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.
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.