April 28, 2015
The investment opportunities are coming in at a rapid pace for fintech startups in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Banks and networks seem to be genuinely concerned about the fintech startups that are coming up in the payments space. These startups are creating solutions that are directly attacking the core services of the traditional incumbents, and are offering lucrative alternatives. These alternatives are attracting an increasing number of venture capitalists and investors in general.
It seems that VCs are looking forward to Asia as an emerging market, especially in the fintech space, to direct their investments. There are a number of cases that clearly highlight that the Asia Pacific region can soon become a Silicon Valley kind of hub for fintech startups. Here are some recent examples:
Life.SREDA, the Russian venture capital firm, plans to invest around $90 million into fintech startups across the Asia Pacific region, as reported by e27. The funds are to be invested in 20 to 30 startups in rounds of about $1-10 million dollars over the next six months. The VC firm would be making the investment through its very own fintech accelerator InspirAsia. InspirAsia is looking for startups in fields such as mobile payments, mPOS, P2P lending, mobile banks, e-wallets, P2P transfers, and remittance. Prominent investments by Life.SREDA in the payments space include those in RocketBank, SumUp, Fidor Bank AG, Moven, Simple, Instabank, and LifePay.
RBS & Nest
RBS , which has plans to invest around $150 million into digital technologies, recently joined hands with Nest, one of Hong Kong’s top startup incubators. Both the companies have jointly announced the launch of a fintech accelerator program in Hong Kong. Nest has already been running an accelerator program with insurance giant AIA for startups in wearable technology and in the healthcare space. Nest had also partnered with London based Level39 accelerator.
Earlier this month, the fintech accelerator program Startupbootcamp Fintech announced a 100-day accelerator program for 10 startups in Singapore. This is Startupbootcamp’s first foray into the Asia Pacific region. Each of the 10 startups is to receive $17,900 and mentorships from entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate partners. The accelerator already has active programs catered to fields such as Internet of Things and Smart Tech. Prominent investments by Startupbootcamp in the payments space include those in milliPay Systems, Wallept, and Avuba.
The Co-Foundry and Plug & Play
Recently, a new program emerged in Singapore’s fintech space called TCF-PnP Program: Fintech Call 2015. The program has been launched jointly by Singapore venture accelerator, The Co-Foundry and Silicon Valley’s Plug & Play. The program is also backed up by global forex broker service provider OANDA Asia Pacific and Singapore based VC BlueHill Asset Management. Prominent investments by Plug & Play in the payments space include those in ShoppinPal, Bex, KaChing! and CardFlight.