Singapore-based cross border payments firm Nium (formerly InstaReM) has closed a fundraising round joined by Visa, BRI Ventures, and other existing investors, according to a statement. The size of the round was not disclosed.
DealStreetAsia first reported in December that Nium was raising $75-100 million and was in talks with “US-based strategic investor” to lead the round. The company was on the fundraising trail for a good part of 2019 with plans to close the round in end-January 2020.
Nium declined to verify the final corpus raised to date.
Founded in 2015, Nium was previously known as InstaReM, short for instant remittances. Since then, the company has scaled significantly beyond remittances, allowing businesses to send, spend and receive money in over 38 markets around the world. Its clients range widely across sectors such as small and medium enterprises (SMEs), financial institutions, fintechs, e-commerce platforms and travel companies.
Visa was first introduced to Nium in 2019 when it joined the US payment giant’s Fintech Fast Track programme for the Asia Pacific. The globally-run programme allows Visa to leverage on new commerce, technological and payment solutions developed by fintech startups while giving them the opportunity to tap on Visa’s global network.
“Working with fintechs like Nium is a key part of Visa’s strategy to enable payments for anyone, anywhere, on any network,” shared Chris Clark, Regional President, Asia Pacific, Visa.
Nium is understood to be Visa’s third investment in Southeast Asia after Gojek and Grab, two major ride-hailing apps in the region. Last month, Visa also joined the $11-million Series A round of Neat, a Hong Kong-based fintech startup, indicating growing interest by the US payments giant in the region. In India, Visa is an investor in fintech startups Paymate and Billdesk.
Nium added that it will use the freshly raised funds to develop its payment infrastructure to broaden reach across consumers, SMEs, large enterprises, banks and financial institutions. It is eyeing at least 1-2 acquisitions this year to enhance its product capabilities and enter new markets across Europe, India, the UK and the US.
The COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t had a significant impact on Nium’s business so far, according to its CEO and co-founder, Prajit Nanu. However he did share that he expects transaction volumes to soften by 10-15 per cent in Q2 as the impact of COVID-19 begins to set on global spending and transactions.
The Singapore-based company last saw some $2 billion worth of transactions flow through its platform in Q1. No adjustments have been made to Nium’s revenue targets so far, but Nanu shared it is something he is watching closely.
“We are actually sitting quietly this quarter to see how things evolve, and how the market shapes up before we can see how far we should adjust our revenue projections and goals for 2020,” shared Nanu in an online call. “Internally, we’re in the midst of making cost rationalisations. For instance, we used to have three different platforms for enterprise payments. Moving forward, we’re going to consolidate and rely on just one.”
Nanu added that the company is solely focused on hitting its profitability targets, which is still on track to meet by Q3 next year. However, IPO plans may have to be delayed to at least 2023 given the weak economic climate.
Nium is one of Southeast Asia’s most funded fintech companies. It last closed its $41-million Series C round in March led by Temasek-backed Vertex Growth Fund and joined by South Korean venture capital firm Atinum Investment, Indonesia’s MDI Ventures and Thailand’s Beacon Venture Capital.
Its other early backers also include Global Founders Capital, Fullerton Financial Holdings, GSR Ventures, SBI-FMO Emerging Asia Financial Sector Fund, MDI Ventures and Beacon Venture Capital.