The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific today (4 December 2014) hosted an Investor Day at Cyberport, Hong Kong, which saw eight start-ups presenting their business case to 100 venture capitalists and bankers.
The eight start-ups were finalists chosen from a pool of about 100 applicants from 20 countries that participated in a 12-week accelerator programme, according to Accenture, the sponsor of the programme.
Even though the finalists were pitching for investors and customers at the Investor Day, some participants had already received funding. One such finalist is Advanced Merchant Payments (AMP), a financial technology start-up that enables banks and other business service providers to deploy alternative lending technologies for the benefit of their small business customers. It is currently operating in Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and UK.
AMP announced that it had secured US$5 million from SBT Venture Capital in its Series A round of institutional funding during the course of the programme. "The funds will be used to scale and further internationalise the business, build out the underlying technology, and reach new partners for AMP's innovative loan origination and automated portfolio management platform," said Tom DeLuca, chief executive officer of AMP.
Other finalists said that the programme helped them build their business. For instance, Jocata Financial Advisory & Technology Services managed to convert 22 banks to be their customers during the programme. The software products company -- which offers anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) compliance solutions - is expecting 30 more banks to sign by the first quarter of next year.
"The time for financial technology is now," said Sushil Saluja, Accenture's senior managing director. "And we see start-ups, such as the finalists, helping develop solutions that will help customers." According to Accenture, global investment in financial technology ventures has more than tripled from US$928 million in 2008 to US$2.97 billion in 2013. Over the past three years, such investment has more than quadrupled the rate of overall venture-capital investment.
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific launched its 12-week accelerator programme in September this year after calling for applications in July. This year is the first time that the programme is held Asia. It is modelled after a similar programme that was co-founded by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City in 2010. The New York Lab's 24 alumni companies raised close to US$80 million in venture financing after participating in the programme, said Accenture.
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