Southeast Asia’s first pure-play digital bank, Singapore-based Tonik Financial, announced that it has recently closed an equity funding round that raked in $6 million, co-led by venture capital firms Insignia Ventures Partners and Credence Partners.
In a statement, Tonik said the funding round, which was also participated in by regional family offices and angel investors, will be used to finance the launch of Tonik Digital Bank Inc, the first digital-only bank in the Philippines.
The bank received approval from the Philippine central bank last January, allowing it to provide digital banking services, such as retail banking, deposits, and consumer loans in the country, Tonik said. The bank is set to start commercial operations in the third quarter of this year.
Tonik Digital Bank is the company’s first digital bank in Southeast Asia and one of the very few globally to be operating on the basis of its own bank license. Its launch in the Philippines is timely as the country represents a $140-billion retail deposit market and a $100-billion unsecured consumer lending opportunity.
“Over 70 percent of the adult population in the Philippines remains unbanked, and market research indicates that over 50 percent of existing bank clients would be keen to switch their deposits to a pure-play digital contender,” said Tonik Financial founder and CEO Greg Krasnov.
Krasnov had previously co-founded four market-leading finch startups in the consumer finance space in Asia, as well as founded, built, and successfully exited a significant consumer finance bank in Emerging Europe.
Founded in 2018, Tonik Financial provides retail financial products, including deposits, loans, current accounts, payments, and cards on a highly secured digital banking platform.
Yinglan Tan, founding managing partner of Insignia Ventures Partners, the co-anchor in the funding round, saw the potential of Tonik in meeting the digital banking needs of consumers in emerging markets.
“Consumers in emerging markets deserve the ease and convenience offerings like Amazon, and they expect the same from their bank. Building a modern bank from front to back is an incredible challenge, and we haven’t met a better team to take it on,” Tan said.