Vircle, a Malaysian neobanking service provider, has successfully secured venture capital (VC) funding for its seed round from co-lead investors Kumpulan Modal Perdana (KMP), a government-owned tech-focused VC, and Gobi Partners (Gobi), an Asia-focused VC firm.
Vircle said in a statement on Tuesday that Gobi facilitated its investment through the Gobi Dana Impak Ventures (GDIV) fund.
GDIV is a part of Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s (Khazanah) Future Malaysia Programme, an initiative under the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund’s Dana Impak mandate, to support the nation’s startup ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, venture capital and corporate venture programs.
With this funding, Vircle’s goal is to expand its services to public schools nationwide.
“We have created a truly family-centric financial platform to offer every child a gentle and safe introduction to the cashless world, providing experiential learning opportunities that allow them to experience the real world while providing parents peace of mind through Vircle’s unique parental oversight and child safety engine, before venturing into the real world of finances,
According to him, the firm will achieve this by constantly innovating in collaboration with parents and regulators backed by funding from its investors such as KMP and GDIV.
Vircle was founded by Subramaniam with over 20 years of experience in research and development, engineering, product, commercial, solutions and sales.
The firm was established in March 2021 with the aim to reshape financial education and banking for children through its Vircle app.
The app has been an important tool in instilling lifelong money habits among young children, through partnerships with major schools across Malaysia.
Presently, Vircle extends its services to families representing 130 nationalities and operates in partnership with over 58 prestigious private and international educational institutions.
The firm’s innovative and proprietary parental control technology empowers parents to effortlessly oversee and manage their child’s expenses both in school and out-of-school.
Through experiential features like Missions, Savings, and Spending controls, children can acquire vital money management skills, empowering them to make informed decisions from an early age.
“Our investment will supercharge Vircle’s mission to transform financial literacy for children by incorporating data analytics capabilities,
“We are thrilled about this partnership and our shared vision for growth,” KMP Chief Executive Officer Yarham Yunus said.
According to him, witnessing the number of users and transactions, doubling year on year over the last two years is a testament to the immense potential of this partnership.
“We are excited to partner with Vircle to continue expanding its reach especially as it makes headways into the public and underserved schools’ segment,” he added.
Established in 2001, KMP is a venture capital firm wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance, Inc. in Malaysia and under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology &
Since its inception, KMP has invested in more than 40 companies, encompassing high-tech companies across a spectrum of technology sectors, including but not limited to internet of things (IoT), advanced materials, semiconductor, automation, green technology and renewable energy.
“In a region where 160 million children lack access to banking services, Vircle emerges as a beacon of hope, introducing a safe passage into the cashless world,
“With an emphasis on cultivating crucial money management skills, Vircle addresses a significant gap in both the educational system and households across Southeast Asia,” Gobi Co-Founder and Chairperson Thomas Tsao said.
It is noted that GDIV’s investment into Vircle aligns with Dana Impak’s aim to deliver socioeconomic impact for Malaysia across six themes – Digital Society and Technology Hub, Quality Health and Education for all, Decent Work and Social Mobility, Food and Energy Security, Building Climate Resilience, and Competing in Global Markets.
Gobi is a Pan-Asian venture capital firm with $1.6 billion in assets under management.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, the firm supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets.
Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised 17 funds to date and invested in over 380 startups with 62 operating in the circular economy.
The firm has grown to 15 locations across key markets in Bangkok, Cairo, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Manila, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and Surabaya.