Malayan Banking Bhd‘s (Maybank) fintech startup programme, MaybankFintech has garnered participation of a total 115 technology startups, including 109 from the region since its launch at the end of May this year.
The programme, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, entries from far-flung areas such as Tunisia, Ukraine, Chile and the United States, the 21 startups shortlisted for the final session were from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.
Maybank Group chief strategy officer Michael Foong said MaybankFintech is a great opportunity for Maybank, Malaysia’s largest lender by asset size, to harness the startups ecosystem regionally and to acquire the best innovation ideas in financial technology.
“Our MaybankFintech programme is a unique platform for aspiring innovators to showcase their ideas,” he said in a statement yesterday.
At the end of May, Maybank partnered accelerator 1337 Ventures to launch the programme.
Maybank aims to help grow and support entrepreneurs by providing them with an avenue to connect directly with the financial industry.
Foong noted that the global investment in fintech ventures has tripled from around $4.05 billion in 2013 to nearly $12.2 billion in 2014.
During the same period, investments in Asia-Pacific fintech ventures have also more than tripled, from $245 million in 2013 to $767 million in 2014.
The lender said the growth of technology startups is boosted by the increasing interest among financial institutions and venture capital companies to fund tech startups. One of the major challenges in the past for fintech startups has been to navigate through the various financial institutions in order to pitch their ideas.
“We are now seeing increasing openness among venture capital firms and banks in this region to listen to these startups and support them, given that these companies themselves stand to benefit should the startups succeed with their projects,” Foong said.
Maybank foresees technology startups to exponentially grow in the Asean region as more businesses seek to expand their digital presence and increase revenue using non-traditional channels.