The Malaysian fintech industry boasts a wide and diverse ecosystem comprising more than 230 companies.
However, despite having one of Southeast Asia’s largest fintech ecosystems by the number of active fintech companies, funding activity has remained rather timid, with just US$117 million raised by domestic fintech companies in the first nine months of 2021. That’s far behind Singapore (US$1.6 billion), Indonesia (US$904 million), or even Vietnam (US$375 million), according to a report by UOB, PwC, and the Singapore Fintech Association.
Nevertheless, a handful of ventures have managed to secure significant rounds of funding from prominent investors to fuel their growth and expand across the region. Today, we look at the top five most well-funded fintech companies in Malaysia and what they’ve been up to.
BigPay – US$155 million
Founded in 2017, BigPay is an e-money operator with remittance and lending services.
BigPay’s current offering includes a prepaid debit card which can be used to spend anywhere Visa or Mastercard is accepted, local and international money transfers, micro-insurance, bill payments, and a budgeting tool. The company reportedly has over 1.3 million users in the country, and now wants to expand its product sets to other markets, including Thailand and the wider ASEAN region.
Capital A, formerly known as Air Asia led the BigPay’s pre-Series A round, the sum was not disclosed.
In August 2021, BigPay raised US$100 million in financing from South Korean conglomerate, SK Group, which it said it will use to introduce new products including digital personal loans, transactional lending, and an offering for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Fintech News Malaysia reached out to the BigPay team and confirmed that the firm has raised a total of US$ 155 million in funding
BigPay was also pursuing a digital banking license in Malaysia through a consortium comprising Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF), Ikhlas Capital, and a foreign conglomerate. It was, unfortunately, unsuccessful in its bid.
TNG Digital – US$ 75 Million
TNG Digital was formed in 2017 as a joint venture between CIMB Group’s Touch ‘n Go and Ant Group’s Alipay in 2017. According to figures that were last provided to Fintech News Malaysia, the Touch ‘n Go eWallet has over 15 million users and over 300,000 merchants.
In 2021 TNG Digital was the first e-wallet to receive approval from the Securities Commission as a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) which allowed them to offer roll out their wealthtech offering GO+ together with their partner Principal Asset Management. The product saw over a million users within two months of launch.
AIA and New York-based investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management reportedly took a stake in TNG Digital which valued it at RM 3 billion. CIMB Group CEO Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad told reporters during a press conference that the total funding raised during that round was US$ 75 million.
Boost – US$70 Million
Boost is the fintech arm of publicly listed Malaysian multinational telecommunications conglomerate Axiata, unifying financial services spanning payments, micro-financing, micro-insurance, and most recently digital banking.
Boost’s businesses are streamlined into four core brands: Boost Life, an e-wallet for consumers providing online and offline retail payments, bill settlement, insurance and transportation; Boost Biz, a merchant business platform that offers a payment platform for enterprises of all sizes, business tools and digitalization solutions; Boost Credit, formerly Aspirasi, which houses a micro-financing and micro-insurance business operating in both Malaysia and Indonesia; and Boost Connect, formerly Apigate, which is a global digital monetization and customer growth payment platform ecosystem provider with innovative products and services.
Boost claims it has a client base of more than 9.6 million users, and a merchant base of more than 438,000 touchpoints. The company is now planning to expand its products and services while strengthening its regional presence. Areas of focus include its buy now, pay later (BNPL) products, business-to-business (B2B) platforms, and its e-commerce business.
Boost together with its consortium partner RHB was one of the five successful applicants for Malaysia’s digital banking license.
Fintech News Malaysia confirmed with a Boost spokesperson that the total funding raised for its fintech business amounts to a total of US$ 70 million.
CapBay – US$39 million
Founded in 2016, CapBay is an award-winning supply chain finance and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform.
Operated by Bay Supply Chain Technology, CapBay helps SMEs grow and unlock cashflow trapped in their supply chain by providing financing solutions. The platform uses a proprietary credit-decisioning model to allow businesses of all sizes to obtain financing, all the while enabling banks and investors to participate in high-quality financing deals.
Since its inception, CapBay claims it has financed more than 15,000 transactions worth a whopping 1.6 billion MYR (US$370 million), serving over 1,000 SMEs.
CapBay has raised US$27.5 million in funding, comprising a US$500,000 seed round in 2017, a US$20 million Series A in early 2021, and a US$7 million round in December 2021. Representatives from CapBay confirmed with Fintech News Malaysia that in total the startup has raised US$ 39 million in funding.
The company is now focused on growing its Shariah-compliant supply chain finance arm, CapBay Islamic, which is approved for Shariah-compliant P2P financing by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).
Jirnexu – US$28 million
Founded in 2012, Jirnexu is a Southeast Asian fintech startup headquartered in Kuala Lumpur that provides technology to help financial institutions manage different stages of the customer journey, including marketing, acquisition, fulfilment and retention.
Jirnexu delivers end-to-end digital acquisition platform, digital acquisition technology, alternative credit scoring, lending-as-a-service, and digital marketing solutions and services for financial services institutions and service providers in Asia. In Malaysia, Jirnexu also works with all existing major local and international banks in the market.
The company operates three key brands: RinggitPlus, Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website that claims to customer base of over 1 million people; KreditGoGo, RinggitPlus’s sister brand for the Indonesian market; and XpressApply, a B2B solution that enables financial institutions to innovate and handle three times more secure digital application submissions per agent, per day.
Jirnexu is part of the KAF Investment Bank led consortium which successfully secured a digital banking license in June 2022.
Jirnexu has raised US$28 million in funding, including a US$11 million Series B in May 2018, and a US$10 million investment in December 2018.