Swiss Fintech Companies Show Increased Presence in Singaporeby Fintech News Singapore October 26, 2021
This year, Swiss fintech startups continued pursuing their international ambitions with many choosing Singapore to enter the dynamic Southeast Asian market. These are building on Switzerland and Singapore’s long-lasting relationship and close collaboration to penetrate the high-potential market.
Vestr, a Swiss capital markets startup, is setting foot in Asia through a partnership with Julius Baer through F10’s fintech incubator program. The partnership will see the startup working alongside the Swiss private bank on a proof-of-concept (PoC) for digitally managing the end-to-end lifecycle of actively managed certificates (AMCs) in Singapore.
Vestr’s Singapore branch was awarded the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) PoC grant by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Metaco, a provider of security software and infrastructure to the digital asset ecosystem, opened its Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarters in October 2021, selecting Singapore to host its regional office from where it will be serving APAC institutions.
Last month, Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum announced a partnership with SBI Group and Azimut Group to launch a venture capital (VC) fund of up to US$75 million based in Singapore. The fund, called Variable Capital Company, will invest in startup companies in the digital asset sector, in particular those developing distributed ledger technology (DLT) infrastructure, decentralized finance solutions and regtech tools.
Meanwhile, other Swiss fintech companies are expanding their Singapore teams and strengthening their position in the city-state amid booming demand.
SEBA Bank, a digital assets firm with a Swiss banking license, is ramping up investment in Asia where demand for institutional-grade digital asset banking services has accelerated. SEBA Bank, which has a presence in Singapore and Hong Kong, was selected, alongside its partner paytech startup Xfers, as one of the finalists for the Global Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Challenge organized by MAS. Together, the two entities will explore innovative retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) solutions to enhance payment efficiencies.
Things are shaking up at wealthtech firm Additiv as well as where a new regional head was recently appointed to further drive growth in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Asia is the Additiv’s second-largest market after Europe. Over the past year, the company’s APAC division has seen a period of rapid growth, Additiv founder and CEO Michael Stemmle said in a statement.
In February, Swiss fraud prevention startup NetGuardians inked a partnership with PwC Singapore, adding its solution to the consulting firm’s fraud advisory and technology implementation offering and providing it with greater visibility. NetGuardians, a regtech startup, established its APAC headquarters in Singapore in 2018.
Finally, Swiss exchange operator SIX and Japan’s SBI Digital Asset have been working on a digital asset exchange which they hope to have up and running by 2022. The exchange, which will be operating out of Singapore, is still subject to regulatory approval from MAS.
Swiss fintechs’ gateway to Asia
Boasting a supportive government, a progressive regulatory landscape, and a burgeoning technology startup ecosystem, Singapore has become the preferred business destination for Swiss fintech companies looking to take on Southeast Asia.
Since 2016, the city-state has forged ties with many other jurisdictions in the field of fintech, inking bilateral agreements with countries including Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, India and China.
“Singapore has positioned itself as a fintech gateway to Asia, driven by the tremendous support from the government and its solid economic fundamentals,” Georg von Wattenwyl, chairman of SwissCham Singapore told the Business Times in July. “Switzerland supports this revolution with innovative companies.”
Singapore is Switzerland’s most important trading partner in Southeast Asia. Swiss fintech companies including AlgoTrader, Crealogix, Ti&m, Apiax and Crypto Finance have all established a presence in the nation.
Singapore opens also doors to other South East Asian nations such as Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia.
The Southeast Asian island nation of Indonesia offers significant business opportunities for Swiss fintech SMEs and startups. Learn more in a Swiss Global Enterprise market report: Indonesia Business Opportunities in Fintech here