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The Middle East and North Africa startup culture has continued to mature, especially when it comes to early stage companies. Part of the growth can be attributed to the region’s investment in both talent and infrastructure. Coding programs and regional hackathons have not only added to the talent pool of startup recruits, they have also given the startup culture a boost.
In Asia, India has risen as the region’s top country for fintech funding. The $286 million in fintech funding the country raised in Q1 of this year outranks China’s total of $192 million raised for fintechs in that same quarter. Part of the slowdown in China can be attributed to increased regulation in the region.
Digital wealth technology company Bambu is bringing home the bacon today in the form of Series B funding. The $10 million round comes courtesy of three-time investor Franklin Templeton and new investor PEAK6 Strategic Capital, both of which co-led the round.
The Singapore-based company will use the funds to expand its reach of B2B clients, an audience Bambu sought out while a multitude of players in the space were taking a direct-to-consumer approach. And during the four years since launch, Bambu has made sizable gains in this market. Originally limited to Asia– the company marketed itself as Asia’s Premier B2B Roboadvisory– the company has since grown its client base into international markets. Bambu landed its first U.S.-based client and opened a new London office in March of last year.
As part of its B2B expansion, Bambu will target new segments in the financial services vertical and build teams in offices across the globe. As a part of that effort, the company will demo its technology at this year’s FinovateFall conference in New York, which kicks off September 23. Today, Bambu provides solutions to more than 15 financial institutions across the U.S., Europe, UAE and Asia including Standard Chartered, Refinitiv, and Connect by Crossroads.
“We are committed to working with a global client base to digitize saving and investing so it’s easier and more accessible to investors everywhere. We welcome PEAK6 together with the continued support from Franklin Templeton in this round,” said Bambu founder and CEO Ned Phillips. He added, “This is a strong confirmation that we have built a unique business and platform for the global market. We see growing demand across all markets, and we are increasing our ability to serve clients globally.”
Bambu’s cloud-based technology helps wealth managers bring automated investment services to their clients. The three-tiered approach includes the company’s Intelligent Advisor, a private banking product that creates efficiencies for relationship managers; White Label Robo, a white-labeled solution that helps asset managers create a personalized portfolio and risk profile for clients; and the BambuAPI developer hub, which offers developers their choice of modules to integrate into their own solutions.
With 70 employees working across Singapore, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Johannesburg, Bambu has raised a total of $13.4 million in funding. The company won Best of Show for its demo at FinovateAfrica last year. Earlier this year, Bambu earned a spot on Fintech News Singapore’s list of 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore 2019.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Middle East and Northern Africa
ZagTrader and BeQuant team Up to help institutions go crypto.
Temenospartners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank.
Emirates NBD to work with Intellect Design Arena for a planned digital transformation of its transaction banking platform.
Central and South Asia
BankBazaarannounces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’sAppzillon.
Aurora interviews Bernhard Klemen, international partner with venture capital fund Sarmayacar on opportunities for venture financing for Pakistani fintech startups.
Latin America and the Caribbean
German challenger bank N26 announces plans to expand to Brazil.
BBVA Colombia looks at its role in helping promote fintech innovation in Peru. In Spanish.
The votes have been cast and tallied – and the winners of FinovateAfrica’s Best of Show awards have been named. Congratulations to Bambu and OUTvest!
Finovate’s first foray into the African fintech scene has been a huge success. The companies that demonstrated their technologies live on stage this week showed us innovations in everything from automated regtech and small business lending, to customer engagement and AI-enabled credit assessment.
Yet the two companies whose live demos made the greatest impressions on our FinovateAfrica audience were firms focused on one of fintech’s earliest – and most persistent – disruptions: the rise of the robo-advisor. For these companies, wealthtech is still fertile ground for fintech innovation. And improving the way individual investors and their advisors build and manage personalized, investment portfolios is as important today as it has ever been.
Bambu for its goal-based, white label robo-advisor offering that gives investors a natural and effortless experience in finding the right investment strategy for their client’s needs.
OUTvest for its hybrid robo-advisor that uses an evidence-based approach to help everyone build and mange their own investment strategy.
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 two 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 through 2018 conferences are below:
A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAfrica on November 27 and 28, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Register today and save your spot.
Bambu is a leading robo-advisor technology provider, transforming digital wealth globally. The company enables businesses by making saving and investing more straightforward and intelligent for their clients.
Customizable, goal-based robo advisor platform
Natural and effortless experience
Combination of personalization advice, investment strategies and the latest technology
Why it’s great
A smarter way to invest and save for the future.
Ned Phillips, CEO and Founder
Former MD and now an entrepreneur, Phillips is the founder and chief executive officer of Bambu. Based in Asia for the past 25 years, he started his journey in fintech in 1999 with E*TRADE. LinkedIn
Nick Wood, Senior Representative, Middle East and Africa
With over 20 years of work experience in the international financial services environment, Wood is a successful business builder with extensive South African and global contacts and track records. LinkedIn