PayPal is partnering with Alpha JWC, the Indonesian venture capital firm, to invest in FinTech companies operating out of Southeast Asia.
Bloomberg, citing Jerry Tso, general manager for PayPal Singapore Development Center, reported that under the partnership, Alpha JWC will provide as high as $5 million to the PayPal Incubator. After the two companies’ senior executives both in Singapore and San Jose choose the startups, they will receive coaching and mentoring from PayPal executives, noted Bloomberg while citing Tso. According to Bloomberg, it is the first time the PayPal Incubator, which has been live in Singapore since 2016, is expanding into other parts of Southeast Asia with investment funding from a venture capital firm. The program is aiming to provide funding for several startup FinTech companies in Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. Bloomberg reported that Alpha JWC invests in early-stage companies under its $50 million VC fund. The company is in the process of raising $100 million for a second fund that will continue to invest in FinTechs in Southeast Asia as well as consumer-facing companies in the region.
The move on the part of PayPal to invest in startups in Southeast Asia comes as the company’s CEO, Dan Schulman, said that as the popularity of PayPal and its mobile payments platform Venmo grows, traditional methods of payment will be replaced by digital alternatives. “Twenty years from now, there will be no more credit cards, really,” Schulman said at TheStreet’s Investor Boot Camp conference in New York recently. “Why have them when you can have a QR code or NCR tablet?” He also spoke about blockchain technology, revealing that while he is a believer in it, PayPal and Venmo do not offer cryptocurrency exchange in order to protect users. “We don’t want to be a part of consumers losing large amounts of money,” Schulman said. PayPal does allow users to transfer digital currency from Coinbase after it has been changed into fiat currency, “but we’re not going to help mostly scammers hurt consumers around this,” he added.