FinovateAsia 2017 Best of Show Winners Announced

FinovateAsia 2017 is in the books. And after two days of live fintech demos from 32 innovative companies from around the world, our Finovate attendees have made their preferences known as to which companies should win Best of Show trophies.

One of the most interesting aspects of our Best of Show awards is how they provide an insight into which technologies are truly being put to work to solve real-world financial problems for financial institutions, merchants, and consumers alike.  Whether the challenge is making payments safer and easier, helping individuals and families meet their financial goals, or fighting fraud and cybercrime, the companies that earn Best of Show at Finovate conferences are the ones that have shown our attendees that they have the solutions that the rest of the competition is still searching for.

This is why it is no surprise that so many of the companies that have earned the title of Best of Show have made such a significant impact in fintech – either as an emerging industry leader in their chosen field or as the sought-after acquisition from a larger firm eager to leverage a specific set of skills to broaden their own ability to serve a wider range of customers.

So with no further ado, let’s take a look at the award winners for Best of Show at FinovateAsia 2017 (in alphabetic order):

AApay Technology for its unique payment app that enables consumers to automatically split bills and gives businesses access to multiple payment methods to better manage all of their electronic transactions.




Bambu for its machine learning model, People Like Me, that goes beyond traditional roboadvisory to help users better identify and reach their financial goals.


OCR Labs for its Orbit ID SDK that enables enterprises to stop fraud, reduce friction during the onboarding process, and help manage KYC/AML obligations.







YUKKA Lab for its technology that leverages natural language programming and machine learning to provide real-time analytics into the financial markets.





We hope you enjoyed FinovateAsia 2017 and our new expanded format including panel discussions and keynote speeches from major fintech thought leaders. We had a great time bringing our fintech conference to Hong Kong for a second year in a row, and are looking forward to being back again next year. As always, a thousand thanks to all those who attended, sponsored, partnered with, and demoed their latest and greatest innovations live on stage. We’ll see you again in 2018!

Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The four companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 and 2016 conferences are below:
FinovateEurope 2015
FinovateSpring 2015
FinovateFall 2015
FinovateEurope 2016
FinovateSpring 2016
FinovateFall 2016
FinovateAsia 2016
FinovateEurope 2017
FinovateSpring 2017
FinovateFall 2017

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: Bambu

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on November 7 and 8 in Hong Kong. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Bambu is a B2B robo advisory software firm that offers financial and non-financial companies the ability to integrate and benefit from the shift in digital wealth.


  • Statistically augmented data ready for every company size
  • Recommends life goals based on similar spending and saving habits
  • Automated financial planning under 30 seconds

Why it’s great
People Like Me is the perfect plug-in solution for users seeking financial guidance based on their current age and situation.


Ned Phillips, Founder & CEO
Former managing director and now an entrepreneur, Phillips has been based in Asia for the past 25 years and started his fintech journey in 1999 with E*TRADE as one of their very first brokers.


Aki Ranin, C0-Founder & CEO
A technology industry veteran and former software developer, Ranin is a recognized authority in fintech and an accomplished technology executive with a highly technical background.

Bambu Wins Strategic Investment from Franklin Templeton

Singapore-based B2B roboadvisor Bambu has completed a funding round that featured a strategic investment from Franklin Templeton Investments and venture capital funding from Wavemaker Partners, part of the Draper Venture Network. Also participating in the round was fintech and global robo advisor investor and advocate, Robby Hilkowitz.

“Bambu is now a growth stage company in the rapidly changing world of digital wealth,” Bambu CEO and co-founder Ned Phillips said. “To gain support from leading industry players brings great momentum towards our goal of becoming the market leader in the space.” He added that the company would use the new capital to speed business development and sales efforts, as well as bolster research and development.

Although the amount of this week’s investment was not made public, TechinAsia reports that the company’s total funding is more than $1 million, including a $400,000 seed round in the spring of 2016.

Pictured (left to right): Bambu CEO Ned Phillips and COO Aki Ranin demonstrating the Robo and Intelligent Digital Advisory platform at FinovateAsia 2016.

Bambu’s strategy as a robo advisory platform is to de-commoditize the industry by offering solutions that are tailored to specific markets.  The company offers an Intelligent Advisor solution that is geared toward private banks and wealth managers working with high net worth clients. Bambu also has a white-label, robo advisory platform for affluent and retail investors that enables banks and asset managers to offer clients the ability to build personalized, goal-based portfolios.

