Hong Kong’s YouTrip raises US$25.5m Pre-Series A funding
The fundraising aims to expand Youtrip’s multi-currency mobile wallet platform across ASEAN and marks the largest pre-Series A funding round for a SE Asian fintech startup
17 May 2019 | The Asset
Arthur Mak and Caecilia Chu
Arthur Mak and Caecilia Chu

Youtrip, developed in Hong Kong to be Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard, has raised US$25.5 million in a pre-Series A fundraise.

Participating investors include major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners.

Launched in August 2018, YouTrip is a multi-currency mobile wallet developed as a partnership between Mastercard and Singapore’s largest public transport card issuer EZ-Link. Specially designed with travellers in mind, YouTrip allows users to pay in over 150 currencies with no hidden fees and at wholesale exchange rates. The mobile app automatically converts currencies in real-time to transact in over 150 currencies when overseas.

The mobile app also allows for the exchange and storage of 10 selected currencies in advance through the in-app exchange feature. The YouTrip mobile application works with a linked pre-paid Mastercard and can be used to make payments at more than 30 million Mastercard accepting merchants worldwide.

With the injection of funds, YouTrip is looking to invest heavily in growing its team and technology infrastructure to bolster its engineering hub based in Hong Kong, a city famed for being an international innovation powerhouse. Having established a foothold in Singapore, it has also set its sights on further expansion in Southeast Asia and developing localised solutions for the region’s growing class of travellers.

Fuelled by growing purchasing power and more affordable travel options, Southeast Asia’s population of over 650 million people represents one of the largest and fastest growing outbound travellers market globally - it is expected to total US$80 billion in outbound travel expenditure by 2020, up from US$67 billion in 2018.

Caecilia Chu, co-founder and CEO of YouTrip says, “As a frequent traveller, I was surprised with how much banks mark up on overseas transactions - this was among the many reasons why I started YouTrip with Arthur Mak, who is also chairman of YouTrip.”

Pachara Lawjindakul, principal at Insignia Ventures Partners adds, “The fintech space in Southeast Asia is developing at a relentless pace to meet evolving consumer expectations and the travel industry represents an immense untapped market at the intersection of this growth.”

Insignia was founded by Tan Yinglan, who was formerly Sequoia Capital’s first hire and Venture Partner in Southeast Asia.

Since its launch in August 2018, the YouTrip mobile application has achieved over 200,000 downloads, processed over 1 million transactions, and has grown its team to 70 people in Hong Kong and Singapore.

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