16/5/2019 – Singapore’s fintech startup YouTrip announced today that it has secured US25.5M in pre-series A funding, the largest funding round for a fintech company in Southeast Asia region.
The funding round was led by Insignia Ventures Partners, a venture capital firm focusing on seed and early-stage ventures in the region. Also joining the funding round are unnamed major Asian family offices and angels, a slightly unorthodox move.
Caecilia Chu, CEO, and co-founder of YouTrip explained that the family offices “have deep roots in Asia, are really motivated and want to invest in our kind of business.”
YouTrip claims to be the first multi-currency travel wallet in Singapore with a linked physical Mastercard. Users will have access to in-app currency exchange service for 10 currencies and overseas payment service for 150+ currencies using the complimentary Mastercard.
The startup offers zero transaction fees for overseas spending, as opposed to the bank-issued credit or debit cards that typically charges a transaction fee as high as 3.5%. Moreover, YouTrip users have the option to lock down competitive exchange rates whereas overseas purchase via credit cards could be issued a currency conversion markup as high as 5% or more.
Backed by the fresh funds, YouTrip is looking to invest heavily in its technology innovation for a better developed technical payment infrastructure and development of new product features.
YouTrip is looking to a Southeast Asian expansion in 1-2 new markets by the next 12 months. In-line with their regional expansion, YouTrip will be building a localized team and product fitting for each new market in order to mirror their demographics as well as understanding their unique needs.
Chu added: “As the regional travel industry continues to post robust growth, YouTrip recognizes the pain points of travelers and equally, the immense opportunity to better serve their financial needs. We are dedicated to creating the best mobile financial services for travelers by simplifying overseas spending and creating a fuss-free travel experience.”
The YouTrip app was first launched in Singapore last August. They teamed up with Singaporean electronic payment system provider and travel card issuer EZ-Link. Quickly gaining traction in the country, the app has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in Singapore since launch.
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The company oversees Mimopay which caters to clients in underbanked countries.
The funding comes as a strategic investment for VinaCapital which is a long-time real estate investor and developer
The branded apparel manufacturer plans to raise up to US$3.1 million from its initial offering.
Investors include Temasek Holdings, Temasek-linked Pavilion Capital, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).