The FinLab -- an innovation-accelerator joint venture between United Overseas Bank (UOB) and SGInnovate -- has announced that it has helped startups in Singapore expand into other markets through its 100-Day Accelerator Programme.
It has done so by offering practical guidance, resources and mentorships to startups which have been selected into the programme.
Startups which have graduated from FinLab's accelerator programme have developed a range of innovative FinTech solutions using blockchain, AI and machine learning technologies. These solutions helped them propel into the capital market, personal financing and mobile payment sectors.
Felix Tan, managing director of The FinLab, noted that the accelerator programme inspired startups to seek a partner who is able to help them navigate the complexities of expanding into new markets.
"We observed that there was an increase in the number of startups that are more advanced in their business development applying to be part of the second cycle of our accelerator programme. Although some of these startups had already gained early business traction, they saw our insights, venture capital networks and our regional industry partnerships as a way of speeding up their entry into and across Asia."
He cited one of the startups, Turnkey Lender, which expanded into Indonesia while participating in the programme. It then attracted US$2million in funding from Vertex Ventures, a Venture Capital arm of Temasek Holdings, to further its entry into other ASEAN markets such as Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Tan added The FinLab was attracting startups not only in Asia, but also from other parts of the world.
For instance, Israel-based startup, PayKey, leveraged the financial and partnership support from the accelerator programme to establish its footprint in Asia.
PayKey collaborated with UOB to create UOB MyKey, a solution that enables consumers to conduct secure payment transactions via social messaging apps.
Other startups that have scaled their business by tapping on The FinLab accelerator expertise respectively include UK and Canadian based startups: Transficc and Quber.
The FinLab also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shenzhen Internet Finance Association in China and Internet Professionals Association in Hong Kong in an effort to help startups expand into both cities.
"Apart from speeding up the startups' development, we are also working to build a strong partner ecosystem to help them seize overseas expansion opportunities as they grow their business. With the MOU, The FinLab's startups will be able to establish a footing in China and Hong Kong which are two key markets in Asia. We will continue to build up such partnerships to strengthen our current network in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam," explained Tan.
Applications for the next accelerator programme will open in November 2017.
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