Everything You Need to Know About Hong Kong’s FinTech Ecosystem: Part II: Hong Kong’s FinTech-Dedicated stakeholders

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Hong Kong has a strong and supportive community of FinTech authorities and investors, which includes:



Abovementioned InvestHK is one of the most prominent initiatives spearheading efforts to strengthen Hong Kong as Asia’s leading international business and financial center. Outlining the main reasons Hong Kong is a perfect place to start a business, InvestHK emphasizes the earlier-mentioned government support, strategic location as a gateway to the Asian market, low and simple tax regimes, world-class business infrastructure, business-friendly cities, availability of highly talented professionals and other important markers identifying a perfect hub to start and grow a business.


For FinTech startups looking to explore opportunities for their businesses in Hong Kong, the dedicated InvestHK FinTech team in Hong Kong, UK and US are the primary points of contact to receive free, confidential and customized services and assistances:



Being a highly competitive environment, Hong Kong is also one of the global locations for the most successful incubator programs and strong investors, such as:



And more…


For startups looking to raise funds and connect with the community of experienced professionals, more about the focus of mentioned VC firms and an extended list of funds can be found here.

Being a highly competitive environment, Hong Kong is one of the global locations for globally oriented FinTech accelerators. Some notable examples include FinTech Innovation Hub by HKMA, FinTech Innovation Lab, IC Studio, The Betatron Startup Accelerator, Nest, The DBS Accelerator, The SuperCharger Accelerator, Venturetec Accelerator in Hong Kong, Brinc and Paperclip, Hong Kong’s first dedicated startup campus which uniquely combines Accelerator Programs with Cowork Space and Offices.


Hong Kong government strongly supports the startup community. The government has also set up a HK$2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to co-invest with private venture capital funds on a matching basis in local technology startups, and Cyberport will earmark HK$200 million to invest in its startups. Cyberport also launched the 35,000 square foot Smart-Space FinTech co-working space for financial technology startups and companies last year. Moreover, the HKSAR government also injected HK$5 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) in 2016 which benefits FinTech and other startups.

Southeast Asia is One of the Best Places to Launch & Fund Your Startup

Southeast Asia is One of the Best Places to Launch & Fund Your Startup

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It looks like Silicon Valley may have a new rival in the worldwide startup scene, as Southeast Asia is quickly making a name for itself as a hub innovation and entrepreneurship. In fact, more and more investors are flocking to the region from around to capitalize on the growing entrepreneurial activity and local talent.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who’s local to the region or an experienced founder looking for international expansion, this post will show you why it’s never been easier to launch and fund a startup in Southeast Asia.

If you want to learn more about launching a company in Asia, RSVP for our upcoming webinar, “How to Raise Funding for Your Startup in Asia”.

Why You Should Launch a Startup in Southeast Asia

Over the past several years, countries throughout Southeast Asia have been becoming more and more attractive to both local and foreign entrepreneurs with numerous benefits and resources that have proved invaluable to budding startups. In the Britethink article, “Top 5 Reasons to Start Business in Southeast Asia”, Bernald Ng outlines some of the advantages of launching a startup in Southeast Asia.

1. Consumer Spending is Increasing

In most major regions, consumer spending represents a considerable part of the economy, with younger and working-age customers making up a majority of the customer base, and therefore, a huge driver in economic growth. However, in recent years, several developed markets are experiencing a decrease in the size of this demographic, pointing to a reduction in overall consumer spending.

However, Southeast Asian markets have a considerable population of younger and working-age consumers, with a number that continues to grow, forecasting an economy that’s conducive to startups that cater to the millennial population.

2. The Savings Rates are Very Favorable

Because Southeast Asia is a developing market, it comes with a savings rate that is far more beneficial to consumers compared to that of more developed regions. To sum it up, the savings rate in emerging markets is 33.5%, while the savings rate in developed markets is considerably lower, at 6.4%.

But how does this pay off for startups launching in Southeast Asia? With a more advantageous savings rate, more consumers will be more likely to buy luxury goods, like homes, cars, vacations, and more, meaning more opportunities for local startups.

3. Local Governments are More Supportive of Startups

Because of a recent rise in support and funding from venture capitalists and government programs, Southeast Asia has given birth to plenty of unicorns (private companies that are valued at $1 billion or more). As expected, all of the hype surrounding the seemingly overnight success of local companies has only led to increased government support of startups.

Several Southeast Asian governments have carried out startup-centric initiatives, with Malaysia and Singapore leading the charge in creating an environment that’s conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship with the creation of numerous incubators and accelerators.

4. Southeast Asia Has the First Regulated Crowdfunding in Asia

Hong Kong is the financial center of Asia, yet has not made the move to legalize and regulate crowdfunding. The Malaysian Securities Commission, however, has approved six equity crowdfunding platforms to operate in Malaysia in June 2015, officially making Kuala Lumpur the center of equity crowdfunding in Southeast Asia.

And as an added benefit, Eureeca.com, a global equity crowdfunding platform with an operation license and office in London, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur, has plans for expansion and funding to allow for Southeast Asian companies to expand throughout Europe, Asia and the MENA region.

5. It’s Easy to Do Business in Southeast Asia

Several Southeast Asian countries are noted for their ease of business for foreign entrepreneurs. For example, in 2016, World Bank ranked Singapore and Malaysia at number 1 and number 18 out of 189 countries, respectively, for ease of doing business.

