Mizuho Bank, one of Japan’s largest banking groups, is the latest big backer of Philippine digital bank Tonik, leading its $131 million Series B round of funding.

Other significant new investors in the round include Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), co-founder of DST Partners Rahul Mehta, Singaporean investment fund Sixteenth Street Capital and Indonesian family office Nuri Group.

The round also featured strong repeat participation from previous VC investors Sequoia India, Point72 Ventures, Insignia, iGlobe, Alpha JWC, Citius, Blauwpark, and Kraft. Tonik will use the Series B funding to accelerate the growth of its digital bank in the Philippines, the neobank said in a press statement today (Feb 9, 2022).

Less than a year after its March 2021 launch, Tonik is one of the fastest-growing neobanks globally, reaching $20 million and $100 million of consumer deposits within its first and eighth months of operations, respectively.

Founder and CEO Greg Krasnov said the partnership with Mizuho — one of the top 10 banking groups in the Asia Pacific region — will provide Tonik with enhanced access to the international wholesale funding markets and world-class managerial talent while serving as a platform for the neobank’s future international expansion.

“All of this will help solidify our market leadership position in driving financial inclusion in Southeast Asia,” Krasnov said. Tonik estimates that the Philippines represents a $140 billion retail savings market and a $100 billion unsecured consumer lending opportunity.

Daisuke Horiuchi, Managing Executive Officer at Mizuho’s Retail Business Company, said: “Tonik’s unique track record so far validates the existence of massive demand for digital banking services in the Philippines, where over 70 percent of the population remains unbanked.

“As the first mover and market leader, Tonik is well-positioned to grow into one of the largest banks in the Philippines, as well as enter other Southeast Asian markets. We are keen to support Tonik’s world-class management in their vision to increase financial inclusion in the region,” he added.

The latest round follows Tonik’s $17 million pre-Series B round announced in May 2021 and marks another growth milestone for the Philippine startup ecosystem as a whole, which only recently saw the country’s first Series C round in late 2021.

Philippine neobank Tonik secures $100M in consumer deposits