Payments startup Spenmo said to be raising up to $50m from Insight Partners, others

The Spenmo team.

Singapore-based payments software startup Spenmo is raising up to $50 million from Insight Partners and other investors, according to several sources close to the development.

The sources told DealStreetAsia that Spenmo was targeting to raise $30 million from the round, which continues to be heavily subscribed by investors. One industry source added that the Singapore fintech firm may have received as much as $100 million in the round.

A separate source added that the Spenmo team is looking to close the round sometime by end of September or early October.

The fundraising marks a significant jump from Spenmo’s $2 million seed round last year, suggesting robust appetite for Southeast Asian companies in the fintech sector. Spenmo had raised funds from Y Combinator, Rocket Internet, Iterative Capital, and angel investors from XA Network, formerly known as Xoogler Angels in its seed round.

Insight Partners’s participation in Spenmo also points to rising US interest in Southeast Asian startups, led by the growing visibility of Grab, GoTo, and Traveloka as they seek public listings domestically and in the US. The New York-based growth investor joins the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Valar Ventures, and Point72 Ventures — all of whom have put in their first cheques in Southeast Asia in the last year.

Insight Partners themselves are relatively new to Southeast Asia, having recently led a $60 million round in Singaporean cross-border payments firm Thunes in May. Insight Partners has $30 billion in capital commitments and has invested in over 400 companies, according to its website. Some of its major investments include Alibaba, JD.com, Shopify, Docusign and Twitter.

Spenmo was founded in 2019 by Mohandass Kalaichelvan, a former Grab executive responsible for strategy across the ride-hailing giant’s transport, payments, and financial services verticals. The platform is active in Indonesia and Singapore, and aims to help businesses manage spending by tracking company cards, automate invoice payments, and digital ledgers across transactions.

Fintech was the most funded sector by deal volume in Southeast Asia in the second quarter of 2021, according to a DealStreetAsia DATA VANTAGE report. Sixty-one PE-VC deals, which raised a cumulative $1.037 billion, were closed in the period.

Source: DealStreetAsia DATA VANTAGE report.

Among fintech startups that raised funds in the quarter, decentralised finance was the most popular segment followed by fintech lending.

Source: DealStreetAsia DATA VANTAGE

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.