APAC Fintech ecosystems thriving: PWC & Startupbootcamp

Visual of Startupbootcamp (SBC) Fintech Singapore webpage. January 2016

With 347 FinTech investment deals in the Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2015, the region is catching up to the maturity levels of global Fintech regions , according to a new joint report from PWC and Startupbootcamp FinTech – FinTech APAC Landscape Developments.

The report, which provides an overview of the key innovations and startup ventures changing and shaping the new financial services & technology market, also dissects funding by country and investment dollars.

Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore engaged with over 400 FinTech startups in 16 locations for the 2016 FinTech Accelerator program, while TechInAsia (formerly TechList) provided funding data. PWC, a strategic sponsor of Startupbootcamp Fintech, provided regulatory insights.

By far the largest fintech ecosystems in Asia, China and India have seen significant growth in the volume of investments and ventures, while Singapore has emerged as the regional leader in Southeast Asia. This is due to its business infrastructure and supported fintech startup ecosystem.

This is based on a comparison of three leading regulators in the APAC region – the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), and Singapore’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The criteria compared were mostly compliance issues – the clarity and simplicity of regulations and requirements – as well as the licensing process and the support provided to startups by the various ecosystem stakeholders.

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This comparison indicated Singapore’s position as “the most stringent yet progressive” with with regards to fintech startups in the Asia Pacific and potentially on a global basis for the region and arguably the world, with compliance in Singapore suggesting the ability to comply with regulations in other APAC countries.

Commenting on regulatory development, Antony Eldridge, PwC Singapore’s financial services and fintech Leader, shared: “The active involvement and commitment of the MAS in the development of the FinTech scene here is exemplary for regulators. By such an involvement and nurturing of FinTech startups, alongside regulation where necessary, Singapore is enabling innovation and adoption of new technology in the financial services industry.”

Eldridge added, “Singapore’s push to be the first smart nation in the world additionally provides a significant impetus for growth, development and adoption within FinTech.”

In addition, insights from Startupbootcamp FastTrack tour in Asia showed that the largest volume of early-stage startups were in India (37%), followed by Singapore & South Korea, with almost half of all ventures applying for the programme focused on the payments and wealth management sectors.

Steven Tong, managing director of Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore said, “Over the course of 4 months, Startupbootcamp visited major startup ecosystems in the region to recruit FinTech startups for our 2016 accelerator program. We took the occasion to connect with FinTech leaders across the region and gathered insights on the state of Asian FinTech development.”

“While most startups are still in “traditional” areas like payments, it’s heartening to see Asian startups emerging in InsurTech and utilising hot technologies like machine learning and chatbots,” Tong added.

Also Read: 

Indonesia to launch fintech regulations by end 2016

India Dealbook: Sanjeev Bajaj eyes fintech startups, Zurich Airport stake sale

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Deeper complexity in Europe, greater volume in Asia: Marcus Gnirck

Cryptocurrency and fintech integral to the human economic condition: Jarrod Luo

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.