CLSA launches Asia-focused, early-stage fintech venture AlphaLabs

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Hong Kong-based investment banking firm CLSA Limited on Thursday announced the launch of a new business to invest in early-stage financial technology startups focused on Asia.

Called AlphaLabs, the venture will invest in startups in areas such as artificial intelligence, automation, big data, blockchain, cyber security, digital assets and regulatory technology.

“Technology has been at the centre of Asia’s growth and with the recent financial services emancipation in markets like China, there is a wealth of demand for regionally adapted technical solutions for Asia financial services,” AlphaLabs founder and CTO Max Nam-Storm said in a statement.

“We have established AlphaLabs to take advantage of one of the fastest growing and most transformative sectors in Asia by seeking, seeding and scaling early-stage, Asia-focused, financial technology companies,” he added. Nam-Storm is the current technology head of CLSA and previously worked at JPMorgan, UBS and Nomura.

CLSA announced that AlphaLabs has completed its second investment in Epistema, an Israel-based developer of AI tools for financial companies this month. Other investors in that round included MizMaa Ventures Ltd, Mithril Capital Management LLC, Slack Technologies Inc, Pico Venture Partners and Flint Capital.

Its first investment was in Symphony Communications Services, a cloud-based communication and content sharing platform, in April this year.

Owned by China’s leading brokerage and investment bank CITIC Securities, CLSA owns an asset management business comprising CLSA Real Estate, a pan-Asia real estate investment platform, and CLSA Capital Partners, which focuses on private equity, transportation & real assets and credit strategies.

CLSA Capital Partners manages assets worth more than $4 billion from offices across the region, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

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