It is no secret that this is the Asian century and that the two biggest players are the elephant (India) and the dragon (China).
One of the first stops on the Fintech City Tour was Hong Kong. Given the importance of the China market, it was possible that Hong Kong would be the Fintech Capital of Asia. We returned again to look at what is happening in Mainland China.
A couple of eons ago (in 1994), I moved from New York to Singapore to help Misys grow their Asian business. It was obvious even then that China and India were the two big markets that we needed to move into and that I could not afford to do both at the same time. I chose India because I could speak English there and the legal framework was comfortable for me. There was also a market entry opportunity that I was able to grasp because the Reserve Bank of India around 1994 was licensing new banks (what we now call Challenger Banks) to create competition in banking services that would help the economy.
So I know Singapore and the nexus between Singapore and India very well. What impressed me was how good Singapore was at creating high value services that connected to both China and India. Although I knew the Singapore/India nexus well at first hand, I had friends who worked the Singapore/China nexus. That ability to do good business with the two big economic powers of Asia is why Singapore is increasingly seen as the Fintech Capital of Asia.
In October of this year I will return to Singapore as a Judge for the Innotribe StartUp Challenge at SIBOS (the annual global gathering of the Fintech community).
I left Singapore in 1996. So I needed a good guide to the current Singapore Fintech scene and found Ravi Patel who is the Co-Founder of a Fintech startup called HomePay.
In addition to HomePay, these are the Fintech startups that look interesting:
SmartKarma (collaborative platform for institutional investment research)
WeInvest (investment discovery using social)
MoneySmart (price/product promotion platform)
MoneyThor (marketing analytics for Banks)
BitX (Bitcoin exchanges in multiple countries)
OneLyst (loan comparisons)
DragonWealth (customer acquisition for wealth managers)
Home Pay (household planning & payments using mobile pre-paid)
Who have I missed?