Aspire Raises $ 158 Million Series B to Create Complete ‘Financial Operating System’ for Southeast Asian Businesses
AspireSingapore-based Neobank, wanting to be the “end-to-end financial operating system” for Southeast Asian businesses, is approaching that goal with a Series B of $ 158 million. The funding round consisted of $ 58 million in shares and $ 100 million, with participation from DST Global Partners, CE Innovation Fund, B Capital Partners and repeaters Mass Mutual Ventures, Picus Capital and AFG, and private investors in growth capital. I took the lead. The debt capital was provided by the Fasanara Capital hedge fund.
About 10,000 business accounts have been opened on Aspire, and in total they process about $ 2 billion annually.
The circle also included angel investors from some notable fintech startups, such as Smart co-founder Taavet Hinrikus; the co-founders of Qonto Alexandre Port and Steve Anavi; the founder of Uala, Pierpaolo Barbieri; Xendit co-founder Moses Lo; Hendra Kwik, co-founder of Payfazz; Clara’s co-founder Gerry Colyer; and Varun Mittal, EY’s head of global emerging markets fintech.
Aspire was founded in 2018 to provide working capital loans to small and medium-sized businesses, but at the start of those 12 months, it began to embrace a multi-product technique. Its business portfolio now includes financial institution accounts for cross-border businesses, corporate playing cards and automatic invoice processing, all linked to currency administration software. The company further operates an incorporation service for Singaporean businesses known as Aspire Kickstart.
“What we are trying to do is join the traditional banks with software because we find that the main downside is that these two are completely disconnected,” said co-founder and managing director of the government, Andrea Baronchelli, at TechCrunch. “So you might have access to accounts, playing cards, but those usually aren’t powered by software. By placing them collectively, our imagination and our vision are to go beyond the idea of digital banking and mainly create a working system where this banking product and this software will coexist.
For large SMBs that already have corporate accounts, Aspire tries to capture their consideration with value-added products, like its expense management software or credit score options.
Along with Singapore, Aspire also operates in Indonesia and Vietnam and is laying the groundwork, with regulations, to expand into different Southeast Asian markets, although Baronchelli said it was too early to announce which markets focuses Aspire.
Based mainly on the analysis of the company’s products and interviews with the companies, Baronchelli said that the joint SME uses seven vendors for its financial institution accounts, credit score options, international change, its management of invoices and payroll and its accounting. Aspire’s goal is to become an end-to-end one-stop-shop for SMEs. Most Aspire customers sign up once they want their first business account or business card, and then start using their various products as they grow.
Aspire’s working capital loans often start at around $ 50,000 and can go up to $ 300,000, but can be customized as businesses grow. “We had to do it because we realized that our section is a changing goal by definition,” said Baronchelli. “We cannot be extremely tied to quantities because of the development of our businesses and our buyers. “
The company’s plans for building an end-to-end ecosystem are how it differentiates itself from the various fintechs that provide corporate accounts, like Volopay, Wise, and Revolut. Aspire is currently in the process of building its payroll system, as many of its customers have staff in multiple countries. In addition, it includes additional options in its invoice management device to facilitate the reconciliation of funds with account balances.
Summary of the news:
- Aspire Raises $ 158 Million Series B to Create Complete ‘Financial Operating System’ for Southeast Asian Businesses
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