UK’s Everledger wins Fintech Finals 2016 in HK; Asian startups bag category awards

Visual from Fintech Finals 2016 website

UK-based growth-stage startup Everledger bagged the Fintech Finals 2016 prize in Hong Kong on Tuesday beating 23 other startup finalists that presented their respective financial technology business models.

Everledger was judged “Best in Show” and was awarded with the $10,000 grand prize. The team is a permanent ledger for diamond certification and related transaction history and acts as verification for insurance companies, owners and law enforcement.

InvoiceInterchange from Singapore won Early Stage Start-up award, Uniken from India nailed the Growth Stage Start-up category, and 8Securities from Hong Kong was judged the best Mature Stage Start-up.

The two-day event became part of the week-long ongoing StartmeupHK Festival. The 24 finalists were given six minutes to pitch their business ideas in front of judges and a live audience of fintech professionals, enthusiasts and media.

Also read: Singapore fintech startup AlgoMerchant raises seed round led by East Ventures

The 20 other finalists were Apvera (Singapore), Bitnexo (Hong Kong), Bitspark (Hong Kong), BondIT (Israel), Coinalytics (USA), Currenseek (Malaysia), Funding Societies (Singapore), GoLend (Hong Kong), Macrovue (Australia), Neat (Hong Kong), Optiacs (Russia), Otonomos (Singapore), Playbasis (Thailand), SayPay (India), Scaled Risk (France), ShereIt (India), TradeSocio (Mauritius), VLendRight (India), Voleo (Canada), and Wayerz (Israel).

The startups were assessed on the following criteria: business model application, scale and robustness; transformative concept and technology; market opportunity and size; customer experience design and ease, financial opportunity and forecasts, and also quality of team presentation.

Also read: India: Fintech startup Fisdom raises $500k from angel investors

Nxt Bank founder Rob Findlay said, “These are the individuals that are shaping the future of fintech here in Asia for all of us.”

One of the judges Ruben Salazar, who heads product development at Visa in Asia-Pacific, said, “The fintech community in Asia is strong and very active with large and small firms collectively responding to consumer needs.”

Findlay said, they chose the 24 finalists with a particular focus on Asia through different ways, first from an open online application, second via nominations from members of leading accelerator and incubator programs, and thirdly by running six open pitch competitions in six cities across Asia, starting in Singapore, followed by Mumbai, Bangalore, Sydney, Seoul and finally Kuala Lumpur, respectively.

Quoting from Accenture, Findlay said, investments in fintech across Asia-Pacific skyrocketed in 2015 – from about U$880 million in all of 2014 to nearly $3.5 billion in just the first nine months of 2015, putting the year at a total projected $5 billion taking into account a frantic last quarter.

“And it will continue at pace – analysts at MarketResearch.com predict annual global investment to reach US$46 billion by 2020,” Findlay added, noting banks are now utilising more fintech startup products and services.

Also read: Exclusive: Ayannah raising $3m financing, ropes in 500 Startups & Life.SREDA as investors

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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.