January 27, 2016
FinTech again proved that it provides endless opportunities for innovation across industries! This great potential was demonstrated by London-based FinTech startup Everledger, a permanent diamond certification and related transaction history ledger, which acts as verification for insurance companies, owners and law enforcement, by being recognized as the ‘Best in Show’ at Fintech Finals 2016 competition in Hong Kong. Everledger brings blockchain technology to a whole new seemingly unexpected world - the diamonds industry, to fight illegal activities involving the precious stone.
Fintech Finals 2016 is a pitch competition at PMQ in Hong Kong, which is a part of the StartmeupHK Festival. Twenty-four startup finalists had their six minutes to shine on stage in front of judges and a live audience of FinTech professionals, enthusiasts and media. While all were winners on their own right, only Everledger got to go home with the US$10,000 prize.
Everledger is Three Best-In-Category trophies were also distributed. Best Early Stage Start-up went to InvoiceInterchange from Singapore, and Best Growth Stage Start-up was won by Uniken from India. 8Securities from Hong Kong claimed the Best Mature Stage Start-up. All winners will also receive the benefits of partnership opportunities and promotion through Next Bank and FinTechHK channels.
Judges worked from a score sheet to rate the start-ups, based on the following criteria: business model application, scale and robustness; transformative concept and technology; market opportunity and size; customer experience design and ease, financial opportunity and forecasts and, of course, the quality of their team presentation.
Next Bank founder, Rob Findlay, commented in the official press release: "What a fantastic way to end these past 2 days. We are thrilled for Everledger on their well-deserved win, and we congratulate and applaud all of the startups that participated for their limitless dedication and passion for innovation. These are the individuals that are shaping the future of fintech here in Asia for all of us. "
Ruben Salazar, Vice President, Head Product Design & Development Asia Pacific, Visa stated, "As one of the judges of the competition, I was impressed with the quality of the companies showcasing their solutions. It is very encouraging to see the whole innovation ecosystem looking for partnerships and opportunities to co-create. The fintech community in Asia is strong and very active with large and small firms collectively responding to consumer needs. At Visa, we are building better capabilities to provide access to our payment network and are also facilitating the development of payment solutions which are better than cash. In line with this, we are introducing enhanced APIs for easy access to our services and content."
About Next Bank
Next Bank, founded by Rob Findlay, is a global fintech community that fosters the reinvention of finance through design, innovation and entrepreneurship. Next Bank brings together peers from across disciplines including start-ups, banking, technology and design. Through meetups and events, hosting speakers and panellists, Next Bankers come together to discuss, learn and discover new ways to transform the finance industry for the better. Originating in Singapore, Next Bank has grown over the past 4 years into a global brand represented by city chapters of like-minded people all over the world and continues to expand. Learn more at www.nextbank.org. To learn more about the Fintech Finals 2016, go to www.fintechfinals.com.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products.
About StartmeupHK Festival
The first-of-its-kind StartmeupHK Festival will be held on 23-30 January 2016 to provide overseas and local participants a unique experience for delving into the future of entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation. The week will feature keynote talks, interactive how-to sessions, and powerful lessons from seasoned founders and investors.
The exciting week-long programme will feature four industry verticals where Hong Kong has a distinct advantage, namely Consumer Internet of Things (IoT), Fintech, HealthTech, Data Analytics and E-commerce.