Singapore-based digital bank Tonik Financial has closed a $21m Series A equity funding round to launch in the Philippines.

The funding round was led by blue-chip venture capital investors Sequoia India and Point72 Ventures. The fundraising also involved significant participation from existing backers Insignia and Credence.

Tonik will use the capital to launch as the first digital-only neobank in the Philippines and begin its operations in the third quarter of this year.

Recently, Tonik secured its banking licence from the central bank of the Philippines, making it the first digital-only neobank in Southeast Asia.

Tonik claims that the Philippines represent $140bn retail savings market and a $100bn unsecured consumer lending opportunity.

Tonik founder and CEO Greg Krasnov said: “In the Philippines, where over 70% of the population remains unbanked, we are observing a rapid jump in consumer demand for digital banking and digital transfers since the start of the year.

“We are preparing to bring a highly differentiated experience to the Filipino consumer to address these needs and are honoured to be supported in this by the regulators who have encouraged innovation and welcomed technology solutions to bolster financial inclusion.”

Founded in 2018, Tonik offers deposit, loan, payment, and card products to consumers on its digital banking platform.

It has support and research and development (R&D) functions in Singapore and India.