Qinthara Fasya | 27 September 2021
Aspire, a Singapore-based neobank aiming to become a “end-to-end financial operating system” for Southeast Asian companies
Image from Aspire
Aspire, a Singapore-based neobank aiming to become a “end-to-end financial operating system” for Southeast Asian enterprises, has raised $158 million in Series B funding. The investment was headed by an unnamed global fintech-focused growth equity investor and included participation from DST Global Partners, CE Innovation Fund, B Capital Partners, and returning investors MassMutual Ventures, Picus Capital, AFG, and Hummingbird Ventures. Fasanara Financing, a hedge firm, provided the debt capital.
Angel investors included Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Qonto co-founders Alexandre Port and Steve Anavi, Uala founder Pierpaolo Barbieri, Xendit co-founder Moses Lo, Payfazz co-founder Hendra Kwik, and Clara co-founder Gerry Colyer.
Aspire was formed in 2018 to provide working capital loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, but it quickly expanded into a multi-product approach. Its service offering currently includes cross-border bank accounts, corporate cards, and automated invoice processing, all of which are linked to financial management software. Aspire Kickstart, the company’s incorporation solution for Singaporean businesses, is also available.
Aspire operates in Indonesia and Vietnam, in addition to Singapore, and is establishing the foundation, including regulatory, to grow into additional Southeast Asian countries, though it is too early to reveal which markets Aspire is targeting.
The majority of Aspire’s clients sign up when they require their first business account or corporate card, and subsequently expand to use the company’s other products as their firm grows.
Aspire seeks to attract the attention of larger SMEs that already have business accounts by offering value-added goods such as expenditure management software or credit solutions.
The company’s aspirations to establish an end-to-end ecosystem set it apart from other fintechs that provide business accounts, such as Volopay, Wise, and Revolut. Because many of its clients have employees in multiple countries, Aspire is presently working on expanding its payroll system. It is also expanding the functionality of its invoice management tool to make it easier to reconcile payments with account balances.