GPCA featured Singapore-based fintech Nium in the 2021 report, Emerging Tech Trends in Southeast Asia.
Founded in 2014, Nium is a leading embedded fintech company that provides banks, payment providers and businesses with access to global payment services via one API. Based in Singapore, Nium is Southeast Asia’s first global B2B payments unicorn. Nium processes over USD8b in payments annually, serving more than 130 million end customers in 100+ countries, with revenues growing by almost 4x year over year.
In July 2021, Nium completed a USD200m+ Series D led by US-based Riverwood Capital, with participation from Temasek, Visa, Vertex Ventures, Beacon Venture Capital, GIC and Rocket Capital. Nium raised nearly USD300m in total funding, propelling its disclosed valuation above USD1b. Other disclosed investors include Visa, BRI Ventures, Vertex Growth, Fullerton Financial Holdings, GSR Ventures, Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, SBI Japan, FMO, MDI Ventures and Atinum Investment.
Connecting Businesses to Global Payment Infrastructure
Nium started as a cross-border remittance business back in 2015 but quickly evolved into a B2B payments platform that helps embed financial services across multiple industries and geographies. Nium’s modular platform removes the complexity from global payments and allows banks, payment providers, travel companies and other businesses to embed financial services. This includes services for sending and receiving payments, card issuance and banking-as-a-service. Our key value proposition is: “With Nium, anyone can become a fintech”.
Within the fintech ecosystem, Nium’s platform forms the bridge that connects businesses to the world’s payment infrastructure through a single API. The company’s core belief is that everyone should benefit from fintech, and Nium has designed innovative solutions with the end consumer in mind. The promise of Nium’s fintech “as a service” solutions is that they can be seamlessly integrated into existing platforms, democratizing the payments layer to broaden access.
Embedded Fintech is the Future
Underlying all Nium’s investments is the belief that payments and embedded fintech are the future of the financial services industry. Nium’s global market opportunities in embedded fintech, cross-border transfers and card payments are large and expanding. Nium estimates these global trends to have a total addressable market in the trillions of dollars.
Nium’s latest Series D funding will be investing towards expanding its global payments infrastructure, including new embedded fintech services and technologies for pay-outs, pay-ins, card issuance and banking-as-a-service; and accelerating growth via deeper vertical and regional opportunities, particularly following two recent strategic acquisitions: travel B2B payments leader Ixaris, which added comprehensive virtual card issuance capabilities to the platform, and Wirecard Forex India Private Limited, which expanded Nium’s reach into India’s booming payments market. Finally, Nium will continue to acquire new technologies and companies to expand the product set, while building deeper inroads within its core verticals.
Navigating Growth During the Pandemic
Nium was able to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, continuing on its growth trajectory throughout 2020, during which Nium launched some of its most innovative solutions, including its cards-issuance solution, a full-scale service that comprises regulatory, BIN sponsorship and card processing.
While launching a card program is typically a long and costly project involving multiple vendors and moving parts, Nium’s solution offers businesses a ‘one-stop shop’ that allows card programs to launch in a matter of weeks. Nium’s card solution helped maritime company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) provide a platform for employees to instantly transfer funds to their families on supplementary cards or home accounts, as restrictions hindered seafarers from remitting money from physical locations. In 2020, Nium partnered with Singapore-based neobank Aspire to issue virtual Visa corporate cards, enabling all cards under Aspire to be accessible via Google Pay, and allowing them to quickly issue cards for SMEs and startups.