Southeast Asian fintech Aspire seals $100mn to fund growth
Aspire, a Singapore-based fintech that provides financial services to businesses, has raised US$100mn in an oversubscribed Series C funding round.
The round includes participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital SEA, Paypal Ventures, LGT Capital Partners and existing backers Picus Capital and MassMutual Ventures. Aspire will use the money to enhance its product offering further, build out its team and expand its regional presence.
Founded in 2018, Aspire offers a suite of financial services targeted towards businesses – including international payments, corporate cards, and management of accounts payable and receivable functions. In the five years since its inception, it has expanded rapidly throughout Southeast Asia, accumulating more than 15,000 business customers and recently reaching US$12bn in annualised total payment volumes. Before the Series C round, Aspire had already secured nearly US$200mn from backers.
In particular, Aspire targets startups and smaller firms, who often struggle to access affordable financial services and are oft-overlooked by the mainstream providers. According to research, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up more than 96% of all businesses in the region.
Aspire is ‘empowering businesses with the right tools’
Andrea Baronchelli, Co-founder and CEO of Aspire, says: “We are excited to partner with world-class investors to bring finance back to the driving seat of new age businesses in Southeast Asia. From delivering real-time financial data and fast and transparent cross-border payments to empowering business teams with world-class spend management capabilities… we look forward to empowering every modern business, big or small, with the right financial tools to realise their full potential.”
Bejul Somaia, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, adds: “Aspire has emerged as a leader in the B2B fintech space in Southeast Asia, with a complete end-to-end product for managing business finance, a strong track record of growth, and solid fundamentals. We are excited to partner with this world-class team to support their vision for the future of financial services in the region”.
Aspire currently employs around 400 people in four countries, but during 2023 it wants to expand that team by taking on more talent. It wants to play an instrumental role in building out Southeast Asia’s tech ecosystem while focusing on strong unit economics.