YouTrip, hailed as Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard, announced today it has raised US$25.5m in a pre-Series A fund-raising.
Participating investors include major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by ex-Sequoia Partner Yinglan Tan. This marks the largest pre-Series A funding round for a fintech startup operating in Southeast Asia.
Launched in August 2018, YouTrip allows users to pay in over 150 currencies at wholesale exchange rates. Its mobile app also allows for the exchange and storage of 10 selected currencies in advance through the in-app exchange feature.
Fuelled by growing purchasing power and more affordable travel options, Southeast Asia’s population of over 650 million people are viewed as one of the largest and fastest growing outbound travellers market globally, which is expected to total US$80 billion in outbound travel expenditure by 2020, up from US$67 billion in 2018 or a 10% CAGR, according to figures provided by YouTrip.
Singapore is the biggest contributor to this region, with Singaporeans being one of the most frequent travellers and biggest travel spenders globally.
Caecilia Chu, co-founder, and CEO of YouTrip said, “YouTrip recognises the pain points of travelers and equally, the immense opportunity to better serve their financial needs. We are dedicated to creating the best mobile financial services for travelers by simplifying overseas spending and creating a fuss-free travel experience.”
Pachara Lawjindakul, Principal at Insignia Ventures Partners added, “YouTrip is led by an experienced team of founders and executive team who are perfectly positioned to capitalize on this opportunity. The success of the initial launch in Singapore provides a great foundation to develop a strong roadmap for growing the multi-currency and cross-border payments ecosystem in Southeast Asia.”
Bank-issued credit and debit cards typically carry an overseas transaction fee that can be as high as 3.5%. Overseas purchases made with credit cards also usually entail a Dynamic Currency Conversion markup, sometimes going as high as 5% or more. YouTrip does not charge any overseas transaction fees nor markup on foreign exchange conversion.
With the injection of funds, YouTrip says it is looking to invest heavily in technology innovation to further develop its technical payment infrastructure and roll out new product features. Having established a foothold in Singapore, it has also set its sights on further expansion in Southeast Asia and developing localized solutions for the region’s growing class of travelers.
Since its launch in August 2018, the YouTrip mobile application has achieved over 200,000 downloads, processed over 1 million transactions, and has grown its team to 70 people in Singapore and Hong Kong, YouTrip said.