reached the first close of its fifth investment fund (Fund V). Li said global investors are drawn to Southeast Asia as it continues to show evidence of being a maturing market, with the successful IPOs of unicorns like GoTo and Bukalapak, an increase in later-stage capital and more secondary exits. Li said that ACV typically invests in 10 to 12 companies per year across its funds, and that continues despite the global slowdown in venture capital investing. ACV’s efforts to help founders include several key appointments who will work closely with startups — Lauren Blasco as head of ESG, Leighton Cosseboom as head of PR and communications, and Alan Hellawell as a senior adviser and venture partner.

Banking startup Fazz Financial raised Series C round of $100M

Formerly known as Fazz Financial Group, Fazz goal is to close the $300 billion funding gap for MSMEs, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and give them the same tools as larger businesses. The equity investment came from returning investors Tiger Global, DST Investment, B Capital, Insignia Ventures Partners and ACE & Company, with participation from Ilham Ltd, EDBI, InterVest, Y Combinator managing director Michael Seibel and GGV Capital managing partner Hans Tung.

BaaS FinTech Neem raised seed round of $2.5M

Pakistan embedded finance platform Neem has raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round as it works to support underbanked communities in the country.

EQT's new $2.2B growth fund is ready to invest in Stockholm

In the latest development, EQT — the private equity and venture firm based out of Stockholm — is announcing that it has closed a €2.2 billion ($2.2 billion) fund for EQT Growth, which it will be using for investing in European and Israeli founders and startups in areas like enterprise, consumer, health and climate tech, with typical rounds ranging between €50 million and €200 million. Sovereign wealth funds may well be playing a big part here: they have more generally been proving to be strong forces in offsetting current declines, betting when the market is low, with the Saudi state fund recently investing some $7 billion in U.S. stocks; and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, currently the biggest in the world,  also still looking bullish.) This is the first fund EQT Growth has raised specifically for tech investments, Brochado added, and it stands as one of the biggest first-time growth funds in Europe to date. The fact that the IPO market very much remains closed for the moment gives a company like EQT a foot in the door for providing finance to companies that might have otherwise looked at that kind of exit, either to position themselves as consolidators, or simply to keep scaling on their own steam, at a time when money is harder to come by, and thus needing to be treated more carefully than before.

Sequoia expands into India and SEA early-stage markets

Sequoia India and Southeast Asia has launched a new program to help its portfolio early-stage founders connect with international operators who can help the startups expand to new markets, the venture firm said, as it aggressively scales its offerings in the key regions. The program will open up to much of the venture firm’s portfolio, but Sequoia expects early-stage startups — in seed and Series A stages — will find it especially useful, said Harshjit Sethi, managing director at Sequoia India, in an interview. In addition to providing founders with advice, connections and help, the operators will also invest in the startups as part of the program, called Pathfinders, the storied venture firm said. The firm, which launched a $2.85 billion fund for India and Southeast Asia earlier this year, chanced upon the idea of Pathfinders on a Zoom call in 2020 while discussing ways to provide greater help to firms looking to expand outside of the country.

FinTech SkorLife raised pre-seed round of $2.2M

They also see what factors go into their credit score, including their payment history, credit utilization, the balance versus their secured versus unsecured credit accounts, the age of each of their credit accounts, ID monitoring to see if a financial institution is doing a hard check on their data, the total number of credit accounts they have, both active and inactive, and outstanding balances.

Blockchain startup Animoca Brands raised $45M at $0.5B valuation

The investment, which was shelled out equally by the parent firm Animoca Brands and MUFG Bank, the largest bank in Japan with 360 years of history, comes at a time when the country is tightening regulations around the crypto industry. Asia crypto games and web3 investment powerhouse Animoca Brands is making inroads into Japan as its local unit picks up $45 million in financing at a $500 million pre-money valuation. Line’s 90 million users in Japan can now store their NFTs in their Line-powered digital asset wallet and trade NFTs with friends. MUFG, which was formed from a merger between Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UFJ Bank, isn’t the only financial group in Japan to have embraced NFTs.

