Source: techinasia.com | 7th Aug 2015 | Startups
Singapore-based digital payments company Numoni has raised S$6.6 million (US$4.76 million) in a series B round. Singaporean investment firm OWW Capital Partners and notable local business figure Robert Yap, along with several private funds, participated in the round. Robert Yap also sits on the board of Numoni.
Numoni was founded in 2012 to enable cashless payment methods for unbanked populations. Its prime offering is Nugen, an ATM-like terminal that allows the user to remit money abroad, pay bills, receive funds, top up phone airtime, and more. Since 2012, Numoni has expanded from Singapore to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.
Numoni previously raised two funding rounds. For those, the company counted primarily on friends and family to participate, Numoni CEO Norma Sit tells Tech in Asia, although government investment firm SPRING Seeds Capital was also a part of the series A. This time is different, as not only was the company able to close its series B round much quicker, but the participation of outside parties is a validation for what it’s trying to do, Sit says. “It gives that vote of confidence to management and to previous investors, that yes, this is something that is real.”
OWW began in Singapore as OCBC, Wearnes & Walden Management, a firm established by OCBC Bank, investment company Walden International, and former United Engineers subsidiary WBL Corporation. OCBC and WBL divested from the firm, which now invests in companies operating in IT, logistics, education or training, healthcare, financial services, and consumer services.
Robert Yap is the former CEO for East Asia for global port corporation PSA International. He is a council member for Singapore at the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, and executive director for Singapore-based supply chain solutions provider Y3 Technologies.
Fuel for expansion
Although Sit wouldn’t release numbers on revenue or usage, she feels Numoni has made significant inroads in the markets it is active in, which now gives it the chance to strengthen its already strong team. “They all have tremendous experience in transaction processing, financial services, payments, remittances, e-wallets, and digital banking services,” she explains.
Numoni has so far kept development in Singapore, but as it bolsters its presence in other markets, it will spread around some of its development resources in Malaysia and the Philippines. This will bring down operating costs, but it’s also a by-product of the difficulty of finding technical staff in Singapore, Sit explains.
This has been highlighted as a problem in Singapore by Compass’ Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015 report, and Numoni has felt the challenge, especially when it comes to bringing in talent from overseas.
Going forward, Numoni will also consider further potential acquisitions, according to Sit. “Numoni’s business is in three core areas: micro-payments, micro-remittances, and micro-loans,” she says. “So these are areas we would be keen to look into. We believe we have gone a little further as a company, and because of that, it would be good to partner with some of the newer startup companies [in those areas].”