Thailand’s fintech startup Ascend Cash lands $150M at a $1.5B valuation – TechCrunch

Money go up, the Thai fintech startup behind TrueMoney, an e-wallet service, announced today that it has raised a $ 150 million Series C round valued at $ 1.5 billion.

The Series C round was led by Charoen Pokphand group, a major shareholder in Ascend Money, with the participation of Bow Wave Capital Management and returning supporters Ant group.

Ascend Money will use the proceeds to grow its e-wallet application – TrueMoney Wallet – and expand its digital financial services, which range from digital lending and digital investments to cross-border money transfers in Southeast Asia.

Founded in 2013, the company also plans to expand its global operations in six countries – Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, electronic payments through TrueMoney Wallet have grown exponentially due to social distancing measures and growing public awareness of contactless transactions across the region, Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, co-president of Ascend Money, told TechCrunch. Its users in Thailand have grown from 17 million in early 2021 to 20 million now, while its online payment application case transactions have increased by over 75%, Thamavaranukupt said.

“The growth in e-payment suggests that consumer spending habits are changing as Southeast Asia moves towards a digital economy and a cashless society,” said Thamavaranukupt.

“The disruptive effects of the pandemic have accelerated the growth of the digital economy across Southeast Asia,” said Itai Lemberger, Founder and CEO of Bow Wave Capital Management.

The total payment volume in the six countries of Southeast Asia in 2020 was 14 billion US dollars, which corresponds to a growth of 84% between 2019 and 2020. About 70% came from Thailand while 30% came from the international market, said Co-President Thamavaranukupt. According to its own research, Ascend Money has around 70% of the market share in Thailand, Thamavaranukupt said.

Ascend Money informs TechCrunch that it has accumulated a total of 50 million users through TrueMoney and offline channels to date, including approximately 88,000 TrueMoney agent networks, which is its core strength for regional expansion.

The e-wallet service also serves as a payment channel for B2B, from big brands to local SME owners to street market entrepreneurs. The TrueMoney Wallet platform offers a digital loan service along with the payment service to customers including small business owners who do not have traditional credit ratings to access the digital loans, Thamavaranukupt said.

“Aside from e-wallet, we are an agent-based payment and transfer service provider. We also launched TrueMoney Wallet for agents last year [networks] and have migrated our offline agent to the online platform, which would help improve and digitize their operations, ”said Thamavaranukupt.

True Money agents are local business owners who have registered with Ascend Money to generate additional income by providing services such as bill payment, phone top-up, and domestic and cross-border remittance services as their agents, he explained.

“We offer TrueMoney Wallet and the TrueMoney Agent service in several other countries outside of Thailand. Most users do not have a bank account and the low-bank population has limited access to basic financial services, ”Thamavaranukupt said.

“Ascend Money offers a financial platform with opportunities for the financially marginalized as well as SMEs in the region. The company’s success is also testament to Thailand’s ability and strong ecosystem to help domestic fintech companies and startups expand overseas, ”said Ascend Money Founder and Chairman of the Board, Suphachai Chearavanont.

Last year, Ascend Money also opened a service for expatriates such as Myanmar and Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand that they can use to register with TrueMoney Wallet and send money to their families back home, Thamavaranukupt said.

Ascend Money is considering an IPO after hitting $ 1.5 billion valuation, co-president Monsinee Nakapanant told TechCrunch, without giving a specific timeline.

Future FinTech Indicators Definitive Settlement to Buy UK Cash Fee Service Firm

NEW YORK, September 7, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Future FinTech Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FTFT) (“hereinafter referred to as” Future FinTech “,” FTFT “or” the Company “), a leading blockchain-based e-commerce company and fintech Service provider announced today that on September 1, 2021the Company signed a definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) to acquire 100% of the equity of Khyber Money Exchange Ltd. (“Khyber Exchange”) by Rahim Shah | (the seller”).

Khyber Exchange is a money transfer company with a platform to transfer money through one of its agent locations or through its online portal, mobile platform or over the phone. Khyber Exchange was integrated into February 2009, is headquartered in the UK and has offices in Germany and Italy; his website is https://khyberexchange.com.