Byju’s might be in trouble with the regulators in India

Chidambaram, a member of Parliament for Sivaganga in the Lok Sabha, wrote an open letter to the country’s fraud regulator, requesting they open an investigation into the finances of Byju’s, which as he pointed out has yet to secure $250 million capital from its most recent funding round unveiled in March and has fired hundreds of employees and is in parallel looking to acquire an American firm at a valuation of over $2 billion. The startup — backed by scores of high-profile investors including Blackrock, Tiger Global, UBS, Prosus Ventures, Sequoia India and Lightspeed Venture Partners — said in early July that it will file the results within 10 days. India Ministry of Corporate Affairs has asked Byju’s to explain why it hasn’t filed its audited financials for the year ending March 2021, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. Edtech giant Byju’s, which is India’s most valuable startup with a valuation of $22 billion, has missed the deadline to file its audited results by 17 months.

Symbolic Capital's new $50M fund dedicated to Web3

A major motivation behind launching Symbolic for Nailwal was the opportunity to more formally support companies that are already in his orbit, he said, adding that he doesn’t feel he will have to spend much extra time managing the fund because it will help him realize synergies from relationships he’s already building, in part through Polygon’s own venture fund. Symbolic plans to primarily back companies building consumer-facing decentralized apps (dApps), Nailwal said, a move that seems aligned with Polygon’s own goal to speed up web3 app development. Now, the protocol co-founder Sandeep Nailwal is launching another project, he told journalist exclusively — this time, in the form of Symbolic Capital, a venture capital fund built by and for web3 founders. One key differentiator for Symbolic will be its internal data platform the firm has built to support its portfolio companies as well as to bolster its own diligence process, Nailwal said.

RBI welcomes American Express back to India

In a series of moves last year, the Reserve Bank of India indefinitely barred Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club from issuing new debit, credit or prepaid cards to customers over noncompliance with local data storage rules (PDF). should provide a boost to the local banks and fintechs that for over a year have been able to largely offer customers debit and credit cards powered by Visa and Rupay, a homegrown card network that is promoted by the National Payments Corporation of India, a special body of RBI. The resumption of American Express’ business in India Unveiled in 2018, the local data-storage rules require payments firms to store all Indian transaction data within servers in the country.

WazirX‘s co-founder Nischal Shetty launches Shardeum

The startup eponymous blockchain, which is currently in testnet, aims to be EVM-compatible and use proof-of-stake and proof-of-quorum consensus mechanisms to reduce the cost of running the network and rely on three types of nodes — validator, archival and standby — in its network, it said in the investor deck. Shetty is raising $20 million to $30 million in a seed financing round for his blockchain startup Shardeum, sources said, requesting anonymity as the deliberations are ongoing and private. Indian crypto exchange WazirX‘s co-founder Nischal Shetty is in advanced stages of talks to raise a maiden funding round for his new venture, sources familiar with the matter told journalist. Shardeum is employing a technique called sharding that partitions the network into shards, resulting in more transactions being processed, verified and validated in parallel, the startup explained in an investor deck, reviewed by journalist.

Fundamentum Partnership raised second $0.23B fund in India

Nilekani, co-founder of IT services giant Infosys and who has been instrumental in development and evangelising of several of India digital initiatives, including biometric IDs Aadhaar, and Aggarwal, who founded now IBM-owned BPO firm Daksh, launched Fundamentum in 2019 to back consumer-focused and software-focused startups. Fundamentum Partnership, a venture firm co-founded by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal, has raised $227 million for its second fund as the high-profile tech industry veterans double down on backing startups in the South Asian region. Fundamentum’s new fund comes at a time when startups in India — and beyond — are finding it increasingly difficult to raise capital at terms considered favorable from last year’s bull cycle norm. Aggarwal said many reputed early-stage venture firms have closed new rounds in India in recent quarters, so there’s enough dry powder to continue to back young startups.