Southeast Asia is especially attractive to startups from English speaking countries because of high number of English proficient professionals in the region; Malaysia and Singapore are the only Asian countries to be ranked among top 15 in the world by the English Proficiency Index.

Funding Activity is Rising

Another benefit of launching a startup in Southeast Asia (so important that it warrants its own section) is that it is easier than ever to raise funding for a startup in the region, and only continues to get easier.

In the Tech in Asia article, “Startup funding in Southeast Asia has broken the sound barrier. And that’s for starters”, Terence Lee discusses the rapid increase in overall startup funding in the region in recent years, with more and more companies raising $10 million+ rounds each year.

And it’s not only increased funding from venture capitalists that are keeping the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem alive, as founders that launched successful companies several years ago are now investing their own time and money into the next batch of aspiring entrepreneurs.

So with all of these promising startups raising more money than ever before, how can you and your company benefit from this increased funding activity in Southeast Asia? Below are some of the most popular ways that startups are getting capital.

Venture Capital in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is home to a plethora of prestigious venture capital firms, both homegrown and those from other countries, and the number continues to rise, as seen in the Let’s Talk Payments article, “35 VC Firms Nurturing the Startup Ecosystem in Asia”, by Elena Mesropyan. Below are just a few of the biggest venture capital firms that cater especially to startups in Southeast Asia:

  • 1823 Ventures – 1823 Ventures is focused on mentoring and incubating promising startups in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Korea, with an emphasis on mission-driven companies that fill a gap.

  • Golden Gate Ventures – Golden Gate Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing across Southeast Asia that invests in internet and mobile startups in e-commerce, payments, marketplaces, mobile applications, and SaaS platforms. This fund is led by Jeffrey Paine, who also runs the..

  • Venturra Capital – Venturra Capital is a Southeast Asian-focused venture capital firm investing in early-stage consumer technology-enabled internet businesses in sectors such as e-commerce, financial technology, marketplaces, healthcare and education amongst others.

  • Right Click Capital – Right Click Capital is a Sydney, Australia-based investment firm that specialises in identifying, investing and supporting high-growth technology-based businesses throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.
  • Kejora – Headquartered in Jakarta, Kejora is a company-building venture capital firm that invests in bold entrepreneurs launching high growth technology companies. Their focus is Fintech, SME SaaS, B2B SaaS, logistics, ecommerce, marketplace, digital media, big data, and education.
  • CyberAgent Ventures – CyberAgent Ventures invests in venture companies in Internet-related businesses with outstanding global market potential.
  • Fenox Venture Capital – Fenox Venture Capital is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm with a strong presence in the UK, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and more.

Accelerators and Incubators in Southeast Asia

Along with an increase in venture capital firms in Southeast Asia, the region is also the host to a rising number of accelerators and incubators. If your company could use a boost with some expert mentoring, the following list of Southeast Asian incubators and accelerators is worth a look.

  • Founder Institute – The Founder Institute is an idea-stage accelerator and startup launch program. They are currently accepting applications in numerous Southeast Asian cities.

  • Rockstart – While based in the Netherlands, Rockstart also has a program in Singapore, and participants are given the opportunity to San Francisco and New York as part of their mentorship. Rockstart primarily focuses on companies in web and mobile, smart energy, and digital health.

  • MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity) Global Accelerator Program – MaGIC’s global accelerator program is designed to accelerate 80 global startups per cohort to be investment-ready in 4 months, and to build a strong startup community in Southeast Asia.

  • 500 Startups – 500 Startups is based in Silicon Valley, but has chapters all around the world, with a growing presence in Southeast Asia.
  • Hackcelerator – AngelHack’s HACKcelerator program connects ambitious hackers with thought-leaders and experienced entrepreneurs to help them become more versatile and create fundable startups.
  • Ideabox – Ideabox is a joint venture that aims to elevate the Indonesian startup scene through early stage investment funds and its award-winning accelerator focusing on internet and telecommunication sectors.

Crowdfunding in Southeast Asia

Here are some of the most popular crowdfunding platforms used by startups in Southeast Asia.

  • FundedHere – FundedHere is a leading equity and lending-based crowdfunding platform for promising startups in Asia. Based in Singapore, FundedHere’s platform connects investors to promising startups who want to raise funds in exchange for equity stakes or via tenured loans.

  • Funding Societies – Funding Societies is a secure online platform for SME owners to start or grow their businesses by providing access to funding from individual as well as institutional investors, with an emphasis on Southeast Asian companies.

  • Crowdo – With offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Crowdo connects promising companies with a global community of investors, and is the first to offer a full equity and debt portfolio to its clients.

  • Zingohub – ZingoHub helps creators and innovators from diverse backgrounds fulfil their journey of becoming leading entrepreneurs by supporting indie brands, designers, artists, filmmakers, musicians and other like-minded people.

If you want to learn more about launching a company in Asia, RSVP for our upcoming webinar, “How to Raise Funding for Your Startup in Asia”.