According to the agreement, the company will acquire 100% of the equity of Khyber Exchange for a purchase price of € 685,000 (approx US $ 820,170). The company conducted extensive operational, legal, and financial due diligence to achieve this agreement. The Khyber Exchange is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); the acquisition must be approved by the FCA prior to formal closure.

More detailed information about the agreement can be found on Form 8-K and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission September 7, 2021.

Shanchun Huang, Chief Executive of Future FinTech, commented, “We are excited about this acquisition as it further expands our presence as a fintech and further diversifies our geographic reach in terms of international business transactions and cash flows. We believe there will be synergies with other financial services businesses that we develop. “

“Khyber Exchange will also be an excellent fit for FTFT UK Limited, our recently established subsidiary that provides us with the operational base for developing the fintech business in Europe. Our goal is to become a diversified fintech company that seizes current opportunities and integrates them into a comprehensive business platform, and to create a company that can meet the current financial needs of its customers and positively transform the traditional banking sector to provide innovative products and services to bring to market, ”concluded CEO Huang.

The story goes on

Rahim Shah |, Chief Executive Officer of Khyber Exchange, stated, “As a global money transfer company, Khyber Exchange can send money to over 130 countries through its agents, online portal, mobile platform or over the phone. Fund transfers can be collected from their offices or via the beneficiary’s bank account, with the funds transferred being credited within 24 to 48 hours. Khyber Exchange guarantees its customers that its transactions are executed at the best possible exchange rate, are secure, reliable, and processed instantly. It has amassed a significant number of loyal customers over the past decade. The acquisition by FTFT will help Khyber Exchange run its business and operations in Asiaespecially in the fast growing Chinese market. “

About Future FinTech Group Inc.

Future FinTech Group Inc. (“Future FinTech”, “FTFT” or the “Company”) is a leading blockchain e-commerce company and a Florida-based financial technology service provider. The company’s business activities include a blockchain-based online shopping mall platform, Chain Cloud Mall (“CCM”), a cross-border e-commerce platform (NONOGIRL), an incubator for blockchain-based application projects and financial services for the supply chain industry . The company is also engaged in the development of blockchain-based e-commerce technology as well as financial technology. For more information, please visit https://ftft.com/.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements made in this press release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Stock Exchange Act. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to our beliefs, plans, goals, goals, expectations, expectations, beliefs, estimates, intentions and future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are beyond our control and are related thereto could cause actual results, performance, capital, property or achievements of the company to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. All statements that are not historical facts are statements that may be forward-looking statements. You can make these forward-looking statements through our use of words such as “may”, “will”, “anticipate”, “assume”, “should”, “state”, “would”, “believe”, “consider,” “expect” , “estimate,” “continue,” “plan,” “show,” “project,” “might,” “intend,” “aim,” and other similar words and phrases for the future.

All forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, attributable to us are expressly restricted in their entirety by this caution, including, but not limited to, the risks and uncertainties set out in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the December 31, 2020 ending Year and our other reports and filings with the SEC. Such reports are available upon request from the Company or the Securities and Exchange Commission, including on the SEC’s web site at https://www.sec.gov. We have no obligation or undertake to update, revise or correct any forward-looking statements after this date or after the respective date on which such statements are otherwise made.

Cision

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SOURCE Future FinTech Group Inc.

Fintech agency Smart service permits customers in India to ship cash overseas

In this photo illustration, the TransferWise logo is displayed on an Android mobile phone.

Omar Marques | SOPA Pictures | LightRakete | Getty Images

Financial technology company Wise said Tuesday that users in India can now send money overseas to 44 countries around the world.

This includes places like Singapore, Great Britain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, as well as countries in the euro zone.

India’s overseas remittances for the 2019-2020 fiscal year were approximately $ 18.75 billion, of which more than 60% were categorized under Travel and Study Abroad Payments. according to the Reserve Bank of India. Under a liberalized remittance system, the central bank allows residents to freely transfer up to $ 250,000 per fiscal year abroad to fund personal expenses or education – which begins in April and ends in March of the following year.

