Singapore’s Tazapay raises $3.2m led by Sequoia India’s Surge, Saison Capital

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Singapore’s Tazapay, a cloud-based trade management platform for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to safely conduct cross-border commerce, has raised $3.2 million, it announced in a press statement on Tuesday.

The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge — a bi-annual rapid scaleup programme for startups in Southeast Asia and India — and Saison Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of Japan-based Credit Saison. Tazapay is part of the fourth cohort of Surge.

“With the pandemic accelerating digitalisation and e-commerce, the trust gap has only widened for SMBs… hampered by travel restrictions and unable to safely identify local partners to work with. We project that the market for protected B2B payment solutions for cross-border trade will increase by 25 per cent per annum in the next five years. The current market size is estimated at $500 billion across Southeast Asia and India and we are well-positioned to bridge this gap and help businesses accelerate with ease,” said Tazapay co-founder and CEO Rahul Shinghal.

The investment raised from Surge and Saison Capital will be used for product development, the hiring of talent and expanding to new markets in Southeast Asia, Tazapay said in the statement.

Founded in April 2020, Tazapay provides access to essential financial technology tools and services on its unified platform, helping to remove the current trust barriers SMBs face when conducting cross-border trade and payments.

These tools allow businesses to minimise uncertainties while expanding to international markets including payment protection through escrow, company background checks and counterparty risk assessment, it added.

“We believe Tazapay is solving multiple pain points for SMBs which are an overlooked, yet hugely important, customer base. Having spent most of their careers serving SMBs, the Tazapay team is uniquely equipped to understand the challenges they face,” said Saison Capital partner Chris Sirisereepaph.

Surge is Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up programme for startups in India and Southeast Asia. Surge combines $1-2 million of seed capital with company-building workshops, a global curriculum and support from a community of exceptional mentors and founders.

Saison Capital is the corporate venture capital arm of Credit Saison, a Tokyo-listed consumer finance company and one of the largest credit card issuers in Japan. Saison Capital is sector agnostic with a focus on fintech and embedded finance startups (i.e. non-fintech that can build fintech arms). Saison Capital invests in early-stage startups, from pre-seed to Series B globally with a specific interest in Southeast Asia and India.

Sequoia Capital India’s Surge announced last week it has launched its fourth cohort of 17 startups that have collectively raised $45.35 million both from the scale-up programme as well as other co-investors. This was the largest combined fundraising by startups since the programme started, Surge said in a statement then.

Surge 04 startups are headquartered in India, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and, for the first time, in Australia. Half of the latest batch are software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, while the overall portfolio represents sectors such as edrech, fintech, SME tech, devtools, consumer, health tech and B2B marketplaces.

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.