SEA Digest: Nomu Pay buys Wirecard entities; FWD Insurance, 1337 Ventures team up

Photo by Andrea Natali on Unsplash

Nomu Pay has reached an agreement to acquire Wirecard Payment entities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand; while Malaysian early-stage venture capital firm 1337 Ventures is teaming up with FWD Insurance to spur the fintech and insurtech startup ecosystem in Malaysia.

Nomu Pay buys key Wirecard APAC entities

Amsterdam-based venture capital firm Finch Capital, through Nomu Pay, has reached an agreement to acquire Wirecard Payment entities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The transactions are expected to be completed in May 2021 for Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, and for the Philippines later in the year.

This investment is part of Nomu Pay’s larger plan to build out a leading unified payments company in high growth customer segments in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

“As a pan-European and pan-Asian firm, we are bullish on the growth in these regions and have reserved significant capital to invest in them through Nomu Pay. Acquiring Wirecard APAC’s key entities provides us with access and infrastructure to invest in improving the payments landscape for millions of people,” Finch Capital managing partner Radboud Vlaar said.

Wirecard ‘APAC’ was started in 2017, when the German payment group Wirecard acquired Citi Bank’s acquiring portfolio and prepaid card services business in 11 countries in the region. Wirecard Asia provides financial institutions and regional merchants in Asia Pacific with a variety of payment and issuing processing as well as fraud management solutions.

1337 Ventures teams up with FWD Insurance in Malaysia

Malaysia-based, early-stage venture capital firm 1337 Ventures is teaming up with FWD Insurance to spur the fintech and insurtech startup ecosystem in Malaysia.

Through the partnership, 1337 Ventures will be launching its flagship Alpha Startups programme to incubate and accelerate high potential ideas, and entrepreneurs through investment, and mentorship. The programme will help entrepreneurs capitalise on technology and identify new opportunities in the fintech and insurtech industry.

The pre-accelerator will take place twice a year, across two years, with a funding amount of 150,000 ringgit ($36, 348) committed to the top two teams of each cohort.

The pre-accelerator programme will cater to startups of all stages, from ideation to seed and is open to 25 startups in the first round, with each working towards a minimum viable product (MVP) and a chance to commercially partner with FWD.

The four-week programme will provide entrepreneurs and startups with in-depth coverage of relevant modules and access to mentors, tools and technology to be able to bring their ideas to reality. After the first round, the top ten start-ups will undergo a further mentorship programme, where they will be able to further refine their solutions and business models in anticipation of the demo day when they will be able to present their pitches to top investors and corporates throughout the region.

During the demo day, the top two selected startups will each receive an investment of 150,000 ringgit from 1337 Ventures and FWD, and also 500,000 ringgit worth of infrastructure credits for their cloud infrastructure, recruitment, marketing and payment gateway needs, among other benefits.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.