Best of Show Winner Bambu Raises $3 Million in Series A

In a round led by Franklin Templeton Investments, B2B robo advisor Bambu has raised $3 million in Series A funding. The capital will be used to fuel the Singapore-based fintech’s global expansion.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of all our existing and new investors and customers in helping us to build a leading global Robo-advisory technology company,” Bambu CEO and founder Ned Phillips said. He noted that the company already had topped growth targets for the year, and pointed to seven new clients in Asia and the U.S. that were slated to go live soon.

“This proves our B2B business model is working, as there is real global scalability without large capital requirements,” Phillips said. “Our next ambitious goal is to get a million end users on the platform by 2019.”

Also participating in the round were Singapore family office Octava and Japanese fintech investor Mamoru Taniya. Speaking on behalf of Franklin Templeton Investments, which made its first investment in the company last year, Managing Director and Head of Retail Harshendu Bindal praised Bambu’s ability to “drive constant innovation in the digital wealth management space” and called the company “a great long-term partner for us.”

The funding takes Bambu’s total capital to more than $4 million.

Bambu won Best of Show at FinovateAsia 2017 for its demonstration of People Like Me, a machine learning model that goes beyond traditional roboadvisory to make it easier for users to identify and reach their financial goals. The previous year, the company made its Finovate debut with a demo of its Robo and Intelligent Digital Advisory platform. The platform reimagines robo advisory by providing specific solutions for different market segments: a mobile private banker for the rich, a traditional robo advisory portfolio tool for the mass affluent, and a “robo saver” for retail customers.

This spring, Bambu opened offices in London and announced a number of new additions to its team – including a new Managing Director in Europe, Nick Wakefield. The company also made a trio of new hires who will fulfill roles in AI, design, and front-end development.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Best of Show Winner Bambu Raises $3 Million in Series A.
  • Launches International Business Payments.

Around the web

  • Onfido to provide identity verification for HBUS, the strategic partner of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi.
  • Jack Henry migrates 66 FIs to its JHA Card Processing Solutions.
  • Avaloq to help U.K.-based financial services firm Smith & Williamson deliver investment management services to clients.
  • looks at Emailage and its expansion into the Canadian market.
  • Jumio and Backbase partner to improve customer onboarding with online identity verification technology.

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 Goes Global, Launches London Office, Adds Technical Talent

The news that robo advisor Bambu has opened a new office in London and won its first American client is a reminder that, in fintech, when the going is good, the good go global.

“We would like to announce a new client project based in America that we landed recently,” the Finovate Best of Show winning company reported in its blog Thursday morning. “We are looking forward to working with them on building a robo solution for their region and will update you all with more details as we get closer to launching it.”

Bambu also announced that the company will open its new London office in April at Level39, Europe’s largest fintech accelerator space. The company said that the new offices are part of the “Bambu’s long-term growth strategy to offer our services and expertise on a global scale.”

Recently recognized as one of Singapore’s hottest startups, Bambu is a B2B robo advisor that helps businesses make wealth management services a part of their digital transformation. Bambu’s robo advisory provides users with automated, technology-augmented and algorithm-based portfolio management. The company offers Intelligent Advisor, a solution for private banks and wealth managers; a white-label robo advisory service geared toward banks, asset managers, and insurance companies; and the Bambu API developer hub, an API library of independent modules that provides developers with the tools necessary to add functionality to the robo advisor platform.

This week the company also took the time to welcome a quartet of new members to the team. In addition to a new Managing Director in Europe, Nick Wakefield, Bambu will enhance its AI, design, and front-end development efforts with the appointments of Chen Jie Yang, Hui Min Lee, and Tino Sambora, respectively.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Singapore, Bambu demonstrated its People Like Me machine learning model that helps users identify the financial goals and build a strategy to meet them at FinovateAsia 2017. The presentation by co-founders Ned Phillips (CEO) and Aki Ranin (COO) earned the company a Best of Show award from our audience. Bambu has raised more than $1 million in funding and includes Franklin Templeton Investments and Wavemaker Partners (part of the Draper Venture Network) among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Bambu Goes Global, Launches London Office, Adds Technical Talent.
  • 3dcart Picks Payoneer for New Cross-Border Payments Partnership.

Around the web

  • Thomson Reuters enhances the investment portfolio risk management functionality of its Eikon solution by integrating MSCI’s RiskMetrics technology.
  • Avaloq announces status as founding partner of FinTech Scotland.
  • IdentityMind Global collaborates with digital shopping platform, Fluz Fluz, to boost KYC and AML compliance.
  • CNH Industrial Capital America (CNH) chooses FIS’ asset finance solution to manage its commercial contract and lease portfolio.
  • SuperMoney surpasses $500 million in loan requests processed since launch in April 2017.

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 Global: Fintech News from the Periphery

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.


  • Singapore Business Review names Turnkey Lender and Bambu among Singapore’s hottest startups.
  • Citi introduces Facebook Messenger bot in Singapore as initial stage of wider worldwide rollout. (link)
  • Revolut founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky discusses plans for APAC expansion with TechWireAsia.


  • Flywire and Flutterwave partner on cross-border payments & receivables in Nigeria.
  • Africa-based fintechs picked up almost one third of all Venture funding in Africa in 2017, according to a report from Disrupt Africa.
  • Village Capital Fintech Africa Cohort 2018 lists its incoming class of 12 startups.


  • Fintech Circle and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to launch fintech education courses.
  • Gulf News Banking takes a look at the digitization of the fintech sector in the Middle East.
  • Bahrain-based security startup, Eazy Financial Services, launches first biometric payment network in MENA.


  • Neener Analytics Completes Proof-of-Concept with Jamaican Payday Lender.
  • Alipay partners with Openpay to connect Chinese consumers with merchants in Mexico. (link)
  • unveils first debit card in Mexico as part of e-commerce initiative.


  • Personetics Brings Cognitive Banking to Romania’s Banca Transilvania.
  • Sberbank to host the first International Cybersecurity Conference in July.
  • CEE Fintech Survey for 2017 cites Poland’s fintech industry as the region’s most vibrant.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News


  • Privakey Launches Free Cloud Authentication Service.
  • Ellie Mae to Power Delivery of Loan Data and Documents for Pacific Union.
  • Australia’s Business Only Challenger Bank Tyro Launches Tap & Save.

Around the web

  • Pockitapp partners with Dwolla for banking integration.
  • Singapore Business Review names Turnkey Lender and Bambu among Singapore’s hottest startups.

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 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.