xanPool, a cross-border payment The infrastructure provider, aims to expand outside the Asia-Pacific region amid growing global demand for both crypto and fiat currency settlement. The Hong Kong-based company—which has raised $32 million since its founding in March 2019—plans to enter markets such as Europe and South America. “I see a lot of opportunity to grow faster,” says Jeffrey LiuFounder and CEO of zanpool,
At 28, Liu is inducted into this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia honors Finance and Venture Capital Category Those who are using technology to disrupt the conservative world of finance.
XanPool expects its user base (consumers and businesses choosing to use alternative methods of payment for cross-border transactions) by the end of 2022 to reach 10 million from the 500,000 currently. With Zanpool’s gross trading value doubling to $8 billion this year, the company (backed by investors including private equity firms Antler and Weller Ventures) aims to increase its headcount from about 90 to nearly 200 employees by the end of 2022. . Liu says most of the new hires will be software engineers and product developers, based at the research and development center the company plans to build in Southeast Asia.
VCs are on the rise
In addition to fintech founders, 15 investors made up the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia this year, including Sequoia Capital‘s Augustus Illa in Singapore. A Stanford grad and a former McKinsey consultant, Ilg is driving Sequoia Capital’s expansion into new regions and geographies in India and Southeast Asia. He has led or co-led 21 investments, including breakouts such as Filipino digital bank Tonic, international hiring platform Multiplier and customer service software provider WATI. He also led Sequoia’s investments in blockchain startups, driving eight of 13 such publicly announced deals in Southeast Asia.
Sean Hon One of Asia’s most vibrant startup hubs, is also located in the city-state. In 2021, Honorable Co-Founder Motion Ventures, a $23 million venture capital fund investing in startups disrupting the maritime industry. Backed by shipping companies such as Mitsui OSK Lines, Wilhelmson, and HHLA as well as Enterprise Singapore’s Seeds Capital, the fund aims to introduce cutting-edge technologies to the industry to aid in decarbonization, supply chain resilience, and security. Motion Ventures is backed by startup incubator Rainmaking, which has a combined portfolio value of over $2 billion, where Hon has been a director since 2020.
in Indonesia, paternal aaron Singapore-headquartered co-founder and country head Asia Partners, which manages a $384 million fund that invests in growth-stage companies. Aaron was directly involved in Asia Partners’ $100 million Series B funding in July 2021 at Indonesian B2B e-commerce firm Gudangada. He was also involved in investments in budget hotel chain RedDoorz, car e-commerce platform Carsome and online tutoring platform SnapEsc. A graduate in economics from Claremont McKenna College, Aaron previously worked as a consultant at Bain and as a digital product chief at Indonesian e-commerce firm Bukalpak.
Melvin Headey Of Global Founders Capital, which has taken on the likes of Canva, Lazada and Traveloka, is also based in Indonesia. In 2021, Head was appointed partner of Global Founders Capital for Asia-Pacific at the age of 26, making him the region’s youngest VC partner. Active in GFC’s investments in early-stage companies such as agritech startup Eden Farms and accelerated commerce firm Astro, Head also sits on the boards of some portfolio companies. Prior to joining GFC, he advised senior management in Southeast Asia as a Management Consultant at McKinsey.
retno goddess Indonesia has one in five female investors on the list. She leads investments in Singapore and Indonesia at a Hong Kong-based VC firm Access Ventures, It has closed six new deals and three follow-ons, such as Sampingen and the AI-powered credit scoring Credolabs. Becoming a venture capitalist at the age of 21, Devati interned at Pegasus Tech Ventures in 2015 before being promoted to Southeast Asia Regional Manager. There, she was involved in a number of startup investments, including Moka POS, which was acquired by Gojek for $130 million.
end up in china, Song Sisio Beijing-based vice president at Silicon Valley investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners, which manages assets worth more than $9 billion. The firm has invested in more than 200 companies, including LinkedIn, Shopify and Yelp. In 2020, Song became the company’s first hire in China, and now oversees investments in the country. Song’s portfolio includes US-listed IoT firm Tuya, Hong Kong-listed SaaS software developer Youzan, and data analytics platform Sensor Data. Prior to Bessemer, he worked for four years on the investment team of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, where he focused on opportunities in the cloud and infrastructure sectors overseas.
This year’s list also includes two investors from South Korea: divided into pieces‘s park hyeon-joon And KB Invest‘s Minja Song,
A Wharton graduate, Park is an investor in Seoul and Hashed, a blockchain-focused venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, focused on gaming. Backers of the firm include South Korean Internet giants Kakao and Naver, and its portfolio companies include Vietnamese game maker Sky Mavis and India-based game streaming platform Loco. Prior to joining Hashed last year, Park was a venture capital investor in Hanwha, one of the largest Chaebols in South Korea.
and Song is an investment manager at KB Investments, the venture arm of KB Financial Group, the largest bank in South Korea by market capitalization. He has worked on 17 deals at KB Investments since joining in 2020. Nine of these deals were self-sourced and include robot marketplace BigWave Robotics, edtech startup Mathpresso (whose cofounders made the 30 under 30 Asia list in 2020) and virtual world developer. NdotLight (backed by Korean Internet giants Kakao and Naver).
in New Zealand, lauren fong is an investment principal Icehouse Ventures, an Auckland based VC firm. There she manages ArchAngels, a network of angel investors that invest in women-led startups in New Zealand. She is currently helping raise money for her second fund, with a goal of $20 million to invest in 50 companies over four years. Fong is also a DJ and electronic music producer and has participated in music festivals at home and abroad.
in neighboring Australia, Alexander Khori And Adrian Peterson are co-founders and partners Afterwork VenturesA community-run VC fund investing in pre-seed and seed stage startups in Australia and New Zealand. Some of its managers come from the biggest tech companies in the region, including Canva, Airvolex, Atlassian and Binance. Afterwork has made over 40 early stage investments, including D2C pet wellness brand Lyca and at-home resistance trainer Vitruvian. In 2021, the firm aims to raise a fund of $30 million; By September, it had raised half of it and made four investments.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Burgos.
To learn more about these young innovators and investors, read our full finance and venture capital list Here —and be sure to check out our full Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia coverage Here,