Multi-currency e-wallet YouTrip secures US$25.5m funding
YouTrip, Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard®
that offers zero transaction fees across 150+ currencies at wholesale exchange rates, announced that it has raised US$25.5 million Pre-Series A funding. The round was participated by major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Venture Partners, founded by ex-Sequoia Partner Yinglan Tan.
The company said that it will use the funding to drive the development of YouTrip’s technical payment infrastructure, to launch of new product features, and proceed with its regional expansion plans in Southeast Asia.
YouTrip was launched in August 2018 as a multi-currency mobile wallet serving mostly travellers, allowing users to pay in over 150 currencies with no hidden fees and at wholesale exchange rates. The mobile app itself is designed to let users exchange and have a storage for 10 selected currencies in advance through the in-app exchange feature.
YouTrip mobile application works with a linked pre-paid Mastercard ® – issued by EZ-Link – and can be used to make payments at more than 30 million Mastercard-accepting merchants worldwide.
Southeast Asia’s population of over 650 million people makes for one of the largest and fastest growing outbound travellers market globally. Singapore is among the biggest contributor to this region, with Singaporeans being one of the most frequent travellers and biggest travel spenders globally.
“As a frequent traveller, I was surprised with how much banks mark up on overseas transactions – this was among the many reasons why I started YouTrip with Arthur Mak, who is also Chairman of YouTrip. YouTrip recognises the pain points of travellers and the opportunity to serve their financial needs,” said Caecilia Chu, co-founder, and CEO of YouTrip.
Bank-issued credit and debit cards typically carry an overseas transaction fee that can be as high as 3.5 per cent. Overseas purchases made with credit cards also usually entail a Dynamic Currency Conversion markup, sometimes going as high as 5 per cent or more.
YouTrip does not charge any overseas transaction fees nor markup on foreign exchange conversion.
“The fintech space in Southeast Asia is developing faster than ever and the travel industry represents an untapped market at the intersection of this growth. YouTrip’s success of the initial launch in Singapore provides a foundation to develop a roadmap for growing the multi-currency and cross-border payments ecosystem in Southeast Asia,” said Pachara Lawjindakul, Principal at Insignia Ventures Partners.
The company claims to have over 200,000 downloads and one million transactions with a team of 70 people in Singapore and Hong Kong 10 months since launch. Next, it’s set to developing localised solutions for the region’s travellers.
By downloading its app from the App Store or Google Play, users may set up an account with no minimum account balance required and for free. Any credit or debit card can be used to top up the e-wallet, which has a maximum stored value of S$3,000 (US$2,192).
All registered users receive a physical prepaid Mastercard, free of charge.