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Sequoia India signs Series A cheque for Philippine neo-bank Tonik
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Tonik Financial Pte Ltd, which operates the Philippines-based neo-bank Tonik, has raised $21 million (about Rs 160 crore) in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India and US-based Point72 Ventures.

Other investors that participated in the funding round include existing backers such as Insignia and Credence, Tonik said in a statement.

The company, which was founded by Greg Krasnov in 2018, says it will provide deposits, loans, payments and card products to consumers.

While its business operations will take place in the Philippines, it will maintain a support and research and development presence in Singapore and Chennai, the company said. It will use the capital it has raised to launch the commercial operations of its digital banking products in the third quarter of this year.

The bet on Tonik represents another investor commitment to the neo-banking segment, which has fast gained traction from venture capital firms and marquee investors.

In India as well, startups operating in the sector have raised significant sums of money to fund their commercial launches and their product development and expansion. For example, in April, the Jitendra Gupta-founded Jupiter raised $2 million (around Rs 15 crore) from Hummingbird Ventures and Bedrock Capital.

Entellus Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates enterprise-focussed neo-banking platform Nupay, raised seed funding from startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts in January.

In the same month, EpiFi Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised $13.2 million (around Rs 93.5 crore) in seed funding at a valuation of around $50 million from investors such as Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and Hillhouse Capital.

In December, informal sector-focused neo-bank Kaleidofin raised Rs 36 crore (around $5 million) in Series A funding led by financial inclusion-focused social impact investor Oikocredit. 

For Sequoia India, the investment in Tonik adds to its portfolio of Southeast Asian companies. The VC firm has invested in several companies in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia since 2012.

These include Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Tokopedia and point-of-sale software provider Moka, Singapore-based data analytics startup Nugit and health-tech startup Biofourmis Singapore Pte. Ltd.

More recently, Sequoia India invested in Indonesia logistics startup Kargo in April and Indonesian beverage retailer Kopi Kenangan in May.

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