Vietnam – Anfin, a Vietnam-based fintech firm with its proprietary stock trading platform, has announced it has raised US$4.8 million in its pre-Series A funding round led by Clement Benoit, (Business Angel, Founder of Stuart & Not so Dark) and Y Combinator. The round also saw participation from other notable investors including Rebel VC, Kharis Capital, Newman Capital, First Chek Ventures, Micro Ventures, Springcamp, and AngelHub.

The funds will be deployed towards strengthening Anfin’s product development, especially its social investment product which lets users host and join live audio rooms. Through the use of tech-enabled profiling and risk assessment, Anfin will enable credible investors, a platform to share ideas, strategies, and trades.

Furthermore, Anfin will continue its partnership development to offer more financial asset classes from its current offering of over 300 stocks and nine ETFs, allowing users to trade and diversify their portfolios with a few simple clicks. The funds will also be used to bolster Anfin’s relationship with local investor communities. This includes improving the library of free educational content and working directly with universities on products that incentivize financial literacy.

Launched in October 2021, Anfin is a fintech startup that enables customers to engage in stock investment and provides a fast and convenient trading experience. The trading app serves as an engaging, user-friendly experience for new retail investors who are interested in researching and learning about established ways of investing.

Phuoc Tran, CEO and co-founder of Anfin said, “Within a year, Anfin’s stock investment application has had more than 1 million app downloads. In line with the company’s vision for the next phase of growth, it was very important to join hands with the right set of leaders and investors. Our mission is to democratise access for retail investors in Vietnam to a variety of financial assets ranging from stocks, bonds, and structured investment products among others while increasing access to financial ideas.”

The financial app Anfin has seen a jump in activity during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the growing preference for mobile banking and online investments. Currently, counting more than 100,000 in funded accounts, deposits have reached up to US$5 million and US$10 million in total transaction value.

Clement Benoit, Business Angel, Founder of Stuart & Not so Dark, shared, “Anfin has all the ingredients of the recipe to become a category leader in social investment. I have personally been impressed by the maturity and the execution level of the management team. In less than a year of time, Anfin has built a unique product that non only generates a never-ending growth but also a massive adoption.” 

Benoit added, “Democratizing access to stock trading with a social layer through a simple and friendly product is definitely the answer to a large untapped market in Asia. I have no doubt that this series A funding will allow Anfin to scale beyond Vietnam and become a reference in social trading.”

Through its value-added technology and financial services, Anfin’s fractional share trading feature allows users to start investing from only 10,000 VND (US$0.43) while providing a simple way to build a balanced portfolio and invest in shares regardless of the share price.

Manila, Philippines – NextPay, a Philippine-based fintech startup, has secured a US$125K investment funding from startup accelerator Y Combinator, which will be used to expand NextPay’s services further and address the growing problem of financially-underserved businesses in the Philippines. 

Through the investment, NextPay founders aim to leverage their previous experience working in ‘unicorn’ companies to expand their line of digital banking services. Their plans include new digital solutions for payments, credit, and personal cash management.

“Our goal is to empower smaller businesses with a spectrum of banking services that were previously unavailable to them because of the steep requirements and high fees that are typically aimed at larger, more developed companies that can afford them. This funding round from Y Combinator allows us to scale even faster to bring digital financial services closer to MSMEs,” said Don Pansacola, CEO and co-founder at NextPay.

The platform allows small businesses to have the same financial capabilities as large banks, which gives growing companies access to affordable financial services such as digital invoicing, cash management, and batch payments to any bank or e-wallet in the Philippines.

Furthermore, the startup has positioned itself to enable more businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers to centralize all their financial requirements through one easy-to-use, affordable, and inclusive platform. 

“We plan to introduce more payment acceptance methods, virtual credit cards, and other digital solutions that enable businesses to manage their cash flow and alleviate the bottlenecks of the Philippine financial landscape. We will also partner with human resource and accounting software companies to further streamline the financial operations of a growing company,” Pansacola added.

According to Aldrich Tan, co-founder and chief experience officer at NextPay, the platform aims to give a wider opportunity among small businesses through accessible digital financial services.

“Through our platform, MSMEs can conduct their transactions seamlessly and allow business owners to free up resources and focus on their operations. This optimization and focus are vital in supporting and strengthening the country’s efforts towards economic recovery,” Tan stated.

Since its launch in 2020, NextPay has processed over US$2.5M (₱120M) in digital transactions for more than 100 businesses. Customers of NextPay can enjoy reduced processing times from as much as 3 days to just 30 minutes. 

“NextPay wants to help the Philippines bounce back. We want to enable growing enterprises to maximize their capital, reach more customers, and generate more jobs and opportunities. This then stimulates economic transactions and creates demand for stronger partnerships. It’s a domino effect, but it starts from having a digital platform like NextPay who empowers MSMEs to thrive and do more,” Pansacola concluded.

NextPay is the fifth Filipino startup to have received funding from Y Combinator, with companies including job searching platform Kalibrr, payment platform PayMongo, edtech Avion School, and laboratory software company