Tonik Financial, the first neobank in the Philippines, has closed a $21m round of Series A equity funding.
The round was led by VC investors Sequoia India and Point72 Ventures, with help from previous VC investors Insignia and Credence.
tonik will use the money to launch its digital bank in the Philippines, targeting the start of commercial operations in Q3 2020.
It was recently granted its own bank license by the banking regulator in the Philippines. tonik reckons this will make it the first digital-only neobank in Southeast Asia and one of the very few globally to be operating on the basis of its own bank license.
Philippines represents a US$140 billion retail savings market and a US$100 billion unsecured consumer lending opportunity estimates tonik.
The neobank is led by founder and CEO Greg Krasnov. As the founder and CEO of Forum, the largest fintech venture builder in emerging Asia, he has incubated four consumer finance fintech start-ups: CredoLab, AsiaCollect, AsiaKredit and SolarHome. He also founded, built and successfully exited Eastern European consumer finance outfit Platinum Bank.
Krasnov said: “COVID-19 is causing consumers all over the globe to save more for emergencies, to care more about the safety of their money as well as about earning a fair interest rate on their deposits while having access to their funds for easy withdrawal and transfer. In the Philippines, where over 70% of the population remains unbanked, we are observing a rapid jump in consumer demand for digital banking and digital transfers since the start of the year. We are preparing to bring a highly differentiated experience to the Filipino consumer to address these needs and are honored to be supported in this by the regulators who have encouraged innovation and welcomed technology solutions to bolster financial inclusion.”
Pete Casella, Head of Fintech Investments at Point72 Ventures, added: “We believe deeply in tonik’s vision for a digital bank that is underpinned by the customer protections inherent in being a government-approved bank, and also the flexibility of being a completely digital start up. This unique combination will enable tonik to provide truly innovative products to its customers while also capturing the benefit of bank economics.”