Ascend Money, the operator behind the TrueMoney e-wallet, has landed USD 150 million in funding from US-based investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management, Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, and Ant Group. The company is Thailand’s first fintech unicorn. It is now valued at USD 1.5 billion.
Ascend Money is a subsidiary of CP Group. It will utilize the fresh funds to grow its user base across the firm’s existing markets, including Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The company will also expand its fintech services, which span lending, mutual fund investments, and cross-border remittances.
“As Southeast Asia’s homegrown fintech company, our mission is to enable everyone to access innovative financial services to better their lives,” said Monsinee Nakapanant, co-president of Ascend Money. “At the same time, the unicorn achievement reinforces our ability to scale our purpose and mission. Looking ahead, we continue to strengthen collaboration with our stakeholders in the region to improve the lives of many through our platform.”
Founded in 2013, Ascend Money serves over 50 million users through its e-wallet application and 88,000 TrueMoney agents. The fintech service logged payment volume to the tune of USD 14 billion in 2020, with users in Thailand driving most of the transactions.
Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group, invested an undisclosed amount in Ascend Money in 2016. Ant reportedly holds a 25–30% stake in the firm, per Reuters.