Author: Li Jiahui
SINGAPORE, 16th January (ANI): Singapore-based neobank Inypay has announced that it will launch in the second quarter of this year. After successfully closing a $1 million pre-seed round in September 2022, it plans to raise seed funding in the coming months.
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The main focus of the upcoming digital bank will be micro-lending, remittances, domestic payments, e-wallets, personalized and public savings, and micro-insurance in Southeast Asia. Its target market is blue-collar workers, foreign domestic workers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Currently, the fintech startup has more than 30 employees in Singapore, India and Vietnam, and plans to operate in five countries. The founders were born and educated in India, but have extensive working experience in the region. They have worked at companies such as Standard Chartered, RHB Banking Group, Capgemini, DBS and Tonik, the all-digital bank launched in the Philippines.
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However, raising capital in the current investment climate can be challenging. Investors have been clinging to their wallets amid softening sentiment amid high interest rates and a looming recession. Technology stocks have been hit especially hard, with the Nasdaq plummeting 33% in 2022.
According to data firm Crunchbase, venture-backed companies raised just $369 billion in the first three quarters of 2022, well below the record global investment of $679.4 billion in 2021 — a 98% jump from the previous year. .
Still, SGInnovate, Singapore’s state-owned tech investment firm, believes this year will be a better one for start-ups looking for funding.
“2023 could be a pretty good year for venture capital in Singapore,” Hsien-Hui Tong, executive director of investment at SGInnovate, told CBNC in an interview that aired in late December.
Innovation platform SGInnovate was established in 2016 to consolidate innovation activities in Singapore and support entrepreneurship centered on deep technology development. It firmly believes that deep technologies derived from scientific research can address some of the toughest global challenges, focuses on research-driven technologies, and collaborates with institutions of higher learning and ecosystem partners to develop technical talent.
In the 2022 edition of the Global Innovation Index published by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), Singapore ranks seventh in the world and second in Asia. In contrast, the top three are Switzerland, the United States and Sweden. India ranks 40th, but leads among low- and middle-income countries.
Singapore consistently ranks at the top of global country rankings for the ease of doing business. It was ranked first in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, last published in 2019, and second in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking (2020).
Add to that low taxes, a business-friendly environment, and its status as an important financial hub, and it’s no surprise that Indian entrepreneurs like Inypay’s founders choose Singapore as their base for their ventures.
Tech start-ups in Singapore have grown rapidly in recent years. Financing activity rose 45 percent to S$14.7 billion ($11.1 billion) between 2017 and 2021, according to government agency Enterprise Singapore. Venture capital investment reached S$8.18 billion in the first half of 2022 alone, up 54% from a year ago.
Pre-Series B investments reached S$5.5 billion (US$4.2 billion) in the first nine months of 2022, up 14% in volume and 45% in value, according to Enterprise Singapore. On the other hand, late-stage funds—Series C and beyond—fell in value by 25%.
Unlike the global market more generally, Singapore’s venture capital scene “is still very active,” says SGInnovate’s Tong. That’s because companies in the country tend to be in the early stages of development, “at the seed and Series A stages, and there’s still a lot of liquidity. There’s a lot of capital out there.”
Global markets, on the other hand, tend to be in the “more mature” stages of Series B and C rounds, with VC funding “kind of drying up.” This could bode well for Inypay, which plans to use its data-driven technology and experience-driven design to entice users to experience Inypay’s hyper-personalized platform.
Arivuvel Ramu, Founder and CEO of Inypay, said: “Our aim is to dramatically improve the lives of the underserved and unbanked by building a legendary financial institution in Southeast Asia that will be worth $2 billion by 2026. ” Ramu has successfully led digital transformation projects for banks in Southeast Asia, Middle East and North America. He is also the Group CTO of Tonik, a Philippine neobank.
“I successfully built the first neobank in the Philippines through a digital engagement platform. Now is the time to build Asia’s first financial experience platform, and my team is my superpower,” he added in a statement.
Inypay plans to launch its B2C micro-loan-driven platform for the Singapore market in the second quarter of 2023, which includes education, emergency and medical credit.
The team is currently applying for a payments license with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The next step for the company is to launch Inybank Philippines in the first quarter of 2024. (ANI)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)