[5th Jan 2022] – Brankas, Southeast Asia’s leading Open Finance technology company, announced the close of its US$20m Series B investment round led by Insignia Ventures Partners with participation from existing investors Beenext and Integra Partners. With this round, Brankas aims to scale its network of more than 40 financial institutions and 100+ technology companies, expand its product menu of banking-as-a-service APIs serving customers across 6 markets in Asia, and look to double the 100-person strong team.
This latest round accelerates Brankas’ journey to provide the most reliable and comprehensive finance API platform in Asia. Since 2016, the company has been democratizing access to financial and identity data, payments initiation and other developer tools to power the next generation of fintech solutions. To address the needs of Southeast Asia’s large unbanked population, Brankas has worked with non-bank providers like remittance companies and e-wallets to offer Open Finance solutions that reach previously untapped customer segments. Brankas aims to serve any company that needs financial data and embedded fintech services to empower their end users in Southeast Asia: technology companies, traditional brick-and-mortar leaders with online channels, and even financial institutions looking to provide a financial marketplace or embedded finance experience to their customers
According to Samir Chaibi, Principal at Insignia Ventures Partners, Brankas is well-equipped and well-positioned to achieve this as the open finance movement accelerates in Southeast Asia. “The Open Finance industry is powering the next generation of fintech services and Brankas is at the forefront of this movement in Southeast Asia. We are thrilled to partner with a team with a world-class API-driven infrastructure built across key Southeast Asian markets to serve the largest fintech players as they scale. We have also been impressed by Brankas’s approach to market development and their ability to launch and scale their products in a regulatory compliant manner while ensuring that developers benefit from a reliable and stable source of banking and financial data and beyond.”
Visa also participated in the round, marking the global payments network’s commitment to the fast developing Open Finance ecosystem in Southeast Asia. AFG Partners and Treasury International (backed by veteran fintech founders Jeff Cruttenden of Acorns and Eli Broverman of Betterment) have also joined the round along with existing Brankas investors Beenext and Integra Partners. Brankas was selected as one of the 5 participants in Visa’s 2021 Accelerator Program and jointly developed with Visa, a digital credit card issuance proposition using Visa’s data capabilities. The solution was showcased at the Visa Accelerator Demo Day in September 2021.
Leading the way for Southeast Asia’s Open Finance Development
Brankas’s network of financial institutions and tech companies rely on its menu of embedded finance APIs to develop, rollout, and manage digital experiences across various use cases for Southeast Asia, from digital banking, online credit scoring to e-commerce and gig economy payments.
For financial institutions, Brankas’s API platform unlocks digital capabilities and new revenue streams such as online payments, identity verification and account opening, and by extension scales their reach, especially to users who have historically been difficult to serve with traditional financial services. For fintech companies, Brankas is a bridge to critical data needs for verification or scoring processes that would have otherwise taken much longer to develop and optimize for users. These use cases also extend beyond financial services, with companies in sectors like e-commerce also using their APIs to verify and secure payments on their platforms. Across industries and use cases, Brankas offers a compliant, reliable and secure system at scale to simplify the local complexities of building and operating fintech products and services.
Todd Schweitzer, CEO of Brankas, emphasizes the immense possibilities of Open Finance especially in Southeast Asia, “Open Finance is about more than just payments or banking. Our work at Brankas building Southeast Asia’s next-generation financial services infrastructure has unlocked opportunities for new financial product development, in a region that has historically been dominated by large brick-and-mortar incumbents. Thanks to our growing network of partners and customers we are continuously deepening our understanding of these opportunities and leading the development of solutions to open these doors for them here in Southeast Asia.”
As Brankas has grown to cater to more use cases and include more partners and customers in their network, the company has consistently led the way in developing Southeast Asia’s open finance ecosystem. For example, Brankas is the first in the region to launch banking-as-a-service APIs for account opening and credit card issuance.
Brankas has also gained the trust of regulators as an open finance pioneer and leader. In October 2021, Brankas was awarded a prestigious grant from Singapore’s Central Bank to develop an open-source core banking system. The company also participated as the first approved financial API service provider in the Philippines’ Open Finance pilot.
Bringing Unprecedented Choice and Access to Southeast Asia
Following this Series B round, Brankas is deepening the capabilities of its payments, data, and banking-as-a-service API product menu in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The company is soon to announce partnerships with top digital banks and fintech leaders in Vietnam and Bangladesh, going live in early 2022.
Operating as a distributed, remote-first organization since its founding, Brankas now has more than 100 staff in 17 countries. Recent senior hires include Simo Figuigui as Head of Business Development and Growth, and Arvin Razon as Head of Regulatory, Legal and Compliance Affairs.
In order to further develop their menu of products for open finance, Brankas looks to ramp up its hiring across multiple roles in product, sales, and engineering. More details on the roles can be viewed on the company’s career page and LinkedIn.
With new investors, partnerships, and hires, Todd shares his outlook for Brankas: “At Brankas, our vision is to make modern financial services available to everyone. 2021 has been a breakout year for Brankas, enabling financial institutions and companies to partner in new ways and offering unprecedented choice and access for Southeast Asia consumers. All this has happened as we see open finance adoption gaining traction greater than ever before in the region. As a leader in this movement, we are primed to pioneer new products and use cases for Southeast Asia’s next generation of financial services, and we’ll need as many hands on deck as possible to follow through on this. This means continuously growing our network, building out our team’s capabilities, and working closely with our new investors. We are proud to join the Insignia portfolio, and we welcome Visa as a new investor and strategic commercial partner. Thanks also to Treasury International, AFG, and our existing investors Beenext, Integra, and Plug and Play for their continued support and mentorship.”
Founded in 2016, Brankas is the leading Open Finance technology company in Southeast Asia. We provide API-based solutions, data, and payments solutions for financial service providers (like banks, lenders, and e-wallets) and online businesses. Brankas partners with banks to build and manage their Open Finance infrastructure, producing APIs for real-time payments, identity and data, new account opening, remittances, and more. With Brankas’ secure Open Banking technology, online businesses, fintech companies, and digital banks can use Brankas APIs to create new digital experiences for their users.
About Insignia Ventures Partners
Insignia Ventures Partners is an early-stage technology venture capital firm partnering with unstoppable founders to build great companies in Southeast Asia. Since 2017, we have invested in 70+ emerging technology companies across industries and geographies in the region, including unicorns Carro, Ajaib, GoTo, and Appier, and category leaders including Payfazz, Shipper, tonik, and Flip. We partner early with founders and support them from seed through growth stage as their companies create meaningful impact for millions of people in Southeast Asia and beyond. With our team of 30+ investment and operating professionals who bring together decades of experience and proprietary networks, we equip our founders with the tools they need for growth. Learn more on our website and Insignia Business Review. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Bala Subramanian | Chief of Staff