SINGAPORE-BASED mobile wallet operator YouTrip bagged US$25.5 million in pre-Series A funding from Asian family offices and venture firm Insignia Ventures Partners, the startup announced on Thursday.
Launched in August 2018, YouTrip’s multi-currency mobile wallet comes linked with a prepaid Mastercard, issued by EZ-link. The wallet, which can store up to S$3,000, allows travellers to pay in some 150 currencies at wholesale exchange rates with no transaction fees or foreign exchange markup. The app also allows for the exchange and storage of 10 selected currencies
The fresh funding will be used for YouTrip to step out beyond Singapore into the rest of South-east Asia, said its co-founder and CEO Caecilia Chu. She did not elaborate on specific markets eyed at this point.
YouTrip is also looking to hire more engineering talent to beef up its payments infrastructure and product features, she added. The startup currently has about 70 employees in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The travel market in South-east Asia represents immense untapped potential for fintechs, said Pachara Lawjindakul, principal at Insignia Ventures Partners.
“YouTrip is led by an experienced team of founders and executive team who are perfectly positioned to capitalise 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 South-east Asia,” she said in a press statement.
Competitors to YouTrip would include UK-based fintech Revolut, as well as multi-currency cards offered by banks, which are offering increasingly low fees and attractive terms. Traditional credit and debit cards can come with overseas transaction fees as high as 3.5 per cent, and a currency conversion markup as high as 5 per cent.
YouTrip’s mobile wallet app has seen over 200,000 downloads to date and processed over 1 million transactions.