11% of total VC funding in Southeast Asia, approximately $345m, was invested in fintech startups. With the majority of investment skewed towards payments and lead generation, TechCrunch takes a closer look at fintech funding by subsector in the SE Asia region.
What might explain this large skewness toward payments and lead generation? Barriers to entry differ per sector. We view fintech opportunities through the lens of three core arbitrages: regulatory, information, and trust. For example, in order to take customer deposits, a fintech company needs to be regulated, private banking customers only entrust their wealth and information to those they trust, and loan underwriting requires access to information that enables underwriters to assess borrowers’ capacity and propensity to repay. This both explains the high barriers to entry in these areas, and the resulting lower funding levels.