Philippines-based digital financial services provider Ayannah has announced its merger with India-based payment company Electronic Cash and Payment Solutions (ECAPS), creating Ayannah Global, a fintech group that targets South Asia and Southeast Asia’s growing middle class.
In an announcement, Ayannah said the newly merged entity, to be based in Singapore, is targeting to raise up to $50 million in a Series B funding round, which will be used to support the firm’s expansion plans, talent acquisition, and strategic partnerships. The two firms have raised $18 million from various venture capital fund and family offices across Asia through previous funding rounds.
Ayannah Global, the digital banking platform, targets 10 million customers through its mobile apps and a network of over 60,000 retail touchpoints in Southeast Asia and South Asia. Veteran banker Ray Ferguson has been appointed as chairman of the board at the new entity.
A spokesman for Ayannah told DealStreetAsia that the merger comes on the back of growing demand for open for tech-first financial solutions in Asia. The new entity expects to further expand in markets such as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and soon in Vietnam.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has also spurred greater demand for open banking and omni-channel distribution platforms from banks, lenders and insurers who rapidly need to roll out digital services, so this merger comes at an opportune time for the group,” he said.
Ayannah Global operates an open banking platform, through which customers can access digital financial services including remittances, payments, insurance, loans, and eventually, savings and investment products.
“There are over 500 million consumers in Southeast Asia and South Asia that are part of the emerging middle-class today. With increasing disposable income levels, it is critical for these consumers to have access to basic financial services, and plan for the future,” Praveen Suri, co-chief executive officer for Ayannah Global, said.
Established in the Philippines in 2010, Ayannah has developed a proprietary AI-enabled technology platform that offers financial and lifestyle products and services ranging from payments, remittance, insurance, and telemedicine.
The company has presence across geographies, with customers in India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Miguel Perez, the company’s founder and co-CEO of Ayannah Global, was an investment manager at Next Century Partners, where he managed private equity on behalf of Soros Fund Management, LLC and several institutional investors. He was also an investment banker at JP Morgan Chase (Hambrecht & Quist) in San Francisco where he advised technology, media, and telecom ventures.
Electronic Cash and Payment Solutions, on the other hand, is a Bengaluru-based financial solutions provider that has catered to domestic migrants and the unbanked populations in India since 2013. The firm has a presence in both North and South India, with over 1,500 distributors and 30,000 retailers, and more than 12 million transactions completed.
“The advent of ECAPS and access to its services has revolutionized inaccessible, tedious tasks such as domestic money transfers, utility bill payments, recharges and travel ticketing,” the company said on its website.
The firm provides direct money transfer service, bills payment, capital financing, and travel booking.