1、1823 Ventures

1823 Ventures的投资主要集中对东南亚、香港和韩国的创业公司指导孵化,以及风险资本融资和投资。总部设立在新加坡,1823 Ventures如今正在积极寻找包括新加坡、印度尼西亚、泰国、马来西亚、越南、菲律宾、香港、中国和韩国在内的有前景的创业公司。

2、500 Startups

500 Startups是全球领先的风险资本种子基金和创业加速器,该机构管理着2亿美元的资产,并投资了超过1300多家技术初创公司。其早期种子基金和孵化器计划专注于消费者和中小型企业互联网初创公司。该公司的兴趣领域包括金融服务和电子商务、搜索、社交、移动平台、个人和企业生产力、教育和语言、家庭和医疗保健以及Web基础架构。

3、Accel Partners

Accel Partners是世界五大风险投资机构之一,致力于帮助杰出企业家去建立业务定位非常明晰的技术公司。深入的专业知识、相关经验以及行业关系,使得Accel Partners的团队反应更加敏捷,创造更多价值,最终成为优秀技术家的最佳合作伙伴。

4、Alacrity Capital

Alacrity Capital是一家总部设在新加坡的新一代综合风险投资公司,其专注于泛亚洲的初创公司,这些公司热衷于开发具有商业可行性的产品和服务,包括新技术和创新。对于启动种子阶段、A阶段的初创企业,Alacrity Capital旨在通过天使和企业投资者的集合资金提供关键投资。

5、Arbor Ventures

Arbor Ventures正在积极地与开发下一代交易解决方案的企业家和投资者合作,通过结合聪明才智和实用主义来转变当今的金融和数据格局。 Lufax和DemystData是其投资组合中一些著名的金融科技公司。


Axiata是亚洲领先的电信集团之一,其在10个国家拥有超过3亿用户。 2012年,Axiata建立了“Axiata Digital”,以捕捉基于互联网企业的快速增长。在三年内,Axiata Digital已经建立了一个24个数字品牌的投资组合,满足了移动货币、移动广告、电子商务、娱乐和教育等日益增长的需求。

在2014年,Axiata和马来西亚风险投资管理有限公司(MAVCAP)签署了一项关于建立1亿吉林特(印尼货币单位)的风险资本基金–Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF)。作为马来西亚最大的数字企业风险资本基金,ADIF将鼓励和刺激马来西亚数字生态系统的创新和发展。


Bigcolors主要致力于帮助创业公司,使他们成为下一个超级巨星公司。他们投资种子基金和早期初创公司。 如今Bigcolors已投资了Connect,Kisshugs,Crux和Oddup等公司。他们还通过为初创公司提供战略业务发展,融资和并购专长来帮助初创公司发展壮大。

8、BlueHill Asset Management

BlueHill Asset Management专门从事战略性全球市场的风险投资和私募股权投资。总部设在新加坡,管理层在过去四年中筹集了大约4.7亿新元的资金。

9、Blume Ventures

Blume Ventures提供的种子基金范围为5万美元到25万美元,用于支持早期科技/技术的企业。他们喜欢的合作方式是与志同道合的天使和种子基金一起联合投资。然后再向他们的投资公司提供后续投资,金额为50万到150万美元之间。

10、Convergence Ventures

Convergence Ventures是一家致力于早期技术的风险基金,专注于投资印度尼西亚的数字创新公司。该基金由Adrian Li 和 Donald Wihardja 领导,他们是经验丰富的专业人士,在新兴市场的互联网和移动业务拥有丰富的运营经验。融合了他们的行业洞察力,支持服务和全球网络,这赋予了优秀创始人在印度尼西亚和东南亚地区建立颠覆性和有影响力的业务。

11、CyberAgent Ventures

CyberAgent Ventures是一家总部设在东京的风险投资公司。它在韩国,中国,印度尼西亚,台湾,泰国和越南都有分支机构,并投资这些国家的初创公司。该公司为专门从事互联网业务的创业公司提供财务支持。 “作为企业家和风险投资公司的合作伙伴,我们从创业者刚刚开始创业的种子阶段到他们的服务开始增长的早期阶段,都会为他们提供服务。”公司在8个国家有10个办事处,主要在亚洲。

12、Digital Media Partners

Digital Media Partners是一家风险投资公司,专注于最近加入全球数字化转型进程的新兴市场。Digital Media Partners认为,高连接性、处理能力和交互性的到来将导致数字服务的爆炸式增长。

13、East Ventures

East Ventures旨在通过为有前途的创业公司提供早期种子资本,为企业带来成功。在雅加达、东京和旧金山共有五个办事处,公司的全球团队已在亚洲和美国的150多家公司进行了投资。 East Ventures的公司组合致力于商业、社交、游戏、SAAS和移动服务。

“我们的投资团队由经验丰富的专业人士组成,这使我们能够在亚洲提供强大的网络。 East Ventures通过位于雅加达、Tangerang(印度尼西亚)和东京的联合办公空间积极参与社区发展和能力建设。

14、Fenox Venture Capital

Fenox Venture Capital是一家硅谷风险投资公司,由一群经验丰富的企业家和国际商业领袖组成。 Fenox VC与全球新兴技术公司合作,专门协助北美的企业家实现在亚洲,欧洲和中东市场的全球扩张。

Fenox VC的目标是寻找颠覆性的机会,主要面向健康、消费者互联网、云计算、大数据、移动、社交、支付系统和下一代技术。Fenox提供早期和最终融资,并与其他天使集团和风险基金进行合作。

15、First Eastern Investment Group

First Eastern Investment Group是一家专注于扩张阶段的风险投资和私募股权公司。该公司主要投资制造、建筑、金融和房地产行业。它更喜欢在中国、香港、印度尼西亚、韩国、马来西亚、菲律宾、新加坡、台湾和泰国投资。该公司的投资通常在100万到1000万美元之间,并至少每年以1200万美元出售其投资组合。它还寻找投资组合公司董事会的一个席位和一小部分股权,Monitise和Tamoco是其投资的两家公司。。

