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Bangkok-based Ascend Money raised US $150 M, becomes Thailand’s first fintech unicorn

Ascend Money, a Bangkok-based fintech company that provides payment and financial services in Southeast Asia, has raised US $150 million in investment, valuing the company at US $1.5 billion.

Ascend Money has now achieved the status of Thailand’s first fintech unicorn.

Bow Wave Capital Management, located in the United States, and existing shareholders Charoen Pokphand Group and Ant Group, both of Thailand, contributed to the round.

The funds will be utilised to grow the TrueMoney Wallet’s user base and develop its digital financial services, which include digital lending, digital investing, and cross-border remittances throughout Southeast Asia.

Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are among the Southeast Asian nations where Ascend Money has made advances.

Ascend Money, which was founded in 2013, operates the TrueMoney digital payment and financial service platform, with the goal of increasing regional financial access and inclusion for the financially excluded and SMEs.

TrueMoney’s e-wallet application and 88,000 TrueMoney agents service more than 50 million customers, according to the press release.

According to a survey conducted by Visa in 2021, 85% of customers in Southeast Asia have embraced some sort of cashless payment option. While Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia lead the way, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand are close behind, with an average cashless payment acceptance rate of 88 percent.

Thailand’s payments sector has seen a leapfrog development as a result of these positive indications. During the period 2021-2025, the total transaction value is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.94%, culminating in a projected US $24,127 million by 2025.

Ant Group made its first investment in Ascend Money in Southeast Asia in 2016.

Ascend Money is Thailand’s second unicorn IT firm. The first is Flash Group, which owns Thailand’s biggest express delivery business, Flash Express, and joined the club in June with a US$150 million round.

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