Hi fintech friends,
Things have still been slow in India (recovering from all the Diwali sweets) but Asia is still going strong. Lot’s of fintech updates from the region.
Please enjoy all the news and updates from the past week in today’s edition. If you feel TWIF brings you value, please share it with your friends (and maybe suggest they subscribe too).
Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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🦉🏆 Tweets of the Week
📊 Stat of the week
NFT's already account for 5.5% of art sold at global auction houses. 70% of buyers for one auction were new comers. (Source)
📰 Market Updates
- Indian film actor Kamal Haasan will launch his metaverse avatar.
- Cryptocurrency exchanges have been lobbying with the government to identify and define various aspects of an expected cryptocurrency bill.
- An Indian parliamentary committee has invited crypto industry representatives for a consultation.
- BharatPe will create a $100mn equity pool for its merchant partners.
🚀 Product Launches
- Arya.ag introduced BNPL service for agri commodity purchases.
- CredAble launched credit and cash flow management app for SMB's.
📝 Regulatory Updates
- RBI (central bank): Lifted the ban on Diners Club to start issuing new cards. Launched its First Global Hackathon - HARBINGER 2021 for the Indian payments and settlements system. Launched platform for retail participation in govt. bonds.
💰 Financing Announcements
- Unnati, an agri-finance startup, raised $8.1mm.
- Lysto, an NFT marketplace, raised $3mm.
- Stratzy, an automated investment advisory startup, raised $800K
- TRDR, a robo advisory startup, raised $150K.
- NeoKred, a card-as-a-service startup, acquired PeSeva, a BNPL startup.
📰 Market Updates
- Plentina, a Philippine BNPL startup, partnered with Shoppee to offer BNPL ahead of the festive season.
- Singapore and Philippines linked their instant bank transfer systems for a cross border QR payments system.
- Singapore rolled out e-GIRO, it's direct debits payments system, which will reduce processing time from the previous GIRO system.
- Singapore launched a national program for artificial intelligence in finance.
- Airwallex, an Australian SMB cross border payments startup, received a Payments Institution license in Singapore.
- Mastercard partnered with cryptocurrency exchanges Amber Group, Bitkub, and CoinJar to launch payment cards, to let users worldwide convert digital tokens into traditional fiat currency.
- KasikornBank, a Thai bank, through its investment vehicles, invested in the Pantera Capital's blockchain funds.
- Cake, a Vietnamese digital bank, partnered with Radar Payments for end to end payment systems.
- Huobi, a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange, is restructuring to Gibraltar, for global customers after Beijing crackdown.
- Southeast Asia's internet economy is forecast to reach $1 trillion by 2030 as per a report by Google, Temasek and Bain.
- Hybe, a South Korean K-pop management agency, partnered with Dunamu, a crypto exchange, to create a US platform for NFTs, including of BTS members.
- Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and MAS (central bank) completed the world’s first cross-border digital trade financing pilot.
- DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx) reported $600mm in digital assets under custody, 3x from the previous month. This is 2 months of 24x7 trading. It recorded trading volumes surpassing the total trading volume of the first eight months of the year by 40%.
- Incomlend Capital received a Capital Markets Services (CMS) license from the (MAS)will now be able to conduct fund management activities.
- OJK, Indonesia's central bank, revoked OVO's business permits.
- Indonesia religious council said that crypto trading is forbidden for Muslims.
- bKash, a mobile financial services platform of BRAC Bank in Bangladesh, is expected to dilute 20% to Softbank.
- Fintech investments in SEA reached a record high of $3.5bn in first nine months of 2021.
💰 Financing Announcements
- Tiki, Vietnam's largest ecommerce company, raised $258mm led by AIA Insurance to launch insurance products and financial services.
- Qupital, a Hong Kong based cross border commerce finance startup, raised $150mm.
- Udhaar Book, a Pakistani SMB digital book keeping startup, raised $6mm.
- GuildFi, a Thai web3 infra startup, raised $6mm.
- Paras, and Indonesian NFT marketplace, raised $5mm.
- Moduit, an Indonesian wealth tech startup, raised $4.5mm.
- Savyour, a Pakistani cashback startup, raised $3.3mm.
- AnFin, a Vietnamese stock trading startup, raised $125K.
Please find our global coverage and consider subscribing.
- US and Global, written by Nik Milanovic published on Friday’s and Saturday’s.
- Europe and UK, written by Michael Jenkins published on Monday’s.
- Latin America, written by Christine Chang, published on Friday’s.
🧐 Looking for context, deep dives and further insights?
Read the latest edition of Fintech Inside, also authored by me. New editions get published every Sunday at 9AM IST.
📜 Notable Nuggets
- A silent revolution is underway in Hong Kong’s fintech industry
- Banque de France reports back on wholesale CBDC program.
- What Indian Payment Indicators Are Telling Us About Spending.
- Profile of CryptoPunks, an NFT project which has reached $1.5B in lifetime sales.
- A look at Binance, which sources say could be worth $300B if it goes public, as its unfettered, unregulated growth comes to an end amid global scrutiny
- The Aftermath of the SEC’s Approval of Bitcoin Futures ETF.
- Philippine digital banks target $140bn retail deposit market.
- DAOs: Communities of the Future.
- Amazon Takes Venmo…
If you’ve made it this far - thanks! As always, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d genuinely appreciate any and all feedback. If you liked what you read, please consider sharing or subscribing.