Wavemaker Partners managing partner Paul Santos credited the experience of Bambu co-founders Ned Phillips and Aki Ranin in support of the firm’s investment. Praising the pair’s “deep domain expertise building scalable, sustainable businesses,” Santos added, “Ned and Aki have gone from strength to strength to find customers that love their product and have built up a promising pipeline.”

Bambu demonstrated its Robo and Intelligent Digital Advisory platform at its Finovate debut in Hong Kong in November 2016. In January, Bambu won Best Early Startup at the Next Money Fintech Finals in Hong Kong. Finovate research analyst Julie Muhn highlighted the company in her look at “Top Business-to-Business Wealth Tech Players” earlier this year. Bambu is a veteran of Hong Kong’s SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator 2.0, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank and Fidelity International. The company was founded in 2016.

Interested in fintech in Asia? FinovateAsia returns to Hong Kong this November. Visit our FinovateAsia 2017 page for more information. Reserve your ticket by September 29th to take advantage of early-registration savings.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Bambu Wins Strategic Investment from Franklin Templeton.

Around the web

  • NBKC Taps Gro Solutions for Consumer Account Opening; Partners In Development of Business Account Opening Solution.
  • Pymnts: ShopKeep Enters Small Business Lending Market.
  • CSI globalVCard Partners with Mutual of Omaha Bank.
  • Mastercard partners with Garmin to offer customers a contactless payment watch.
  • American Banker looks at the partnership between D3 Banking and First Tennessee Bank.
  • Ping Identity to provide hub for UK Open Banking framework.
  • Braintree introduces support for Apple Pay and Android Pay in Australia.
  • MyChoiceTech reviews Eversafe, an anti-fraud solution geared toward seniors.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • StockTwits Partners with TradeIt to Expand Beyond Robinhood’s Brokerage.


  • SimplyTapp Launches New Payments and E-Commerce App, Gane.

Around the web

  • TransferTo partners with Wirecard to enable mobile money operators to offer mobile-to-mobile remittance services.
  • Ayondo announces deadline for 2017 social trading championship.
  • Hellenic Bank of Cyprus to deploy new digital banking platform from Backbase. Join Backbase at FinovateEurope in London next month.
  • StockTwits teams up with TradeIt to give community members ability to execute trades with major brokerages via new iOS app.
  • Xignite adds senior sales, business development talent; unveils new offices in New York financial district.
  • Bambu wins Best Early Startup award at Next Money in Hong Kong.
  • Wealthfront revamps Selling Plan to help users sell and diversify their company stock.
  • Arxan Technologies partners with Cisco as to protect connected medical devices.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) selects Hip Pocket to showcase Hip Money at SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event in March

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Top Business-to-Business Wealth Tech Players


If you’ve been following our series on wealth tech, you’ve seen our analysis of the industry as a whole, a review of the top trends, and an examination of B2C wealth tech players.

Our wealth tech coverage continues this week with a review of business-to-business (B2B) players in the wealth tech space. These are companies that cater directly to banks, advisors, or brokerages, instead of offering products or services directly to consumers. B2B wealth tech is a large category, so I’ve sub-divided it into four digestible groups and listed my top picks for each category. Since category sizes vary, the number of selections also varies.

Alternative investment services
These are platforms that help advisors connect clients with unconventional investment types, such as private equity, hedge funds, futures, real estate, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.44.57 AMEquityZen’s EZ Institutional lets advisors give clients access to a diverse asset class

Technology for advisors and brokerages
These are tools available via API, SDK, or web interface to help advisors compete with robo advisors by allowing them to invest with less bias, increase client communication, scale operations, find new clients, and more.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.40.41 AMTrizic offers advisors their own digital tools to compete with robo advisors

Non-U.S. B2B investment and advisor technology
Similar to the above category, these companies offer tools for advisors outside of the U.S.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.30.52 AMmeetInvest helps advisors invest like world-renowned market experts

News and Information Companies
These are online platforms, APIs, or SaaS offerings that provide advisors market information, show them trending news, or connect businesses with market data to power their own products.