FinTech startup Jar raised Series B round of $23M

Tiger Global has led a new funding round in Jar, the Indian fintech that is helping millions of Indians save small amounts to invest in digital gold as the startup gears up to launch a host of new offerings including insurance, mutual funds and lending. On its eponymous app, the startup allows users to choose from different savings options such as roundups — where the nearest round number after a transaction gets saved automatically, as well as setting recurring savings amounts and performing one-time execution, explained Misbah Ashraf, co-founder of Jar. The funding values the one-year-old startup at over $300 million, it said, and saw participation from Folius Ventures, Panthera Capital, Prophetic Ventures, Yes VC, WealthFront founder Adam Nash and Founders Fund principal Zachary Hargreaves as well as early backers Arkam Ventures, and WEH. Jar, which is also looking to hire another 50 people, is developing and testing secured and unsecured lending, mutual funds, fixed deposits, peer-to-peer loans and insurance, he said.

Capital Markets Tech startup Quotabook raised $11M led by Elefund

Its SaaS-based platform offers two services: an equity management service for startups, which includes cap table management, stock option management, investor reporting, investor consents, shareholder and board meetings, and a fund management platform for investors, which provides fund info, investment and returns management, portfolio management, LP commitment and returns management, LP reporting and fund activity analytics. Choi, the company’s CEO, said in an interview with journalist that in their capacity as investors, the three noticed that in Korea and many other Asian countries, startups were still relying on Excel when managing their cap tables, stock options, stakeholder and other related information. QuotaBook will use the latest funding — which brings its total raised to approximately $20 million — to digitize the equity/fund management process, providing a common standard for security-related data, and making it possible to safely host shareholder and board meetings online. QuotaBook, a Seoul-based equity management platform, has raised $11 million in funding led by Elefund, with participation from Access Ventures, Hana Securities and South Korean fintech company Viva Republica.

Vauld's $46M are seized by ED in India

Flipvolt Technologies, the India registered entity of Singapore-headquartered Vauld, was used to deposit 3.7 billion Indian rupees by 23 entities, including non-banking financial companies and fintech firms, into the wallets controlled by Yellow Tune Technologies, the Enforcement Directorate said Friday of its ongoing investigation. Vauld’s India entity failed to provide the agency with a complete trail of crypto transactions made by Yellow Tune and also could not supply KYC details of the wallets, ED said. The agency said it has frozen assets from Vauld’s India entity till it provides a complete fund trail. Vauld, which suspended its customers from withdrawing, trading and depositing on its eponymous platform last month, recently filed for bankruptcy and reportedly owes creditors $363 million, according to news outlet The Block, which cited legal documents it obtained.

$100M Web3 fund by LongHash Ventures and LongHashX

LongHash Ventures, a web3-focused investment firm and accelerator, has launched its second fund for $100 million and its new accelerator LongHashX

Singapore-based acquired PnLink and OK-BIT in South Korea

Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform has acquired two startups in South Korea — payment service provider PnLink and virtual asset provider OK-BIT — for an undisclosed amount, said. South Korea is an important market for in terms of blockchain technology advancement and high-level crypto interests, said’s South Korea general manager Patrick Yoon. had received several approvals to offer crypto exchange products and services, including in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and provisional approval of its virtual asset license from the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority in June, as well as regulatory approval from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission in July. The company also said Monday it has secured registrations under South Korea electronic financial transaction act and as a virtual asset service provider.

John Ge on crypto regulation in SEA

As to how to restore investor confidence in the crypto sphere, Ge believes regulators are on the right track to bring more oversight over consumer-facing crypto products and protection for retail investors, as is the case in Singapore.

What happened to Indian WazirX after it got acquired by Binance?

Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX in late 2019 in a blog post. The clarification follows India’s Enforcement Directorate freezing WazirX’s assets worth over $8 million, citing suspected violation of foreign exchange rule.

Pakistani regulator tells FinTech Tag to refund its customers

A founder of Tag accused the other co-founder of forging documents to the central bank; upon discovery of the fraudulent act the bank suspended the startup, a letter to investors in June said. The central bank did not outline (PDF) which regulatory rules Tag had violated, but set a deadline of August 19 for the refund. The startup has been accused of forging documents to the central bank, according to an investor letter obtained by journalist. The regulatory action follows a months-long probe into Tag, which offers banking and financial services to users in Pakistan.

Gaming vets promise to make blockchain games fun and sustainable

The runaway success of Axie Infinity and StepN has convinced a flurry of entrepreneurs that web3 gaming, where the ownership of in-game assets is in the hands of users via blockchain adoption rather than a centralized platform, is the future.

Real Estate startup IDEAL Indonesia raised pre-seed round of $3.8M

Indonesia's IDEAL has raised $3.8 million in pre-seed funding led by AC Venture and Alpha JWC with participation from Living Lab Ventures and Ciputra Group

BNPL Fairbanc raised pre-Series A round of $4.8M

After living and working in the United States for almost 25 years, he moved back to Bangladesh in 2018 to digitize micro-credit, with the goal of creating a digital credit platform for micro-merchants that did not require a smartphone or digital literacy.

WeSure's Alan Lau joins Animoca as a brand new web3 executive

Internet insurance and the web3 world might seem to have little overlap, but Lau’s involvement in art — sitting on the board of Asia-based projects for Tate and Guggenheim Museum — could serve Animoca well as the art industry has been keen to embrace the metaverse and NFTs.

Japanese FinTech SmartBank raised Series A round of $20M led by Globis Capital Partners

The Japanese fintech startup said today it has raised a $20 million (2 billion JPY) Series A funding round led by Globis Capital Partners with participation from Z Venture Capital, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, and DBJ Capital.

Lightspeed launches second $0.5B SEA-focused fund

Lightspeed began investing in India over 10 years ago and has amassed an impressive portfolio of several fast-growing startups including Byju’s, India’s most valuable startup, SaaS firm Innovaccer, e-commerce giant Udaan, social media giant ShareChat and payments giant Razorpay. The firm, which has a team of nine partners in India and Southeast Asia, is nearly doubling the size of its fund because it’s seeing more opportunities in the regions as a young crop of startups attempt to solve deeper and newer problems, said Rahul Taneja, a partner at Lightspeed, in an interview with journalist. The fund, fourth for Lightspeed India, was hard-capped at $500 million, meaning it didn’t want to raise additional capital, said the firm, which unveiled its $275 million third India fund in 2020. The Tuesday announcement confirms journalist April report, which said Lightspeed had kick started fundraising deliberations for the new India and Southeast Asia fund and was aiming to raise about $500 million.

New fund Bonfire Union got $42M for Web3 startups

With a fresh $42 million in its coffer, the firm plans to invest in the “social ecosystem” of web3, a version of the internet built largely on blockchain that promises to be more decentralized.

Amid the ban China's Web3 is growing faster than ever before

We spoke to a dozen Chinese founders and investors to find out how this group is trying to build global web3 businesses while still keeping their roots in China and taking advantage of the home country’s abundant tech talent

Platform startup MoHash raised seed round of $6M led by Sequoia SEA

MoHash has been working to solve this challenge for a year and has assembled several experienced tech and finance individuals from firms such as Goldman Sachs, Amazon, Oliver Wyman, India Stack and Samsung.

FinTech startup Mapan raised Series A round of $15M led by Patamar Capital

Apti said that providing large-scale access to mid- to low-income communities in a cost-efficient way compared to their traditional channels means Mapan is able to offer better prices.

