Online banking in Korea gets blockchain-powered

Seoul-based blockchain solution provider theloop announced the launch of CHAIN ID, Korea’s new standard for secure online identification. It is the first major security update in the country’s online banking for nearly 20 years.

CHAIN ID is a blockchain-enabled identification systems that lets customers use the same certificate across the 25 banks and securities companies already in the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, eliminating the need to register with each individual financial institution or to check with a central authority like the Korea Information Certificate Authority.

Also read: Why SEA governments should adopt blockchain

Beginning November 2017, CHAIN ID will replace outdated government-issued digital certificates that had been in use in the country since 1999. The service is available in Android and iOS devices, with desktop versions for Microsoft and MacOS to be released soon.

“CHAIN ID goes beyond merely replacing Korea’s outdated banking certificates, ” said Jonghyup Kim, CEO of theloop, in a press statement. “It puts blockchain into the pocket of every Korean, setting the stage for widespread use of blockchain-based transactions in a new blockchain-powered financial eco-system. Blockchain is the future.”

Revolution Precrafted reached over US$1B valuation after K2 VC-backed round


Philippine-based modular homes creator Revolution Precrafted confirmed that they have reached a valuation of over US$1 billion, according to several media reports. They are the first in the country to have achieved this valuation.

The report comes after the company raised an undisclosed amount in its latest round from a group led by Singapore-based venture capital firm K2 VC.

“We will be using the investment to expand our operations in various countries and grow our product range,” Revolution Precrafted communications head Anku Chibb said in a press statement.

Also read: 6 Philippine startups funded in 2016, and real estate is the big winner

Revolution Precrafted is a real-estate technology company that sells modular and prefabricated designer structures that can be delivered anywhere in the world. Founded by real estate developer Robbie Antonio, the two-year-old startup reportedly earned US$110 million in sales in their first year.

They have recently entered a joint venture agreement with Indonesia’s Bakrie Global and Philippine-listed Century Properties Groupto develop a media city, a sports city, and technology corridor in the Philippines.

Remitly to raise US$115 million in Series D


Independent digital remittance company, Remitly, has announced that it has agreed to raise up to US$115 million in Series D funding, according to report by Businesswire.

The Series will be led by PayU, the fintech investment division of global internet and entertainment group Nasper. Existing Remitly investors will also participate in the round.

“This capital will supercharge our growth and help transform the lives of those who require cross-border transactions, including immigrants, by allowing us to offer them fundamentally better financial services,” said Remitly CEO and co-founder Matt Oppenheimer.

Also read: This Hong Kong startup thinks fintech companies need to rethink their KYC strategy

Remitly transfers nearly US$4 billion in annualised volume from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to anywhere in the world, through their digital money transfer platform. They aim to address the US$430 billion money transfer flow from developed countries to low and middle income countries and is backed by World Banks IFC, Silicon Valley Bank, Stripes Group, and DN Capital, among other industry-leading investors. They are headquartered in the United States, with offices in London, the Philippines, and Nicaragua.

AsiaKredit launches mobile lending platform in the Philippines


Digital consumer lender AsiaKredit has announced the launch of pera247, a data-driven digital lending platform that provides small-ticket, short-term consumer loans for up to 90 days. The app is available in the Philippines, where over 80 per cent of the population is unbanked.

The platform uses big data to optimise the credit assessment process by extracting data points, like behavioural mobile data from applicant’s mobile phones, and processing it in a proprietary predictive algorithm to improve the availability of credit even to those with limited or no banking history. The app also acts as mobile wallet, where funds will be disbursed to and linked to  physical payment centers.

Also read: How companies in Southeast Asia can cater to the unbanked market

“Through pera247, AsiaKredit has a huge opportunity to impact the lives of hundreds of millions unbanked clients in Southeast Asia, leveraging the high mobile penetration in the region to foster financial inclusion,” said Mike Singh, AsiaKredit co-founder and CEO, in an official release.

AsiaKredit is venture-built and funded by Singapore-based venture-builder FORUM and early-stage fintech investor Fintonia Group.

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