16、Fresco Capital

Fresco Capital是一家早期风险投资公司,支持杰出的企业家建立卓越的企业。总部位于香港和硅谷,Fresco Capital在全球运营,最常见的总部位于旧金山、硅谷、香港、纽约和奥斯汀。

17、General Atlantic

General Atlantic是一家全球成长型股本公司,为成长型公司提供资本和战略支持。 GA组合中的金融科技公司由Adyen、Avant和Klarna代表。 如今GA正寻找在孟买、新加坡、香港。北京和各种其他地区有前途的FinTech创业公司。 GA投资于早期阶段和后期阶段的企业,以及私募股权。

18、Gobi Partners

Gobi Partners成立于14年前,专注于中国涌现出的自主创新,TMT融合和数字媒体革命。在这14年中,公司已成长为中国领先的初创初期投资者之一。“今天,戈壁管理七个基金,并在中国,香港,马来西亚和新加坡增加了七个办事处。我们保持对中国和东南亚早期阶段,IT和数字媒体公司的投资。作为这一领域的先驱,我们相信成功的关键是一贯的投资理念:专注于核心竞争力,保持领先。

19、Golden Gate Ventures

Golden Gate Ventures是一家投资于东南亚的早期风险投资公司。自2011年以来,该公司已在亚洲七个国家的超过25家公司进行了投资。该公司投资了许多行业的互联网和移动创业公司,包括电子商务、支付、市场、移动应用和SaaS平台。新加坡FinTech创业公司TradeGecko,Codapay,Semantics3,MoneySmart都是GGV投资组合的一部分。

20、Green Visor Capital

Green Visor Capital是少数几家专注于投资FinTech创业公司的风险投资公司之一。公司总部设在旧金山,在纽约和香港都有合作伙伴。Cloud Lending、Credit Shop、Auditfile.com、FiscalNote、Clearserve 和Simpl都是其投资组合的一部分。 GVC投资于早期初创公司。

21、IDG Capital

IDG Capital,以前称为IDG Capital Partners,代表私募股权和风险资本基金经理,投资顾问和其他业务实体。自上世纪90年代初以来,该公司专注于中国技术投资,是第一家将外国风险投资引入中国的公司。它拥有100多家初创公司的投资组合,包括携程,搜狐,百度、腾讯、搜狐等,其中30个已完成IPO或成功合并。

22、IMJ Investment Partners

IMJ Investment Partners从2012年1月开始投资于日本和硅谷的创业公司。2012年夏天,IMJ开始准备在东南亚的投资活动,并于2013年2月在新加坡成立了一家新公司。IMJ目前主要在东南亚和日本从事风险投资和支持活动。

23、IncubAsia Ventures

IncubAsia Ventures已经建立了一个声誉良好的生态系统,战略客户关系、数字媒体公司、电信公司、大型跨国公司、风险资本公司和政府机构。IAV提供风险加速,这取决于公司所在的生命周期、服务提供和规模机会的阶段。 IncubAsia Ventures指导早期科技公司将其创新、产品或服务商业化,如果资本筹集是其增长战略的一部分,那么它对潜在投资者更具吸引力。 P2P借贷初创LendLink就是IAV投资组合的一部分。

24、Infocomm Investments

总部位于新加坡的Infocomm Investments(IIPL)主要投资全球信息通讯技术创业公司,管理超过2亿美元,IIPL加速发展初创阶段,并在进入增长和扩张时进一步投资。通过其投资,与私人和公共部门的利益相关者的合作以及全球影响力,IIPL在新加坡为创业公司建立了一个充满活力和可持续的生态系统,这发挥了重要作用。

25、Intel Capital

Intel Capital对种子或增长阶段的FinTech创业公司感兴趣,这使他们达到了一个新的水平。英特尔在57个国家投资了超过1400家公司,总金额超过114亿美元。在这段时间内,超过210家投资组合公司在世界各地的各种交易所上市,超过360家被收购或参与合并。

26、Jungle Ventures

Jungle Ventures是一家企业家支持的风险投资公司,专注于资助和帮助初创公司跨越亚太地区。总部位于新加坡,Jungle Ventures投资并帮助在亚洲建立科技类领导者。 Fastacash,Momoe和Abra是来自Jungle Ventures投资组合的支付行业的FinTech初创公司。

27、KK Fund


28、Life. SREDA VC

Life.SREDA是一家风险投资公司,专注于投资于FinTech移动和互联网项目。其战略由对迅速增长的FinTech 2.0行业的深刻理解和狭窄的投资焦点决定。 Life.SREDA认为,“The Next Big Thing”是过去十年的全球趋势的组合,如创新的移动社交和金融科技。Life.SREDA目前在美国、西欧和东欧市场运营,主要提供种子和早期风险基金。

29、Monk’s Hill Ventures

Monk’s Hill Ventures是经验丰富的企业家的合作伙伴,他们在硅谷和亚洲建立和支持全球公司。 Monk’s Hill Ventures投资种子期后的东南亚公司的顶尖企业家。通常,MHV投资会提供至少50万美元到150万美元的种子/天使资金、