Google backs Progcap, a startup delivering working capital to small retailers in India

Google has invested in Progcap, an Indian startup that provides working capital to small and medium-sized businesses, the firms said Tuesday, making a new push into a category that has attracted the attention of Facebook and Amazon in recent years.

Indian RBI might let FinTechs ease in talks on agreeing e2e KYC PPI

Payments giants and fintech startups in India on Saturday requested the central bank to treat widely used prepaid payment instruments on par with bank accounts for customers who have undertaken certain verifications, days after the monetary authority signalled industry-wide crackdown. The Payments Council of India, a unit of influential industry body IAMAI, said in a \[…\]

RBI to tighten the regulation for FinTechs in India

The Reserve Bank of India has informed dozens of fintech startups that it is barring the practice of loading non-bank prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) — prepaid cards, for instance — using credit lines, in a move that has prompted panic among — and existential threat to — many fintech startups and caused some to compare the decision to China’s crackdown on financial services firm last year.

FinTech startup SleekFlow raised Series A round of $8M

In addition, the latest funding will enable SleekFlow to enhance its product development with fintech and data analytics functions, one-click checkouts via social media platforms, and easy in-chat payment integrations for online to offline (O2O) and e-commerce brands’ seamless workflow.

Neobank StashFin raised Series C round of $270M

Singapore-based Stashfin has raised $270 million in a new funding round as the neobanking platform, which currently only serves customers in India, looks to expand to Southeast Asia and other South Asian markets, it said Tuesday.

InsurTech PazCare raised $8.2M led by JAFCO

Pazcare, a Bangalore-based employee benefits and insurtech platform, announced today it has raised $8.2 million led by Jafco Asia, bringing its valuation to $48 million. Pazcare currently offers health, term and accident insurance and outpatient health benefits. Malik told journalist the new funding will be used to expand Pazcare’s offerings and double its team size. Pazcare’s last round of funding was a $3.5 million seed round raised in October 2021.

FinTech startup MFS Africa raised Series C round of $200M

The fintech also highlighted its efforts in bringing in two hires to chart its next growth phase: Meghan Taylor, an ex-partner at Boston Consulting Group, who is now its chief of staff and Julian Adkins, ex-Africa CFO at telecom operator Millicom, who operates as the company’s group chief financial officer.

FinTech startup Flip raised Series B round of $55M

Flip has helped over 10 million people in Indonesia as of May this year, up from more than 7 million users in December 2021, to access financial transactions, including online interbank transfers to more than 100 domestic banks, e-wallet top-ups, and international remittances, enabling users to send money from Indonesia to over 45 countries and enterprise payment transfer products.

SEA crypto is booming with $1B+ in funding to date

While much of the deep, fundamental research and infrastructure development in the blockchain space still takes place in the US, Southeast Asia is ideal for web3 startups offering consumer-facing services, said Amy Zhao, lead at crypto investment firm Ocular.

Banking startup CRED raised Series F round of $140M led by GIC

CRED is raising $140 million in a new financing round, its fourth funding in the past year and a half, as the Indian fintech startup courts millions of high credit score customers and broadens its offerings.

Thai neobank Salary Hero raised $2.8M

In the future, Salary Hero plans to add neo banking products, including at-source savings accounts, insurance products, remittances and other financial services like micro-investments and debt restructuring advice. Rakhra said that by addressing the financial needs of their workers, companies are able to improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover in a competitive labor market. These other products will go live in 2023, while Salary Hero earned wage access and financial education features are already live. By being able to access their earned wages on demand, workers are able to better handle emergencies and unforeseen expenses, instead of being forced to borrow from lenders who charge 10% to 30% interest per month, Rahkra said.

Accenture reports most of HNWI in Asia will have crypto

Despite the rising interest among Asia’s investors, most wealth management firms in the region do not yet offer clients a digital assets proposition — and two-thirds of firms currently have no plans to do so, according to Accenture.

