YouTrip, a Singapore-based fintech that offers multicurrency wallet for consumers and business accounts with corporate cards for SMEs, has its eyes on growth throughout Southeast Asia after landing a Series B led by Lightspeed. The round was $50 million, and brings YouTrip’s total raised to $100 million since it launched in 2018.
The new funding will be used to develop YouTrip’s product technology and hire more than 100 new positions for its regional team as it launches in new Southeast Asian markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The company is a major payment institution licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and its services include payments, foreign exchange, remittances and cards.
Since its inception five years ago, YouTrip has processed close to $10 billion in annualized transaction volume and its e-commerce payment volume has grown 238% in annualized transaction volume since its Series A in 2021.
TechCrunch last covered YouTrip in November 2021, when it raised a $30 million Series A led by prominent family offices in Asia who wanted to be unnamed but were returning investors. Founder and CEO Caecilia Chu tells TechCrunch that YouTrip’s backing by family offices gave it an advantage, because those relationships tend to be very long-term. This time YouTrip made the decision to work with a venture-backed company.
At the time of our last conversation with Chu two years ago, YouTrip was recovering from the pandemic as travel resumed in Southeast Asia, especially Singapore. It was also preparing for the launch of YouBiz, its corporate card, as more SMBs adopted digital financial services. YouBiz allows them to send payments, receive money and invoice consumers from around the world, in multiple currencies.
The company says YouTrip’s consumer multicurrency spending in Singapore and Thailand has grown considerably over the last two years, and its user base has tripled over that time. They attribute this to post-pandemic travel recovery and the continued growth of e-commerce in the region.
Meanwhile, its B2B product YouBiz has onboarded more than 3,000 enterprises since its launch last May and plans to double that number by 2024. Its primary target customers for YouBiz are businesses that have less than 100 employees. Many are in the tech industry, including IT providers and startups that tend to be early adopters of new digital products, but Chu says YouTrip has also seen traction from more traditional sectors like travel agencies and healthcare.
The most common use cases for YouBiz include business travel, and digital marketing spend, because Google, Facebook and subscription tools are generally billed in USD, and the card gives SMEs FX savings. Companies also use YouBiz’s remittance services to pay suppliers and remote workers. Chu says e-commerce is becoming increasingly important for YouBiz because of its YouBiz perks program, which works with partners to give customers cash-back deals and is meant to encourage more frequent and larger transactions.
Tailwinds giving YouTrip a growth advantage include the continuing digitization of SMEs and consumer habits, which was accelerated by the pandemic.
Group photo of YouTrip's Singaporean team. Image Credits: YouTrip
In terms of product development, YouTrip plans to increase its use of AI and other emerging technologies for personalized features like smart budgeting and customized financial insights. For YouBiz, the company will grow its portfolio of services for SMEs’ cross-border growth plans, including new features for its expense management capabilities and adding credit lines.
In addition to accelerating its international market expansion, Chu is excited by new regulations in Singapore that will raise e-wallet transaction caps by three or four times.
“We feel is it is a great opportunity for us to build more for existing customers, so we are going to add more FX related services in there’s, including overseas transfers, overseas receiving money and more when the wallet limit increased,” she says.
One of YouTrip's and YouBiz’s differentiators from other multicurrency wallets and SME accounts/corporate cards is their focus on localization, she says. This gives YouTrip a larger market share.
“For every market, we tailor our mobile apps and also the card design even, for each of our markets. By being so localized and focused, from the selection of partners and so forth, it really plays out nicely for us,” Chu says.
“The localization strategy was one we think gives us an advantage, particularly on consumer digitalization and consumer fintech developments,” she added. “What we are very excited about right now is the digitalization of SMEs as well. I think there is the need and opportunity brought to us by the pandemic. Companies are really looking to automate themselves and they need to be able to have a remote workforce, and everything needs to be digitalized and automated."
But she notes that 99% of SMEs still use traditional banks, instead of neobanks and other fintechs.
“I think the opportunity there is even larger and the revolution has just started,” she says. “We are very excited to get in there with the infrastructure that we have already built. We are one of the very few SME fintechs that own our own licenses and a proprietary tech stack.”
In an investor statement, Lightspeed partner Pinn Lawjindakul said, “My personal experience of the pain point reinforced my conviction in what the YouTrip deal has built. Their multi-currency digital payments platform enables everyone to have a safer, smarter and superior experience with foreign currencies and digital payments.”