MANILA - Digital bank Tonik on Friday said its parent Singapore-based Tonik Financial Pte Ltd closed $131 million (P6.7 billion) Series B equity funding led by Japan's Mizuho Bank to boost growth in the Philippines.
In a statement, Tonik said it would use the proceeds "to accelerate the growth of its digital bank in the Philippines."
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in 2021 granted Tonik a license to operate as a digital bank, which launched in March.
Among the 6 licensed digital banks, Tonik offers one of the highest interest rates of up to 6 percent for its time deposit feature.
Digital banks have no physical branches and are designed to make opening bank accounts faster to target the unbanked and underserved.
"The partnership with Mizuho will provide Tonik with enhanced access to the international wholesale funding markets and world-class managerial talent, as well as serve as a fantastic platform for our future international expansion," Tonik founder and CEO Greg Krasnov said.
For its part, Mizuho Retail Business Company Managing Executive Officer Daisuke Horiuchi said the fintech company has a "unique track record" that validates the massive demand for digital banking services in the Philippines where some 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," Horiuchi said.
Tonik said it is now focused on all-digital consumer lending products.
Based on its estimates, Tonik said the Philippines represents a $140 billion retail savings market and a $100 billion unsecured consumer lending opportunity.
Aside from Tonik, 5 other digital banks were granted licenses by the BSP, including Landbank's OF Bank, UnionBank's UnionDigital, PayMaya's Maya Bank, Gokongwei's GOTyme and UnoBank.
The central bank has since paused granting digital licenses to assess its impact on the overall financial system.