30、Sequoia Capital

Sequoia Capital是一家专注于能源、金融、企业、医疗保健、互联网和移动创业公司的风险投资机构。该公司由Don Valentine于1972年11月成立,总部位于加利福尼亚州门洛帕克市。该公司还在以色列、中国和印度设有分支机构,并对种子、早期阶段和后期阶段的投资感兴趣。

31、Silver Lake

Silver Lake管理超过260亿美元的合并资产,在全球各地有一个由大约100名投资和价值创造专家组成的团队。投资组合中最著名的公司由阿里巴巴集团、Cast&Crew、Global Blue、Interactive Data Corporation和Renovate America代表。 Silver Lake在纽约、硅谷、伦敦、东京和香港都有分支机构。该公司正在寻求投资各种部门的创业公司,特别是金融科技、金融服务、电子商务、云计算、医疗保健和移动通信。

32、TA Associates

TA Associates是世界上历史最悠久,规模最大的私募股权公司之一,投资于跨行业(特别是金融科技、技术、金融服务、医疗保健和消费业务、通信)的私营公司。 TA Associates在波士顿、门洛帕克、伦敦、孟买和香港运营。BATS Global Market、BluePay、BillDesk、Smart Stream、Yeepay.com 和RGM Advisors都在其投资组合。

33、Venturra Capital

“Venturra Capital是一家东南亚地区的风险投资公司,投资于支持早期消费技术的互联网业务。我们的公司主要投资于准备在国际上扩展的消费互联网公司,例如电子商务,金融技术,市场,医疗保健和教育等行业。

34、Warburg Pincus

Warburg Pincus已经在全球超过35个国家的720多家公司投资超过500亿美元。该公司管理的资产超过350亿美元。其超过120家公司是投资组合覆盖高度多元化的各种阶段、行业和地区。该公司正在寻求在北京、香港、伦敦、孟买、纽约、旧金山、圣保罗和上海地区投资种子、早期/晚期投资以及私募股权。

35、Wavemaker Partners

Wavemaker Partners采取联合投资方式帮助创业公司弥合“天使和前期风险”的天堑,这是基金经历的一个最具挑战性的阶段。投资通常在10万美元到75万美元开始,并可以跟进直到100万美元。 Wavemaker Partners可以提供最好的机会,并且喜欢带来可以增加价值的合作投资者。投资组合与共同投资的结合使Wavemaker Partners能够投资超过180家公司,并与120多家早期投资者共同投资。这些形成了强大的网络, Wavemaker Partners加入了Draper Venture Network,并在四大洲拥有10个基金。


Attention, startups: World Bank report says it’s getting easier to do business in Indonesia

A recently introduced deregulation package had seen 94 procedures to start a business slashed by almost half to 49

By Anisa Menur A. Maulani


A World Bank flagship annual report on ease-of-doing-business has named Indonesia as one of the top five countries with most notable performance improvements in 2015/2016, The Jakarta Post reported.

Called ‘Doing Business’, the report sees Indonesia’s position jump 15 places to 91st position, making it one of the best improvements among 109 countries in the survey.

The significant jump is reported to be based on improvements made in starting a business, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, paying taxes, trading across borders and enforcing contracts.

Following the 12th economic stimulus package issued in April, Indonesia had scrapped many procedures to reduce the time and cost involved in starting a business. In total, 94 procedures had been slashed by almost half to 49 with the time spent on procedures dropped from 1,566 days to 132 days. Costs have also dropped from IDR92.8 million (US$7,036) to IDR72.7 million (US$5,500).

Apart from Indonesia, other Asian countries in the top five list are Brunei Darussalam and Kazakhstan. New Zealand was also named as the easiest country to do business in, toppling Singapore from the top spot for the first time in a decade.

The startup perspective

The year 2016 might have been a testimony to confirm the message that the World Bank report is saying. Tech companies such as Spotify, Netflix, and its ‘Asian versions’ such as iflix and HOOQ had entered the market this year.

For startups, in the past month, Indonesia has seen the launch of Polish fashion e-commerce startup Loko and Southeast Asian fashion e-commerce Zilingo into its market.

Indonesia has also seen an increased interest from Chinese investors, with plans to setup an angel investor club in the country. Groecery service Honestbee is also currently testing its service in the market.

But things have not always been running smoothly with foreign internet giants operating in Indonesia, such as Google. Since earlier this year, the Indonesian government has been pushing for the company to set up a permanent business entity in the country for taxation reasons.

Concerns have also been stated by fintech industry players, as mentioned during the recent Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference. Clarity of regulation, talent shortage, and low financial literacy even among financial industry players themselves have been cited as the three main issues.

[Original Article]

Here’s how Singapore plans to make its services as easy as Facebook Connect


govtech-launch-01The Singapore government made one more step toward bringing public services online. GovTech, or the Government Technology Agency, launched yesterday to drive Singapore’s digital strategy.

GovTech plans to continue digitizing key functions of governance and public life.

Working with public agencies, industry players, and Singaporean citizens, GovTech plans to continue digitizing key functions of governance and public life. It wants to make new technologies accessible and easy to use, and train the people who make it all possible.

“The government has a big role to play by setting the example and applying [information and communication technology] and related engineering solutions to improve our quality of life, create opportunities for businesses, and drive productive and efficient government processes,” said Minister for Communications and Information Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim during GovTech’s launch event.