Cryptocurrency startup Babel Finance raised Series B round of $80M

Babel has evolved from a crypto lending business targeting miners and others into a comprehensive crypto asset manager for institutional investors. The growth of Babel Finance, which offers a suite of institution-facing crypto financial products, could be an indicator of how banks, investment funds, and other traditional investors are embracing the emerging digital asset class. It’s one of the many crypto firms to have recently opened an office in Singapore, which is competing with Hong Kong to be the crypto nexus of Asia.

South Korea might prosecute Do Kwon

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office said Friday that it has kicked off an investigation on Terraform Labs, the organization behind the stablecoin project Terra led by Do Kwon, and assigned the case to its Financial and Securities Crime Joint Investigation Team, a special financial crimes unit brought back recently by the newly appointed justice minister Dong-hoon Han, according to local media.

Tokio Marine launched new CVC fund to back early-stage startups

Tokio Marine, a Tokyo-headquartered insurance corporation, said Tuesday it has launched its $42 million corporate venture capital (CVC) fund, dubbed Tokio Marine Future Fund, to invest in early-stage startups around the world.

Financial Services startup Gotrade raised Series A round of $16M

One of Gotrade’s key markets is Indonesia, where Gotrade has launched Gotrade Indonesia. Gotrade Indonesia says it is the first platform in Indonesia to offer this kind of market access for U.S. stocks, meaning that its users don’t have to go through a foreign stockbroker or trade CFDs locally while accumulating substantial fees.

gCC Fund II emerges with $110M to invest in blockchain tech

Despite the similarities in branding, Zhang told journalist gumi Cryptos Capital  (gCC) is not a subsidiary or corporate venture capital arm of gumi, though Zhang notably still holds a position as a vice president at gumi in addition to his role as a managing partner at gCC. San Francisco- and Tokyo-headquartered gumi Cryptos Capital (gCC), a venture capital firm that focuses on blockchain startups, said it has launched a new $110 million early-stage fund.

Validus acquires CitiBusiness loan portfolio 

Nikhilesh Goel, co-founder and Group CEO of Validus, told journalist that Validus expects to create synergies with the loan portfolio of CitiBusiness, Citi Singapore small banking unit. Validus, a Singapore-based lending platform for small and medium-sized enterprises, is acquiring CitiBusiness’ loan portfolio for an undisclosed amount to bolster its top-line revenue and customer base and expand its growing loan book.

Payments startup Kyash raised Series D round of $41M

When asked about its B2B business, Kyash carved out its white-labeled card issuing platform to infcurion last year and is focused purely on direct channel business, Takatori said in an interview with journalist. Founded by Takatori, who previously worked in the banking and consulting industry, Kyash offers a mobile banking app that enables consumers to make online and offline payments, remittances, and ATM withdrawal services. Takatori said Kyash currently focuses on the Japanese retail market.

Pakistan FinTech Bazaar raised Series B round of $70M

Piecing together many of its services makes sense for a startup like Bazaar in Pakistan because it enables the startup to offer a more comprehensive set of values to a merchant, and Easy Khata is helping the firm win customers, Saad Jangda, co-founder of Bazaar, said in an interview with journalist. Dragoneer Investment Group and Tiger Global are backing Bazaar, a startup that is attempting to digitize Pakistan retail with e-commerce, fintech and last-mile supply chain solutions, they said today, joining a growing list of high-profile investors making large bets in the South Asian market.

FinTech startup Moove Africa raised Series A2 round of $105M led by

Moove, an African mobility fintech that provides vehicle financing to drivers of ride-hailing platforms like Uber and other gig networks, has raised $105 million in new Series A2 financing.

Singapore FinTech Volopay raised Series A of $29M led by JAM Fund

Volopay, founded by Shaji and the startup’s chief technology officer Rajesh Raikwar, wants to disrupt traditional business banking and offer companies a control center for all their financial management needs without the hassle and limitation of a traditional bank.

