7 of the Most Exciting Asian Fintech Companies of 2022
Globalization and digitization have been the driving force behind financial technology (aka fintech). The booming fintech industry raised $94.7 billion in global funding in the first three quarters of 2021. As the sector is proliferated by new startups, it can be challenging to identify the diamonds in the rough. In this article, we build on an earlier article that highlighted some innovative European fintechs to explore a selection of Asia-based fintech startups that have achieved prominence in the past year.
1. Enjin (Singapore)
Founded in 2009 and specializing in NFT solutions, Enjin has created an extensive ecosystem of blockchain software solutions and products, enabling businesses, developers, and individuals to create, distribute, manage, integrate, and trade Ethereum-based NFTs.
Enjin is currently in the process of developing Efinity, a blockchain-based ecosystem that is intended to serve as infrastructure for a decentralized, cross-chain metaverse. The project is currently in an internal alpha stage.
In 2021, Enjin launched the Efinity Metaverse Fund, seeking to raise $100 million in funding to support Efinity’s growth and work related to decentralized applications in gaming and NFTs. Enjin Coin currently has a market capitalization of some $1.8 billion, making it the fifth largest crypto token in the metaverse category, data from CoinMarketCap suggests.
2. Folio (Japan)
Designed for beginning and seasoned investors alike, this Japanese investment service offers a diverse range of investment options to meet the individual needs of its users. For example, investors can search for opportunities related to their favorite theme, be that real estate or drones.
Folio also enables users to take an automated route, its intelligent robo advisor the Folio Robo Pro helping them to manage their investments on autopilot.
3. Hatcher+ (Singapore)
A venture capital firm that utilizes data analytics to drive its artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to identify the most promising investment opportunities in early-stage companies, Hatcher+ provides its partners with real-time monitoring and proprietary algorithms, enabling them to optimize returns. This scalable, cloud-based platform enables corporate VCs, family offices, venture studios, venture fund managers, and accelerators to automate operations, creating multi-level deal origination partnerships and enabling users to access thousands of deals annually.
Developed at a cost of $10 million, the Hatcher+ VAAST platform blends business process automation, impact scoring, and AI-based predictive analytics, supporting 50 currencies and 18 languages.
4. Omise (Thailand)
Thailand’s leading online payment gateway, Omise provides businesses with a comprehensive suite of processing solutions. Having extended its services to Singapore and Japan, the platform delivers powerful payment features, facilitating fast, flexible, seamless online payment experiences, enabling business owners to maximize their opportunities and accelerate growth.
With easy end-to-end integration, this highly scalable infrastructure caters to all of a business’ payment needs, as it offers intuitive, connected social commerce experiences, website plugins, workflow automation, and more in addition to accepting payments.
5. Oriente (Hong Kong)
Oriente leverages emerging technologies like machine learning, AI, and data science to provide tailored financial services and real-time credit scoring from its offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, and Manila. Known as Cashalo in the Philippines and Finmas in Indonesia, the company was established in 2017 by the cofounders of revolutionary Internet companies LU.com and Skype. Launched with the mission of unlocking financial opportunity for Asia’s underserved, Oriente has attracted some $175 million in investment to date.
6. PolicyBazaar (India)
PolicyBazaar has grown to become the world’s largest online insurance aggregator in an impressively short amount of time. Cofounded by Avaneesh Nirjar, Alok Bansal, and Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar was created with the aim of promoting transparency in the insurance sector, providing an alternative to conventional insurance routes in India, where insurance policies are traditionally sold via agents, presenting a complicated and expensive process for many consumers.
The PolicyBazaar online policy comparison platform provides users with increased access to information, enabling them to make better informed decisions. Partnering with over 50 insurers and offering various different types of insurance, some of PolicyBazaar’s high profile insurers include Liberty General Insurance and Aviva. Having raised $365 million since its inception, the fintech is currently valued at $1.5 billion.
7. Zepeto (South Korea)
A product of Naver Z, Zepeto enables users to communicate with others via 3D avatars, play games, and make money via the production of fashion items and other content.
Boasting 250 million global users to date, with 50 million items sold by 1.5 million creators, the platform has collaborated with leading brands like Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Nike, releasing virtual collections on the metaverse. Popular K-pop groups like SF9, ITZY, and Blackpink have also issued exclusive content or staged virtual events on the platform.
Toward the close of 2021, Naver Z raised somewhere in the region of $189 million in a Series B funding round, announcing plans to expand Zepeto overseas, establishing operations in the United States.