Power to the people

A big part of becoming a Smart Nation involves making it as easy for Singaporeans to access online services as, say, using Facebook Connect or their Google account to log in to their favorite apps and websites.

For example, MyInfo is intended to help people simplify banking transactions by eliminating the need for them to produce documents for verification. Parents Gateway will allow parents to engage with their kids’ schools. OneService is an online portal and app for accessing municipal services. MyResponder helps alert emergency response to your location through your smartphone.

GovTech launch Minister Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim

The Minister visits an exhibition of GovTech’s programs and services. Photo credit: GovTech.

The Smart Nation Platform that GovTech is developing will make it easy to share data and analytics between different departments, allowing health, mobility, urban planning, energy, and education services to work together seamlessly.

And let’s not forget Singapore’s treasure trove of open data that lets people create their own apps and digital services.

Smart technology

These services aren’t limited to software. On the quest toward making Singapore a smart metropolis, GovTech’s Emerging Technology team experiments with internet of things (IoT) and sensor tech.

How about an autonomous wheelchair that can take you around your house and go around obstacles, for example? Or a smart walking stick that alerts your caregiver if you fall, keeps track of your location, and plays the radio for you? Or smart cones that alert cars about roadworks?

Govtech smart hardware

An autonomous wheelchair, a smart walking stick, and smart road cones are examples of the Emerging Technology Team’s efforts. Photo credit: Tech in Asia.

Or maybe you’ll be interested in an online health platform that helps you keep track of your fitness and diet. It also allows you to take part in an island-wide activity challenge and a number of other health-related events and programs – plus gives you a free wearable tracker.

GovTech’s Emerging Technology team experiments with IoT and sensor tech.

Nor is it just about people. Businesses in Singapore can take advantage of CorpPass, a digital identity that enables them to conduct quick, safe, and easy online transactions with government offices.

The National Trade Platform will allow trade and logistics businesses to access data and services that help them streamline and digitize their processes – something that will be especially valuable for small and medium enterprises that have found it difficult to shift to digital.

Pulse of the Economy, a project by GovTech’s Data Science team, will use data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to gather real-time information to keep tabs on the economy. Data like electricity consumption spikes and traffic density can be combined and disseminated to enable better decision making, rather than relying on traditional factors like GDP and employment.

Security and education

All this sounds well and good but raises a number of concerns. One key issue is privacy and security – if every citizen’s information is part of a huge network of different interoperable services and databases, doesn’t that make it vulnerable to abuse and intrusions?

For this reason, GovTech will work with authorities, government agencies, and industry to strengthen technical policies and regulations to safeguard the use and custody of this data. It also plans to develop cybersecurity technology to respond to and defend against cyber attacks.

Another question is who will build and operate all this infrastructure. GovTech wants to help build up Singapore’s engineering capabilities and create a sustainable tech talent pool. The Hive is a good example of what can be achieved by getting the right people together and giving them the tools to develop cool technology.

Govtech chief executive, Jacqueline Poh, at the Govtech launch event

GovTech chief executive, Jacqueline Poh, at the launch event. Photo credit: GovTech.

At the same time, GovTech plans to support education and attract domestic and foreign expertise with initiatives like the Smart Nation Fellowship Program, which will give top data scientists, academics, technologists, and engineers short government stints in order to take advantage of their skills and experience.

People can receive digital training and familiarize themselves with these online services.

These experts will work with Capability Centers in sectors like app development, data science, geospatial technology, cybersecurity, and sensors and IoT, to develop new technologies and services.

Meanwhile, the country’s established Citizen Connect Centers are meant to help citizens who don’t have their own computers or internet connections. People can receive digital training and familiarize themselves with these online services. These centers will be gradually equipped with better hardware and redesigned user interfaces to make things even easier.

“GovTech will build on the strong foundation established by the Government Chief Information Office to support the building of a Smart Nation,” said GovTech chief executive, Jacqueline Poh. “The formation of GovTech marks a new chapter in the way we use technology to improve the wide range of services and touchpoints that the public sector has with our citizens and businesses.”

[Original Article]

How Women Won a Leading Role in China’s Venture Capital Industry

Women launch more than half of all new Internet companies in China.

By Shai Oster & Selina WangSeptember 20, 2016


The largest venture capital fund ever raised by a woman isn’t in Silicon Valley or even the U.S. It’s in Beijing and is run by a former librarian who keeps such a low profile that she’s a mystery in her native China. Chen Xiaohong rarely attends industry conferences or events. She hadn’t given a media interview in more than a decade until agreeing to break her silence this summer. “I don’t like being part of a club,” said Chen during a four-hour discussion at her firm’s headquarters. “I believe in staying independent, making your own decisions.”

Chen, 46, is part of an unusual group of female investors who have risen to the top of the venture business in China and helped fuel the country’s technology boom. They’ve backed some of China’s most successful startups and their influence is growing as they raise more money, recruit other women and seed the next generation of technology companies.

Chen and her peers have become part of the mainstream in China in a way that’s proven elusive in the U.S. American venture firms have faced accusations of sexism and discrimination for years, including in an unsuccessful lawsuit filed by a female partner against storied Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Despite the criticism, the firms have made little progress in promoting women. Among the top U.S. venture firms, women make up about 10 percent of the investing partners and only half of the firms have any women of that rank. China is already more balanced: About 17 percent of investing partners are female and 80 percent have at least one woman.

