KUALA LUMPUR, 31 October 2023: Vircle, a Malaysian neobanking service provider with a mission to help parents raise money-smart kids, 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 under the Malaysian Ministry of Finance, and Gobi Partners (Gobi), an Asia-focused VC firm. 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 programmes.
Vircle 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.
To date, Vircle has partnered with dozens of private and international schools across Malaysia. With this funding, Vircle’s goal is to expand its services to public schools nationwide.
Vircle’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. Its child-safe Visa prepaid card, the first of its kind in Malaysia, offers parents a regulated financial tool to help guide their children in navigating the cashless and digital banking environment with careful oversight, instilling financial responsibility.
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.
Vircle was founded by Gokula Krishnan Subramaniam with over 20 years of experience in research and development, engineering, product, commercial, solutions and sales.
Gokula said: “We’ve 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. Our mission is to bank one million Malaysian children and a total of three million children across Southeast Asia within the next five years. We’ll achieve this by constantly innovating in collaboration with parents and regulators backed by funding from our investors such as KMP and GDIV.”
KMP Chief Executive Officer, Yarham Yunus said: “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. 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.”
Gobi Co-founder and Chairperson, Thomas G. Tsao said: “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.”
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.