YouTrip raises US$25.5mil in largest pre-Series A fintech funding round in SEA

  • Over 200,000 downloads and one million transactions processed 10 months since launch
  • Funds raised from Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners

 

The YouTrip team with co-founder & CEO Caecilia Chu (7th left) and co-founder & chairman Arthur Mak (6th left)

YOUTRIP, Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard, has raised US$25.5 million (RM106.38 million) in a pre-Series A funding.

Participating investors include major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by ex-Sequoia partner Yinglan Tan. This marks the largest pre-Series A funding round for a fintech startup operating in Southeast Asia.

Launched in August 2018, YouTrip is a multi-currency mobile wallet specially designed with travellers in mind, allowing users to pay in over 150 currencies with no hidden fees and at wholesale exchange rates. The mobile app also allows for the exchange and storage of 10 selected currencies in advance through the in-app exchange feature.

The YouTrip mobile application works with a linked pre-paid Mastercard – issued by EZ-Link – and can be used to make payments at more than 30 million Mastercard accepting merchants worldwide.

Caecilia Chu, co-founder and chief executive officer of YouTrip said, “As a frequent traveller, I was surprised with how much banks mark up on overseas transactions - this was among the many reasons why I started YouTrip with Arthur Mak, who is also chairman of YouTrip.

“As the regional travel industry continues to post robust growth, YouTrip recognises the pain points of travellers and equally, the immense opportunity to better serve their financial needs. We are dedicated to creating the best mobile financial services for travellers by simplifying overseas spending and creating a fuss-free travel experience.”

Pachara Lawjindakul, principal at Insignia Ventures Partners added, “The fintech space in Southeast Asia is developing at a relentless pace to meet evolving consumer expectations and the travel industry represents an immense untapped market at the intersection of this growth.

“YouTrip is led by an experienced team of founders and executive team who are perfectly positioned to capitalise on this opportunity. The success of the initial launch in Singapore provides a great foundation to develop a strong roadmap for growing the multi-currency and cross-border payments ecosystem in Southeast Asia.”

Bank-issued credit and debit cards typically carry an overseas transaction fee that can be as high as 3.5%. Overseas purchases made with credit cards also usually entail a Dynamic Currency Conversion markup, sometimes going as high as 5% or more. YouTrip does not charge any overseas transaction fees nor markup on foreign exchange conversion.  

With the injection of funds, YouTrip is looking to invest heavily in technology innovation to further develop its technical payment infrastructure and roll out new product features. Having established a foothold in Singapore, it has also set its sights on further expansion in Southeast Asia and developing localised solutions for the region’s growing class of travellers.

Since its launch in August 2018, the YouTrip mobile application has achieved over 200,000 downloads, processed over one million transactions, and has grown its team to 70 people in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Users may sign up for a YouTrip account by downloading its app from the App Store or Google Play. No minimum account balance is required and registration is free. Any credit or debit card can be used to top up the e-wallet, which has a maximum stored value of S$3,000. All registered users receive a physical prepaid Mastercard, free of charge.

 
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