SINGAPORE — Singapore’s fintech firms are attracting tie-ups with big names and big money. In the first nine months of 2019, fintech investments in Singapore soared 69 per cent to US$735 million, according to research by Accenture. We look at some of the fintech companies that made waves in the city-state this year.
Business financing firm Finaxar gained traction this year, collaborating with Taiwan’s financial services firm Cathay Financial Holding and Vietnam’s Indovina Bank to provide financing for fast-growing small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region using its Finaxar Credit Line product, which is tailored for Vietnamese SMEs. This follows the major coup Finaxar scored last year through its tie-up with Lazada to provide credit line options to the online retail platform’s sellers. Finaxar is headquartered in Singapore and operates in Vietnam and Hong Kong.
The fintech arm of gaming hardware firm Razer is making inroads in the payments field. Razer Pay, which Razer Fintech operates, launched its e-wallet in Singapore this year after debuting in Malaysia in 2018. Razer Pay will also turbocharge its offering through a partnership with Visa. The tie-up sees Razer Fintech and Visa working on a Razer-branded Visa prepaid payment solution, which will allow some 60 million Razer users to make payments anywhere that Visa is accepted.
It has been a heavyweight year for the investment research network, as it landed an investment from Singapore Exchange and tied up with online trading platform Interactive Brokers to provide the broker’s clients access to its resources. Smartkarma also added to its offerings, rolling out Corporate Solutions, which lets corporations communicate with the platform’s network of independent analysts and institutional investors. Even ahead of its official launch, in August, more than 70 companies had signed up to use the service, the firm said.
The digital wealth services firm spent 2019 expanding both its suite of services and regional presence. This year, WeInvest launched StratWealth, a service which offers a choice of more than 100 investment strategies to financial institutions. The firm, which targets banks, brokers and asset managers, also offers services such as GrowWealth, AdviseWealth and TrackWealth. Headquartered in Singapore, WeInvest is expanding regionally, and appointed a senior project manager to head up its Thai operations in July.
The peer-to-peer financing platform for SMEs entered its third Southeast Asian market this year, launching its platform in Vietnam. Validus Vietnam is eyeing a slice of the US$21 billion SME financing gap in the market and will partner with corporations to provide financing to their vendors and subcontractors. This move follows Validus’s expansion into Indonesia, where it operates as online financing platform Batumbu. Validus, which is backed by Temasek’s Vertex Ventures, raised S$20.5 million in a Series B funding round this year.