YouTrip raises US$30 million in latest round to fund expansion
SINGAPORE — YouTrip, Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet linked with Mastercard, raised US$30 million in its latest funding round as it seeks to expand in the region.
The company, which positions itself as Singapore’s leading neobank, said the latest Series A funding consists of returning investors from major Asian family offices and prominent financial technology investors. With the latest round, YouTrip has now raised over US$60 million in funding since it was launched.
The funds will be used to ramp up the company’s technological capabilities to widen its suite of payment products and expand in Southeast Asia.
The company is rapidly expanding its team in Singapore to fast-track product development. YouTrip, which in September announced it was setting up an innovation lab in Singapore, plans to recruit more than 50 new roles across engineering, product development, marketing, and other business functions. This will boost the headcount to about 150 in the next few months.
"Singapore is a key market for us. Adopting a hyper-localised strategy that targets our local customers has allowed us to build a strong brand here, and cultivate a large and supportive user base," Caecilia Chu, YouTrip’s chief executive officer and co-founder, said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Singapore. The company doesn't have immediate plans for a SPAC listing in Singapore, she said.
YouTrip, launched in Singapore in 2018, allows users to pay overseas with no fees in over 150 currencies. To date, it has processed over US$800m card spending globally, with almost 20 million transactions and over 1.5 million app downloads.
Transaction volume has also rebounded to pre-COVID levels, driven by strong traction in cross-border e-commerce transactions and the progressive return of travel spending. The firm expects transaction volume to accelerate given the multiple openings of Vaccinated Travel Lanes in Singapore.
"We believe there is untapped potential in cross-border payments, and our market-leading position in this space puts us in a good place to serve more of our users’ payment needs — from travellers to online shoppers, and now, businesses,” Chu said.
While the pandemic temporarily closed the door on travel, it also opened up new opportunities in the e-commerce and business-to-business (B2B) payments space, according to Chu.
"These are the two markets that we are heavily betting and focusing our efforts on, as we believe they have massive potential for growth," she said. According to an EY report, the global cross-border payment flows is expected to reach US$156 trillion in 2022.
YouTrip plans to launch a corporate credit card next year. This move reflects the firm’s wider transformation from a travel wallet to a broader digital payments platform not just for consumers but also for businesses. YouBiz will be rolled out in Singapore in the first quarter of 2022, with plans to bring it to five other Southeast Asia countries in the next twelve months.
Registration for interest in the product’s beta launch has received more than 1,000 sign-ups to date.
The company also plans to do a brand refresh early next year. The YouTrip consumer app will also be redesigned with new features such as a virtual card, an interactive exchange rates dashboard and the ability to hold more popular currencies in their wallet.