With 347 FinTech investment deals in Asia Pacific last year, the region is playing catch up with other regional FinTech powerhouses, according to a new report from PwC and Startupbootcamp FinTech released today
“FinTech APAC Landscape Developments” provides an overview of the key innovations and startups that are changing and shaping the new finance market, it also dissects funding by country and investment dollars.
China & India are by far the largest FinTech ecosystems based on investments and number of startups. Singapore is a clear leader in the Southeast Asian region, citing Singapore as a good hub to be based at for startups expanding in Southeast Asia, for its supportive startup and FinTech ecosystem.
Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore engaged with over 400 FinTech startups in 16 locations for the 2016 FinTech Accelerator program, TechInAsia (formerly TechList) provided funding data, while regulatory insights are provided by PwC, strategic sponsor of Startupbootcamp FinTech.
The report compared three leading regulators in Asia Pacific – Reserve Bank of India, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), and Singapore’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on clarity and simplicity of regulations and requirements, their licensing process and the support provided to Startups. From the comparison, it emerged that the regulatory landscape in Singapore is regarded as the most stringent yet progressive with regards to FinTech startups for the region and arguably the world. The report also found that if a company complies with the regulations in Singapore it will most likely be able to comply with regulations in other APAC countries.
Antony Eldridge, PwC Singapore’s Financial Services and FinTech Leader, on regulatory developments said: “The active involvement and commitment of the MAS in the development of the FinTech scene here is exemplary for regulators. By such an involvement and nurturing of FinTech startups, alongside regulation where necessary, Singapore is enabling innovation and adoption of new technology in the financial services industry.
“Singapore’s push to be the first smart nation in the world additionally provides a significant impetus for growth, development and adoption within FinTech.”
Focus around FinTech Startups
Insights gained from the Startupbootcamp FastTrack tour throughout Asia show that the most number of early-stage startups are found in India at 37%, followed by Singapore & South Korea. Almost half of the startups that applied in the program were in the Payments and Wealth Management sectors.
Steven Tong, Managing Director of Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore said “Over the course of 4 months, Startupbootcamp visited major startup ecosystems in the region to recruit FinTech startups for our 2016 accelerator program. We took the occasion to connect with FinTech leaders across the region and gathered insights on the state of Asian FinTech development. While most startups are still in “traditional” areas like payments, it’s heartening to see Asian startups emerging in InsurTech and utilising hot technologies like machine learning and chatbots.”
Startupbootcamp has now started its 2016 program with 10 of the brightest startups across Asia. They will have an intense 86 days ahead of them before they go up the grand stage for Demo Day.