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Rising in the East: Asian Fintech Startups Shine in Showcase

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From lending and P2P payments to the blockchain and AI, fintech companies and entrepreneurs in Asia are innovating in every area of fintech. The unique cultures of the Far East – increasingly mobile-friendly, cash-agnostic, and with fewer legacy financial institution incumbents and more willing government support – create a set of opportunities for businesses and technologies that are unlike those anywhere else in the world.

So who are the companies taking advantage of this new landscape for fintech in Asia? This year at FinovateAsia we highlighted some of the rising fintech startups from the Asia-Pacific region in our Startup Showcase. Through the lens of some of the area’s most engaged incubators and accelerators, we got a glimpse of what the future holds for fintech in Asia. Below are the four incubators and accelerators that participated in our Showcase, along with their respective portfolio companies.

Cyberport

With more than 900 technology companies, Cyberport is a Hong Kong-based digital community. Cyberport’s emphasis on fintech, ecommerce, IoT/wearables, and Big Data/AI is designed to help transform Hong Kong into a Smart City. Initially conceived in 1999, Cyberport is owned and managed by the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company, which is owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government.

Notable startups:

  • Galileo Platforms is an insurtech innovator founded in 2016 and headquartered in Hong Kong. The company leverages blockchain technology to connect all parties of the insurance agreement efficiently and in real-time. The company’s principals are co-founders Annette King, Jenny Sutton, and Mark Wales.
  • With more than $18 million in funding, InstaReM is a cross-border remittance and money transfer startup based in Australia. The company was founded in 2014 by Michael Bermingham (COO) and Prajit Nanu (CEO).
  • Kristal.AI is an asset management platform, based on artificial intelligence, that gives investors access to independent advisors and portfolio managers. Vivek Mohindra, Asheesh Chanda, and Vineeth Narasimhan founded the company in 2016. Kristal.AI has offices in Hong Kong, India, and in Singapore.
  • Starling Trust Sciences provides financial services companies with a predictive behavioral analytics engine that leverages “augmented management intelligence” to help managers mitigate risk. Starling was founded in 2014 by Stephen Scott, Alif Saleh, Jeff Kupfer, and Erich Hoeffer.
  • Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Hong Kong, Valoot Technologies helps consumers save on foreign exchange costs when shopping with credit cards overseas. Ovidio (Ovi) Olea is founder and CEO.

FinTechBase

FinTechBase Taiwan has more than 180 partners, more than 25 training teams, and 55 experts providing startups, financial professionals, and students with the counseling, guidance, and networking they need in order to become successful in fintech. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, FinTechBase is a collaborative effort between industry, government, and research initially conceived in 2015.

Notable startups:

  • FundPark offers a P2B trade financing for SMEs. The match-making platform connects funding sources in the form of wealthy families, funds, and licensed lenders with businesses looking for working capital. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company was founded by Anson Suen (CEO).
  • Quanffett Financial Technology Company is a robo advisor and trading platform for individuals and institutions. The platform uses financial engineering, algorithmic trading, and data science to help investors reach their goals with less risk and volatility. Chao-Yueh Liu is co-founder and general manager.
  • LnB, also known as Lend & Borrow, is the biggest P2P investment and lending platform in Taiwan. Founded in 2015 by Joanna Yang, LnB has acquired 26,000 members, and facilitated more than $120 million in loans within 18 months.
  • Leveraging gamification and competition to help users improve investment results, TOZZI’s platform enables new and inexperienced investors to develop a strategy and find top financial experts. Zac Yang is co-founder of the company.

SuperCharger

Founded by Janos Barberis, SuperCharger seeks to help develop the “next generation of change-makers” through a combination of better business sense and optimizing human capital. SuperCharger focuses on a wide variety of fintech categories and verticals – from payments to lending to insurtech – and has offices in both Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Notable startups:

  • Neat offers an alternative current account for underbanked startups and individuals in developing markets. Founded in 2015 by David Rosa (CEO) and Igor Wos, Neat also provides a free, prepaid Neat MasterCard. The Hong Kong based company is the recipient of the ICT Fintech award 2017.
  • KYC-Chain leverages distributed ledger technology to provide a digital identity platform that allows users to manage their digital identity securely, while enabling businesses and FIs to access customer data reliably and efficiently. Headquartered in Hong Kong, KYC-Chain was founded in 2013 by Edmund Lowell (CEO).

Chinaccelerator

Chinaccelerator has as its mandate helping startups succeed across borders – specifically the Chinese border. This means both helping companies around the world gain access to markets in China as well as enabling Chinese companies to better compete internationally. Chinaccelerator has accelerated 130 companies since inception, and includes early Paypal investor Peter Davison and 55tuan.com co-founder James Tan among its mentors.

Notable startups:

  • bitHolla develops cryptocurrecny financial tools to facilitate online trading, global money transfers and blockchain analysis. The company’s XRay Trade solution is a professional-grade trading station that enables access to some of the biggest cryptocurrency platforms in the world.
  • The CareVoice is the first, review-based social platform in China that helps consumers make more informed healthcare choices. The Shanghai-based company, founded in 2014 by Sebastien Gaudin, Neil Liang, and Jan Velich, includes AXA and Ping An among its customers.
  • With its pledge to help investors “outperform the property market with smart data,” Property Passbook’s data algorithms provide insights into 45 major real estate markets around the world. The company was founded in 2015 by Colin Bogar (CEO) and is headquartered in Shanghai, China.