FinTech startup PayMongo raised Series B round of $31M

Philippines-based fintech PayMongo, which enables merchants to accept digital payments, announced today it has raised $31 million in Series B funding with an eye on regional expansion.

Lending FinTech Funding Societies got Series C+ $144M led by SoftBank

Today, Funding Societies announced it has raised $144 million in an oversubscribed Series C+ equity round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from new investors like VNG Corporation, and more.

Open Banking startup Brick raised seed round of $8.5M

Inside Plaid’s plans to build a new, global finance network Other participants include Trihill Capital and returning investors Better Tomorrow Ventures and Rally Cap Ventures, along with individual investors like Creative Juice co-founder and CEO and Plaid’s former head of business development and strategy Sima Gandhi; Bond Financial Technologies co-founder Yan Wu; Brian Ma, founder of Divvy Homes; Iterative co-founder and managing partner Ooi Hsu Ken; Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau; and Aspire co-founder and CEO Andrea Baronchelli. Brick’s APIs include Brick Data, Brick Verification and Brick Payments, which can enable an end-to-end process for online loans, including verifying user identity, underwriting and making sure that funds are disbursed into the right bank account. This amount includes Brick previously undisclosed seed funding, which journalist reported in May 2021, but the majority of it is fresh capital, said co-founder and CEO Gavin Tan. Brick currently operates primarily in Indonesia, but is planning to expand into Singapore and the Philippines before eventually covering all markets in Southeast Asia.

FinTech startup M2P Fintech raised Series C round of $56M

M2P Fintech, a payments infrastructure startup that has established market dominance in India, has raised $56 million in a new financing round, less than three months after closing its previous funding, as it works to deepen its footprints in several international geographies.

FinTech startup BillEase raised Series B round of $11M

Since the Philippines’ payment sector is fragmented, customers can pay back their BNPL loans a variety of ways, including digital wallets, bank transfers, direct debit, linking their bank account or over-the-counter payments in physical stores like 7-Eleven.

HR startup raised Series B round of $32M

We believe HR teams deserve world-class software to manage and service their employees, but today it’s clear that many organizations still use spreadsheets or legacy products to make ends meet, said Haenam Chang, CEO of flex. The company said its deep understanding of cultural nuances in people management and the HR regulations in the country help flex to be well-positioned to offer a set of products tailored to South Korean businesses. At flex, we empower customers with a reliable source of employee data and a rich set of tools to manage their people, maximizing individual and organizational performance. Currently, flex is focused on growing in South Korea by offering a SaaS solution that modernizes the HR functions and processes, which have been slow to adapt to technical progress over the past 20 years.

FinTech Web3Auth raised Series A of $13M led by Sequoia Capital India

Web3Auth, a non-custodial key infrastructure solution for web3 apps and wallets, wants to solve these problems by leveraging social accounts and devices that mainstream users already own to enable users to manage their keys intuitively.

Indonesia-based FinTech KoinWorks raised Series C round of $108M led by MDI Ventures

KoinWorks was originally created to help SMEs, which are often turned away by traditional financial institutions, get access to working capital. Over the last three years, Indonesian fintechs focused on SMEs have grown to include other neobanks and startups that started out as accounting software but are expanding to include working capital loans and other financial services.

Debt Collections startup BFree raised pre-Series A round of $1.7M

Bfree was founded by Chukwudi Enyi (COO), Moses Nmor (CPO) and Flosbach (CEO), who were looking to develop better, ethical and tech-inspired debt-collection tools and processes following their firsthand experience working for digital lenders in Nigeria. Ethical debt collection standards ensure the privacy of customer information during the process.

SEA Banking FinTech Brankas raised Series B round of $20M

For example, these included four new payments products — Direct, for account-to-account bank transfers; Disburse for remittances directly from accounts; Pay, a no-code solution for micro-businesses to collect payments; and for enterprise customers, IPG, a platform created for large financial institutions to collect payments on behalf of merchants.