Typically, the overseas remittance market is comparatively larger, as many Indians who work overseas send money back to their families in the country. World Bank data for 2019 shows personal transfers in India over $ 83 billion.

Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, previously called TransferWise, told CNBC that the ability to send money from India was one of the most requested services the company was getting from users.

“India in particular is very exciting,” said Kaarmann. “In the last, almost ten years, the establishment of a local payment infrastructure and UPI has been very interesting to watch.”

Unified Payments Interface or UPI is one of the dominant methods for digital payments in India. What sets the framework apart from mobile wallets is its interoperability – this means that people can use different platforms based on UPI to send money and conduct financial transactions.

London-based Wise specializes in cross-currency money transfers that can be done entirely online. It claims its service is faster and cheaper than other fintech players as well as traditional banks, which are prone to big cuts and offer unfavorable exchange rates.

Banks are the dominant platform for international money transfers in India.

Wise partnered with Google Pay last month so that users in the US can send money to India.

Wise also announced the opening of a local office in Mumbai on Tuesday. Kaarmann declined to give details of possible partnerships in the plants in India.

U.Ok. fintech Monavate will get $7 million in seed cash; Starbucks pushes PayPal in promo

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New child

UK company Monavate has raised $ 7 million in seed money to create a platform for other companies to quickly issue payment cards, reports Finextra.

Monavate will be the BIN sponsor allowing third parties to launch payment solutions through partnerships. Leeandrajae Vaile, founding member of Revolut and Curve, is the company’s co-founder and CEO.

An unnamed institutional investor based in the USA has launched the first financing round for Monavate based in Cambridge.

Good business

Starbucks awards additional loyalty points (stars) to customers who use PayPal for purchases and reloads within the Starbucks app in April.

In a promotion that runs through April 30th, Starbucks customers who select PayPal as their funding method in the app will receive an additional star for every $ 2 spent through PayPal in addition to the existing rewards.

Starbucks emphasized on its website that customers paying with the Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card can still earn stars during the promotion by using them within PayPal to add value to the Starbucks app.

From the lot

The final phase of online car buying – annoying DMV paperwork – was knocked down by the first fully digital vehicle purchase.

The California New Car Dealers Association partnered with California’s DMV and Vitu’s digital signature service to complete the country’s first secure, 100% paperless transaction, including vehicle label issuance. This emerges from a press release.

Vitu’s platform, which supports e-commerce and point-of-sale payments for government agencies and car dealers, plans to partner with other DMV operations in the US to roll out digital service nationally as car sales grow online go.

Local allies

Singapore and Seoul-based cross-border payments technology specialists Nium and SentBe have teamed up to streamline money transfers to South Korean banks and businesses.

The move will offer a simplified approach to sending payments to South Korea that traditionally involves several steps, according to a press release.

Nium supports the collection and withdrawal of funds in local currencies in over 100 countries via an API-based platform. SentBe offers payment services in more than 50 countries and already has partnerships with Moneygram, Ripple and Samsung Pay.

From the web

The Japanese central bank starts experiments on the issue of digital currencies
REUTERS | Monday April 5, 2021
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) started experiments on Monday to examine the feasibility of issuing its own digital currency. It has joined the efforts of other central banks aiming to match the innovations in this area that the private sector is making.

Indian social commerce Meesho is valued at $ 2.1 billion for a new $ 300 million fundraiser
TECHCRUNCH | Monday April 5, 2021
Meesho said Monday it raised $ 300 million in a new round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 as the Indian social commerce startup works to become the “only ecosystem that all small businesses can use.” enables you to be successful online “.

Coinbase is approved by the SEC and is preparing the conditions for the listing of groundbreaking cryptos
REUTERS | Thursday April 1, 2021
Coinbase Global Inc, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, has received approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to list its shares on the Nasdaq, paving the way for a groundbreaking victory for proponents of the cryptocurrency.

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