An increasing number, like Chen, lead their firms. Kathy Xu is founder of Shanghai’s Capital Today Group, which has $1.2 billion under management and was an early backer of the e-commerce company JD.com Inc. Anna Fang is CEO of ZhenFund, one of the most influential angel investors in China. Ruby Lu, Chen’s partner at her firm H Capital until this month, previously co-founded the China business for Doll Capital Management. 

 Their success is bringing more women into China’s technology industry. The Chinese government estimates females found 55 percent of new Internet companies and more than a quarter of all entrepreneurs are women. In the U.S., only 22 percent of startups have one or more women on their founding teams, according to research by Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya for their book ‘Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology.’ 

Chen and her colleagues are building on a tradition of opportunity for women in China that dates back to before the days when Mao Zedong declared they held up “half the sky.” Women worked out of necessity in fields and factories when the country was poor, and fought alongside men during the country’s civil war. By comparison, collaborating in an office is simple. Lu’s mother, who served in the People’s Liberation Army, laughed when she heard about her daughter’s diversity training at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “She said ‘That’s ridiculous. What’s your job got to do with women or men?’ ”

The country is hardly free from discrimination. Men still hold most positions of power in politics and business, and there’s plenty of crude sexism in technology. But China has quietly become one of the best places in the world for women venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Chen raised a new $500 million fund, the biggest ever by a woman, according to Preqin, and increased her assets under management to about $1 billion. The largest women-led fund in the U.S. was about half that size, according to Preqin’s data.

“China is fundamentally different,” said Gary Rieschel, an American who founded the China-based Qiming Venture Partners, where four of the nine investing partners are female. “The venture capital industry in the U.S. has been a private men’s club. It has been much more of a meritocracy for women in China.” 

H Capital is based in a modern tower in the northeast corner of Beijing overlooking the new diplomatic district. The airy offices have wood floors and white brick walls, and a more casual vibe than the firms on Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley. One wall is decorated with a framed charcoal drawing of a menacing-looking robot by one of Chen’s children.

Chen agreed to an interview after prodding from Lu, her former partner. Despite Chen’s penchant for privacy, Lu argued that women have the best chance to excel by helping each other and sharing experiences of victory and defeat. They sank into brightly colored bean bag chairs, where the partners usually meet with entrepreneurs and investors, and talked over fresh-cut watermelon and mineral water. “I like to bring everyone down to floor level,” joked Lu.

Chen was hardly destined for greatness. She grew up in Hubei Province, in a city famous for its gymnasts. Her parents, a high school teacher and an accountant, were neither rich nor politically connected. She was nonetheless a gifted student who got into China’s top university and won a rare full scholarship for graduate school in America, the chance for a better life.

She nearly blew it. Lonely and homesick, she abandoned the prestigious grant to join Chinese friends at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The only course available was in library science, so she studied to be a librarian. “In my heart, I knew I wouldn’t be an academic,” Chen said.

After finishing her degree, Chen answered a help wanted ad in the New York Times for a librarian at the New York media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson LLC in 1994. She got the job and in those early Internet days she managed file cabinets full of corporate records. Her meticulous company reports soon drew the attention of CEO John Suhler. “She added new meaning to the word diligent and to the words due diligence,” said Suhler. “She was better than any of our MBA associates.”

Chen was called XC because her colleagues didn’t understand the order of Chinese names and she was reticent to correct them. Suhler eventually promoted her to work on deals. “He kept sending me requests after he’d read a clip in the paper,” Chen said. She was the only Chinese woman at the firm.

Chen gained confidence as she gained experience. She worked on some 45 publishing and education deals, and was promoted again, this time to managing director. 

She met Tiger Global founder Chase Coleman in 2003 through mutual connections. He originally recruited her to work at a Chinese e-commerce company he had invested in called Joyo.com. It turned out that Joyo.com’s CEO was her old high school classmate Lei Jun, who would later become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Asia as founder of Xiaomi Corp. She returned to China in February 2004 to help the company raise money, but the plans changed when the board decided to sell to Amazon.com Inc.

Still, Coleman saw Chen’s potential. They began discussions for her to launch an investment fund specializing in education. Even before she was formally hired, she hit the road to meet with about 70 companies. In October 2004, she officially joined Tiger.

It was an opportune time. China under Communist rule had shunned capitalist practices like private business and Wall Street-style finance. But Deng Xiaoping led a wave of market reforms in the 1980s and with the dot-com boom at the turn of the century, entrepreneurs and venture investors were scrambling to make their fortunes. Few Chinese had been trained in finance, men or women, so the field was wide open for Chen and her peers. “When China got going, there just weren’t that many people,” said Qiming’s Rieschel.

One of Chen’s first investments in 2004 was in New Oriental Education & Technology Group, a provider of test preparation and foreign language courses that was looking to expand. Chen’s college English professor helped start the company and she saw the prospects for private education in China. “My whole generation was basically mentored by New Oriental,” she said. New Oriental went public in 2006 and the shares quadrupled in a year. She had made her first fortune at Tiger.

She also invested in JD.com when it was an upstart in the shadow of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Sensing the company’s margins could grow sharply if they reached a large enough scale, she agreed to a valuation that surprised the tech community. “Everyone thought we were crazy, everyone thought they would die,” she said. “When we looked at it we saw only potential. E-commerce is a pure economies of scale game.”

