Ayannah merges with ECAP for digital financial services
Philippines-based fintech Ayannah has released details of a merger between it and Indian company Electronic Cash and Payment Solutions (ECAP).
The newly formed entity - Ayannah Global - will be a Pan-Asian company focused on delivering cutting-edge digital financial services to the region. Headquartered in Singapore, which Ayannah considers a fintech nexus, the company will seek out talent and partnerships to take its new concepts forward.
Founded in 2010, Ayannah distinguished itself with an AI-driven platform capable of delivering a suite of services and products, including insurance, payments and remittances. These services include:
- Sendah Direct: a scalable SaaS platform which offers mobile phone top-ups, online gaming credits and domestic remittance.
- Sendah: a B2C remittance service with more than 70,000 customers so far.
- Sendah Remit: a bank-grade international remittance transaction facilitator.
- Kaya Credit: a credit scoring service (the first in the Philippines) using AI to incorporate behavioural data into its decision-making.
Focusing its attention on what it calls the “world’s emerging middle class”, or clients which are either migrants or unbanked, the company strives to level the financial playing field by providing affordable, accessible digital payments solutions.
“We have built and operated a stack of innovative digital financial services from payments, commerce and analytics on the social and mobile web,” said the company on its website.
“We have a great team of seasoned veterans and young innovators in web and mobile application development. More importantly, we have a growing and loyal customer base around the world providing us with recurring and quality revenue streams.”
Following a strategy for growth
The decision for the merger with ECAP comes partly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has whetted consumer appetites for online banking solutions, open banking and omnichannel distribution platforms.
“Both companies saw huge operational and technological synergies in their products and growth strategy, and a merger will enable the enlarged entity to better reach customers, scale-up product development, and expand their reach within Southeast Asia,” a spokesperson for the venture said.
Bengaluru-based ECAP has been on a similar mission to Ayannah, providing Indian migrants and its unbanked population with the capabilities to transfer money, pay utility bills and organise travel tickets.
The combined Ayannah Global will have operations in the Philippines, India and Indonesia, with a possible expansion into Vietnam on the horizon. Added together, the new company expects to secure over 10mn customers across these locations.
To fulfil this vision, Ayannah Global will start a series B funding round in mid-June, with the expectation of securing between USD$30mn and $50mn in investment.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.