Screen-Shot-2016-10-31-at-3.22.22-PMForwardLane’s dashboard acts like a private research analyst for advisors advisors, helping them stay current on new trends and funds

Finovate Alumni News


  • AnchorID Adds Apple, SolarCity Vet Mark Roe to Board of Directors.
  • Equifax Shakes Up Mortgage Tech with Castlight Partnership
  • Payfone Lands $23.5 Million in Funding

Around the web

  • Pakistan’s Samba Bank to deploy new core banking technology from Temenos.
  • Infosys’s core banking software Finacle goes live at Nepal’s Sunrise Bank.
  • ACI Worldwide to provide fraud protection for Kuwait’s Shared Electronic Banking Services Company (KNET).
  • Mitek partners with the American Cancer Society, supporting mobile fundraising with its mobile deposit and MiSnap technology.
  • Check Point Software partners with Attivo Networks to improve fraud detection.
  • DAVO Technologies has just been approved as a Certified Electronic Return Originator (ERO) with the California State Board of Equalization.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.


Bambu Wins Spot in Hong Kong SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator


Fresh off its debut at FinovateAsia 2016, Asian robo-advisor Bambu has earned a spot as one of eight startups in SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator 2.0 in Hong Kong. The program, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank and Fidelity International, lasts 12 weeks and provides participants with working space in Cyberport’s new 4,000-square-foot Smart-Space FinTech Centre.

Quoted in Crowdfund Insider, SuperCharger founder Janos Barberis praised the quality of the eight startups entering the program and said they’re a testament to SuperCharger’s role as one of Hong Kong’s leading accelerators. “[It] reflects the role our accelerator plays for the sourcing of products, solutions, and talent in the financial services industry in this region,” he said.


Joining Bambu in January are:

The eight finalists were chosen from a pool of nearly 200 applicants from more than 30 countries, an increase of 24% over the previous year. The founders will benefit from a “curriculum structured around bespoke content” including market entry, regulatory obligations, and opportunities to make joint ventures. The accelerator also provides companies with access to a network of more than 90 “partners and mentors” drawn from companies with significant experience in the Asian fintech market.

Founded in February 2016 and headquartered in Singapore, Bambu made its Finovate debut this month at FinovateAsia in Hong Kong, demoing its robo and intelligent digital advisory platform. The company has raised $400,000 in seed funding, and includes Tigerspike among its investors. Bambu added Aki Ranin as chief operating officer in October. Ned Phillips is founder and CEO.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Bambu Wins Spot in Hong Kong SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator.

Around the web

  • Lending Stream leverages Decision Management Suite from FICO to build new credit platform.
  • EVRY wins six-year contract extension with Sparebank 1, an alliance of 16-strong Norwegian savings banks.
  • SEB partners with Ripple to build blockchain-based real-time payments system.
  • Wipro launches Open Banking API platform.
  • Riyaz Ladiwala joins Heckyl as CEO for India operations.
  • Guardian Analytics introduces Guardian Analytics Sentinel Treasury Management for fraud protection.
  • Linkable Networks launches platform enhancements to enable retailers to verify purchases.
  • Staples to leverage for student loan repayment benefit option.
  • ProActive launches its 2.0 back end.
  • How Filene and Larky’s Mobile Rewards Pilot Will Promote Stronger Member Loyalty.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: Bambu


FA2016-V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on 8 Nov 2016 in Hong Kong. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Bambu is a B2B robo-adviser based in Singapore that offers digital wealth services to all companies, financial and consumer brands, looking to offer savings and investment to their customers.



  • Robo for all companies; financial and consumer brands
  • Unique ranking system for private banking product
  • Robo saver product which connects through to e-commerce

Why it’s great
Bambu is the only robo-adviser to have built a product for every segment of the market.


bambu_nedphillipsNed Phillips, Founder & CEO
Based in Asia for 25 years, Phillips has fintech expertise since 1999. He joined E*TRADE and became the MD for Asia up until 2007. He was also a consultant to 8 Securities as they launched their first robo-adviser.


Pierre Valentin, Head of Product Creation
bambu_pierrevalentinValentin previously worked as an investment adviser in wealth management with ANZ and ABN AMRO Private Bank. In Europe, he was involved in the development of risk-management banking systems at Natixis.