Ascend Money hits US$1.5 billion valuation with new funding, becomes Thailand’s first fintech unicorn

  • New investor Bow Wave Capital Management joins Charoen Pokphand Group and Ant Group in latest funding
  • Driving financial inclusion with expanded e-wallet and digital financial services across Southeast Asia (SEA). Charoen Pokphand Group considers this investment as fulfilling its C.P. Group 4.0 strategies, building post COVID-19 platform of opportunity. 
  • 2020 payment volume at US$14 billion across 6 countries

 

Ascend Money, Southeast Asia’s leading fintech firm, has hit US$1.5 billion valuation following its latest US$150 million funding, making it Thailand’s first fintech unicorn. The funds will be used to grow the user base of its e-wallet application – TrueMoney Wallet – and to expand digital financial services, including digital lending, digital investment and cross border remittances across Southeast Asia. Driving regional financial access and inclusion is the key purpose of the firm.

US-based investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management has contributed to this round, joining Charoen Pokphand Group and Ant Group.

Suphachai Chearavanont, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Ascend Money said: “From the start, Ascend Money has been the purpose-led fintech company. The company is expanding the platform and services to help improve the accessibility, affordability and impact of financial services. In short, Ascend Money provides a financial platform of opportunity for those financially excluded as well as SMEs around the region. It is a heartwarming mission for all involved. The company’s success is also a testament to Thailand’s capability and strong ecosystem to support domestic fintech firms and startups for overseas expansion.”

Previously, Charoen Pokphand Group has been globally recognized as the UN Global Compact Lead Status.  This expansion further strengthens the Group’s commitment to providing a Post COVID19 platform of opportunity as part of C.P. Group 4.0 strategies, enhancing financial access to all while promoting sustainable development across the region.

Founded in 2013, Ascend Money is Thailand’s only fintech company with a regional presence across six SEA countries – Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The company operates TrueMoney, the leading digital payment and financial service platform, which now serves more than 50 million users through its e-wallet application and 88,000 TrueMoney agents.

Monsinee Nakapanant, Co-President of Ascend Money said: “As Southeast Asia’s homegrown fintech company, our mission is to enable everyone to access innovative financial services to better their lives. We have been blessed with overwhelming support from our shareholders and the new investor, with strong interest both in terms of capital investment and the quality of strategic partnership. At the same time, the unicorn achievement reinforces our ability to scale our purpose and mission. Looking ahead, we continue to strengthen collaboration with our stakeholders in the region to improve the lives of many through our platform”

Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, Co-President of Ascend Money said: “Ascend Money is driving cashless society and the adoption of financial services across the region through TrueMoney Wallet application. The company has also expanded its portfolio to cover a full range of digital financial services including digital lending, digital saving, and digital investment. Its easy-to-use and seamless platform has introduced low-income communities, people without regular income and young digital generation to personal financial management for the first time. Ascend Money also provides domestic and cross-border remittance services through its agent network, supporting local entrepreneurs with increased incomes. We will continue fulfilling our mission and helping more people through our innovation, strong customer experience, reliable and trustworthy platform.”

Itai Lemberger, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Bow Wave Capital Management said: “The pandemic’s disruptive effects have accelerated the growth of the digital economy across Southeast Asia. We’re proud to support Ascend Money on their mission-fulfilling journey to drive financial inclusiveness for sustainable growth of the region.”

Ascend Money has grown significantly in the past few years. Across the six countries, its total payment volume stood at US$14 billion in 2020. The highest payment volume contribution comes from Thailand with 84% growth between 2019-2020.

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