Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 19 July 2022
Young founders of fintech businesses and visionary venture capitalists who have been recognized for their contributions to changing the financial landscape in Asia.
In 10 distinct categories, 300 young Asian Pacific (APAC) entrepreneurs, leaders, and trailblazers under the age of 30 have been included to Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 Asia list. The 30 honorees in the category of Finance & Venture Capital include founders of fintech businesses and visionary venture capitalists who have been recognized for their contributions to changing the financial landscape in Asia and funding some of the most successful startups of the present. We will highlight Singapore’s rising fintech leaders from the list.
1. Diane Dai (24), Co-Founder, Dodo
Dodo is a decentralized exchange and on-chain liquidity provider, and Diane Dai is its chief marketing officer and co-founder. Dodo employs the ground-breaking Proactive Market Maker (PMM) to dynamically determine the price of cryptographic assets through oracles. As a result, there is less temporary loss and less slippage as compared to competitors.
In 2017, Dai began translating news and information on decentralized finance (DeFi) from English into Chinese. This was the beginning of her adventure towards decentralized finance. As her popularity expanded in 2018, she started a blog called DeFi Labs. In 2019, the first significant Chinese DeFi social media group, DeFi the World, was established.
2. Dayana Yermolayeva (23), Co-Founder, JiPay
The CEO and co-founder of JiPay, a Singapore-based startup with the goal of granting migrant domestic workers financial freedom, is Dayana Yermolayeva. By giving families in Singapore a prepaid Mastercard that can be tracked through their app, JiPay was founded in 2020 to assist them in managing the costs associated with their domestic helpers.
JiPay just reached $1 million in card spending, and in the last six months, the number of transactions has multiplied more than ten times. A US$1.3 million seed fundraising round headed by East Ventures and comprising SHL Capital, the Manila Angel Network, and Remitly co-founder Shivaas Gulati was obtained by the business in April 2022.
3. Felix Xu (29) and Yemu Xu (28), Co-Founders, Bella Protocol, Arpa and ZX Squared Capital
Yemu Xu and Felix Xu are seasoned blockchain business owners. The two co-founded ZX Squared Capital, a cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund with the aim of delivering risk-adjusted, sustainable superior returns, Arpa, a blockchain-based computation network focusing on improving privacy and scalability, and Bella Protocol, a blockchain-based asset management platform. 2020 saw a US$4 million seed investment for Bella Protocol, while US$200 million is now being raised by ZX Squared Capital.
4. Darshan Bathija (28) and Sanju Kurian (29), Co-Founders, Vauld
Vauld is a loan and trading platform for cryptocurrencies with offices in Singapore. Its co-founders are Sanju Kurian, the CTO, and Darshan Bathija, the CEO. Customers can buy, lend, borrow, and trade crypto assets using a single integrated platform. Vauld has raised $27 million in fundraising and has the support of Pantera Capital, Peter Theil’s Valar Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and other well-known investors. According to the company, they have about 100,000 active users.
5. Mia Deng (26), Partner, Dragonfly Capital
Dragonfly Capital, a company that manages $3 billion in cryptocurrency assets, has Mia Deng as a partner. Deng is in charge of Dragonfly Capital’s investments in Asia and the non-fungible token (NFT) market. Prior to taking the position of head of business development at Hong Kong-based trade company Amber Group in 2018, Deng began her career as one of the first product managers at Mobike, a unicorn startup that operated a bike-sharing program.
6. Augustus Ilag (29), Associate, Sequoia Capital
In Singapore, Augustus Ilag works as an investor for Sequoia Capital. Ilag focuses on early-stage investments and cryptocurrency in Southeast Asia. Forbes reports that Ilag has either led or co-directed 21 investments, including the worldwide recruiting site Multiplier, the customer service software maker Wati, and the Filipino digital bank Tonik. He also leads Sequoia’s blockchain company investments, directing eight of 13 such agreements that have been publicly disclosed in Southeast Asia.
With more and more young fintech leaders emerging, Singapore can expect a higher fintech adoption rate through the years. This is because more youths are gaining access to a growing range of virtual financial services and are being more educated on finance. By having young FinTech leaders, there will be a greater influence towards the younger generation and it is a testament that youths are becoming more educated in the financial landscape. Soon enough, the world could see their financial leaders being replaced by younger and more futuristic individuals.