Tonik, a Southeast Asia-focused digital bank, announced that it has raised USD 6 million in an institutional funding round led by VC investors Insignia Ventures Partners and Credence Partners, with participation from regional family offices and angel investors.
The company plans to use the new funds to launch its digital bank in the Philippines and target the start of commercial operations in the third quarter of 2020, according to a statement.
Founded in 2018 and based in Singapore, Tonik provides retail financial products, including savings deposits, loans, current accounts, payments, and cards on a secure digital banking platform.
It is launching this year in the Philippines through its own bank license granted by the local banking regulator, with support and research and development functions based in Singapore and Chennai, India. Tonik claims to be the first digital bank in Southeast Asia and one of the very few globally to be operating on the basis of its own bank license.
The Philippines represents a USD 140 billion retail deposit market, and a USD 100 billion unsecured consumer lending opportunity, according to Tonik.
“Over 70% of the adult population in the Philippines remains unbanked, and market research indicates that over 50% of existing bank clients would be keen to switch their deposits to a pure-play digital contender,” said Greg Krasnov, founder and CEO at Tonik.
In Singapore, the government last year announced that it will issue up to five new digital bank licenses, consisting of up to two digital full bank licenses and three digital wholesale bank licenses. It said that it has received a total of 21 applications for digital bank licenses at the close of applications at the end of 2019.
This article first appeared in Tech In Asia.