Singapura Finance sells stake in Matchmove PowerBank on SG digibank loss

MatchMove at the Singapore Fintech Festival. Photo: MatchMove

Singapore Exchange (SGX)-listed lender Singapura Finance has disposed of all its shares in MatchMove PowerBank, a subsidiary of MatchMove Pay, for $1 million, according to an SGX filing. The shares represented roughly 10% of PowerBank’s share capital.

In return, Singapura Finance will receive shares in MatchMove, which increases its shareholding in the firm from 1.6% to 1.9% on a fully diluted basis.

The transaction rationale was explained to be the result of PowerBank not obtaining a digital full bank licence in Singapore last year.

Only two full digibank licences were awarded in December 2020 – one to NYSE-listed Sea Group and the other to Grab-Singtel consortium. Two wholesale digibank licences were also awarded during the same period to Ant Group, and a consortium comprising Greenland Financing Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management.

The current deal will help Singapura Finance refocus its investment in Matchmove, it said in a statement. PowerBank’s management, meanwhile, continues to emphasise its “previously-stated intent to apply for, or to acquire, digital bank licences in other ASEAN nations.”

PowerBank was set up by MatchMove in 2020 for the purpose of applying for digital bank licences in Southeast Asia. Singapura Finance had joined as a shareholder in October last year, thereby investing $3 million in the entity, comprising a mix of equity and debt funding. Singapore fintech infrastructure startup Lightnet and UK payments platform OpenPayd Holdings had also joined the PowerBank consortium.

Singapore digibank ambitions unravel

The loss of the Singapore digibank licence is understood to have led to fundraising challenges for MatchMove.

DealStreetAsia had first reported in April that Matchmove’s talks with potential investors to raise about $40-50 million had fallen through due to the Singapore digibank loss.

MatchMove, at that time, had not addressed the assertions on the company’s collapsed fundraise or operational runway, but had said that the bid was conducted through PowerBank, which will continue to pursue its regional business strategy to serve the underbanked SMEs and consumers of Southeast Asia.

“Investors in PowerBank were motivated by the company’s strategy with or without the MAS licence,” the firm had said.

Acra filings show that Vickers Ventures has about 32.9% stake in MatchMove across its third, fourth and sixth venture funds, making it MatchMove’s largest shareholder. Meanwhile, Japanese financial services company Credit Saison is MatchMove’s second-largest shareholder with a 13.6% stake.

Other investors on its cap table include NTT Investment Partners, Singapura Finance and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. MatchMove has raised about $64.8 million in equity to date.

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.