Startups set for Success after Completing The FinLab’s 100-day Accelerator Programmeby Company Announcement September 6, 2017
The FinLab is set to see more success following the graduation of eight promising financial technology (FinTech) startups from its 100-day accelerator programme this month.
The FinLab, an innovation accelerator joint venture between United Overseas Bank (UOB) and
SGInnovate, provides practical guidance, resources and mentorship to enable startups selected into its programme to secure investor funding, to sign commercial deals and to expand into new markets.
The graduates from The FinLab’s second cycle have developed a range of innovative FinTech solutions using technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These solutions will be used to drive innovation in regulatory technology, capital markets, business efficiency, financial inclusion, personal finance and mobile payments.
Ms Janet Young, Head of Group Channels and Digitalisation, UOB, said,
“UOB’s entrepreneurial background provides us with a first-hand understanding of the factors that enable businesses to succeed. We have used this insight to set up an ecosystem of partners from government, industry and the investment community, both locally and in the region, within The FinLab to help more startups build FinTech solutions of the future. This support includes providing valuable mentorship and resources to help startups grow their businesses in a viable and sustainable manner.”
Tapping The FinLab’s network to propel regional expansion
Mr Felix Tan, Managing Director of The FinLab, said the trailblazers from the first cycle of The FinLab’s programme have inspired more startups to seek a partner who is able to help them navigate the complexities of expanding into new markets.
“We observed that there was an increase in the number of startups that are more advanced in their business development applying to be part of the second cycle of our accelerator programme. Although some of these startups had already gained early business traction, they saw our insights, venture capital networks and our regional industry partnerships as a way of speeding up their market entry into and across Asia,” Mr Tan said.
For example, cycle one graduate Turnkey Lender expanded into Indonesia while participating in the programme. It then attracted US$2 million in funding from Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings, to further its entry into other ASEAN markets such as Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Vertex’s investment is a reflection of its confidence in the startup.
Mr Tan also said that The FinLab was attracting startups not only from Asia, but from around the world.For instance, Israel-based startup PayKey used the insights, partnership access and financial support gained from The FinLab accelerator programme to establish its footprint in Asia.
Through the support of The FinLab, PayKey was able to collaborate with UOB to create UOB MyKey, a solution that enables consumers to pay and to be paid securely through social messaging apps. This is PayKey’s first business deal is Southeast Asia and is an important milestone for the company as it builds its presence in the region.
Other startups taking advantage of The FinLab’s expertise in helping businesses expand in Asia include:
- UK-based Transficc, a startup that has built a low latency, robust and scalable consolidated application programming interface which enables financial institutions to connect easily to multiple electronic trading platforms at a fraction of the time and cost; and
- Canadian-based Quber, which helps financial institutions use big data to gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ lifestyle needs. With the insight, financial institutions can then build engaging programmes based on their customers’ needs to help them acquire better money management habits over time.
Mr Pang Heng Soon, Head of Investments, SGInnovate, said
“We are excited that many of The FinLab startups have progressed in the FinTech space. Through access to resources, advice and connections to different parts of The FinLab’s ecosystem, these startups are breaking into different markets in Singapore and regionally, providing viable solutions to real business challenges. We have high hopes for theset eams and believe that their products will continue to scale globally.”
Strengthening industry alliances
As part of strengthening its industry alliances, The FinLab recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Shenzhen Internet Finance Association, China and the Internet Professionals Association, Hong Kong. The MOU aims to encourage knowledge exchange across borders and to help The FinLab’s startups expand into China and Hong Kong.
“Apart from speeding up the startups’ development, we are also working to build a strong partner ecosystem to help them seize overseas expansion opportunities as they grow their business. With this MOU, The FinLab’s startups will be able to establish a footing in China and Hong Kong, which are two key markets in Asia. We will continue to build up such partnerships to strengthen our current network in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam,” Mr Tan said.
Applications for the next 100-day accelerator programme will open in November 2017. For more information on The FinLab, please visit www.thefinlab.com.
Featured image via startupmedia.sg