PayPal is launching a nine-month incubation programme based in Singapore, targeted at financial technology (fintech) and technology startup ventures.
It will offer selected ventures coaching and mentorship by PayPal executives and industry specialists, in addition to networking opportunities and venture capital connections.
Under the nine-month programme, the curriculum will cover finance and technology topics – subjects as as risk, compliance, core payment network and channel partnering among them – in addition to coaching and mentorship by external subject matter experts and senior PayPal executives such as Anupam Pahuja, who serves as the general manager (technology) for PayPal Asia Pacific.
The city-state is the second country in the Asia Pacific (APAC) to operate PayPal’s incubation programme, with PayPal’s Technology Center in Chennai, India, hosting the programme since 2013.
According to PayPal, most of the startups incubating in the programme generally received funding or obtained a strategic exit upon graduation from the programme. This comes amidst increased disruption in the financial technology & services industry, which is seeing banks struggling to adapt to changes.
The selected startups will be able to access a co-working space which fosters collaboration and innovation, located at PayPal’s Singapore Technology Centre in Suntec City, enabling them to directly access industry expertise from PayPal employees.
Singapore is the second country in the Asia-Pacific to run this programme, after India. PayPal’s Technology Center in Chennai has been hosting this programme since 2013, with most of its 10 startups receiving funding or obtaining a strategic exit after the programme, said PayPal.
Interested eligible startups can apply until 25 May 2016, with shortlisted startups will be invited to a Pitch Fest scheduled for 2 June 2016. Fintech is a sector that saw significant funding growth in 2015, with data from CB Insights showed that investments in Q2 2010 made up less than $1 billion, while growing to nearly $3 billion in Q1 2015.
The potential of fintech is such that it is expected to contribute A$1 billion in value to the Australian economy by 2020, with a Frost & Sullivan study titled FinTech in Australia – Trends Forecasts and Analysis 2015 – forecasting Australia’s fintech sector will grow at a CAGR of 76.36 per cent and reach A$4.2 billion by 2020. Australia’s fintech market is expected to see sharp growth in 2016 and 2017, followed by steady increases through to 2020.
The decision by PayPal to host the programme in Singapore originates from the nature of Asia Pacific fintech investments, which are concentrated in Australia, China and Singapore, due to the city-state’s robust financial regulations and business infrastructure.