More and more companies are tapping into the Asian market when it comes to financial technology investment, as the region has seen growth in remittances while some countries have weak banking sectors. This opens up a market gap that could make room for bitcoin opportunities later on.
Just recently, startup Apis was able to raise $150 million in funding for its private equity house focused on investing in financial services across Africa and South Asia. Apis Partners was founded a year ago and has started deploying capital while seeking more investors.
Bitcoin Opportunities in Asia
With that, Apis Partners can be able to put some of its capital in bitcoin startups in the region. As it is, most of the cryptocurrency companies are seeking to fill gaps in traditional banking sector or to offer money remittance services that are more cost efficient.
In Indonesia, Blossom is offering halal or Islam-approved loans for Muslims who are not allowed to take interest-bearing loans. In the Philippines, startups like Palarin are able to facilitate money transfers at lower fees compared to credit or debit card transactions.
According to FT, the speed of Apis’s fundraising underlines how backers of private equity are increasingly keen on funds that are devoted to specific sectors and untapped niches and markets. Apis itself aims to back rising players in finance, investment, insurance, and other sectors.
“We felt the real sweet spot for financial services in emerging markets was $20m to $40m, using growth equity rather than buyout capital,” said Udayan Goyal, co-founder of Apis. “People now understand you can’t be a jack of all trades. You need to specialise,” added co-founder Matteo Stefanel.
Stefanel compares the rise of financial innovation and bitcoin opportunities to the start of the telco growth in emerging markets in the past. He believes that the next wave of innovation could be seen in the financial industry.