Through it all, she raised three children. Her work habits would have been unusual, if not unacceptable, in the West. She brought her first-born son to the office every day for three years. She didn’t have a nanny or a helper so he came to virtually every meeting she had, crawling on conference tables and scribbling on walls. 

She says that bringing her children helped build a bond with many of the entrepreneurs she backed. Her son did cry and disrupt meetings, but that didn’t stop her. It gave her a chance to develop a more personal relationship with founders.

She thinks being a woman gave her another advantage: It was easier for her to tell an entrepreneur he was wrong than a male investor. “It’s very politically incorrect to say this, but as a woman I can say things, they do show a special respect for women. Because it’s seen as motherly, you can be much more stern.”

“There were many role models, which was helpful when I started a family”

Chen has set an example that’s made an impact on younger generations. “For me, there were many role models, which was helpful when I started a family and was worried about how to manage being a mom and running a fund,” said Fang of ZhenFund. Fang points to Chen as one of the models that convinced her she could balance the rigorous demands of her job with the role of being a mother.

Now, as these women rise through the ranks of venture capital and private equity, they are working to make sure more can follow in their footsteps. Fang’s nine-member investment team has four women and they’ve put money into more than 30 startups founded or co-founded by women. She is part of a group of more than 150 young female venture capitalists on a WeChat social messaging group. She’s also the only woman on a five-person panel judging startups on “I’m a Unicorn,” China’s version of the television show “Shark Tank.”

Sally Shan, former head of Asia Pacific technology investment banking at JPMorgan & Chase Co., is now managing director of the $37 billion HarbourVest Partners and runs a college mentoring program to encourage female entrepreneurs. Lu, who’s known Shan from her banker days, is a frequent lecturer there. “We’re building a community,” said Lu. “From the upstream limited partners, endowment world, family offices, to the general partners, there’s a lot of females in China that are extremely competent.”

Sexism still seeps into the industry. Chinese technology companies have made a habit of inviting Japanese porn stars to corporate events. One local Internet company hired cheerleaders to provide programmers with extra motivation. Men also lead the biggest venture firms and hold the vast majority of partnership posts, even if it is less than in the U.S. “It’s dangerous to say the field is completely even, because especially in tech, at least at the operational level, there is a huge gender issue,” said Rui Ma, partner for 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based fund. She often finds herself the only women at industry panels. “I also have had friends who are female and who are single who are aspiring founders who have been rejected for funding on the basis of their gender, and been told so point blank.”

Back at H Capital’s headquarters in Beijing, where Chen seems to relish spending hours in bean bag chairs thinking and talking, she admits her own views on women have evolved. She used to believe women didn’t have the broad vision for greatness that defines outstanding entrepreneurs. Not anymore. “Today, there are more and more female entrepreneurs that have totally changed my view,” she said. “They have great vision.”

[Original Article]

MasterCard launches 2016 edition of virtual accelerator Start Path Global

Two companies in APAC have already signed up

By Yon Heong Tung


MasterCard’s virtual accelerator Start Path Global has returned and is calling for applications.

The six-month programme, established in 2014, is a vehicle for MasterCard to collaborate with global early stage startups. Companies do not have to move locations and are not required to offer equity. They will also have access to over 60 MasterCard experts as well as customers of large corporate banks, retail, tech and telecommunications.

Start Path has worked with over 90 companies across 24 countries, tackling different solutions including chatbots, AI and blockchain.

MasterCard is currently running active pilots with or has directly invested in nearly 20 per cent of the companies. Within APAC, it is working with six companies.

MasterCard made investments India-based online payments gateway Razorpay through Start Path. Other alumni companies ViSenze, Moneytree and Kasisto are also working with Start Path to identify growth areas, partnership possibilities and integration plans within and beyond MasterCard.

“We believe every startup is unique and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to working together. We have put in place different mechanisms including pilots with Mastercard business lines, access to our APIs, and connectivity to our customer base and partner networks,” said Stephane Wyper, Global Lead MasterCard Start Path, in an official press statement.

Two companies have recently signed up to join Start Path. They are: Airwallex, an Australian cross-borders payment platform; and, IMG, a VR/AR gesture recognition platform.

Interested companies (non-US only) can apply here. Applications close at 5 pm, Oct 11, 2016.

[Original Article]

Check out the new fintech industry partnerships announced during the IFFC 2016

An MOU-signing ceremony witnessed by President Joko Widodo marked the beginning of the second day

By Anisa Menur A. Maulani


The Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference 2016 (IFFC 2016) entered the second and final day of the event, with fintech industry players using the opportunity to launch a new partnership with fellow startups, conventional banks, and even industry associations.

Several companies even had the opportunity to sign their MOU on stage during the opening ceremony, with President Joko Widodo witnessing the process.

The following are some of the new partnerships announced by startups, banks, and industry association during the event.

P2P lending platform Investree announced their partnership with Bank Danamon on the first day of IFFC 2016.

Bank Danamon will be handling cash management for lending activities facilitated by the Investree platform, which connects lenders to SMEs.

“This is part of a genuine partnership to push for financial inclusion, making the process faster, safer, and more accessible to the public,” said Adrian Gunadi, Chairman and Co-Founder of Investree.

The startup has been working with Bank Danamon since its launch in October 2015.

“At the time there were not that many banks who were willing to talk to us, as we were a new company, and fintech itself is a young industry in Indonesia. But we see that Bank Danamon has the spirit and passion to bridge the needs of the customers and the technology that the bank provides,” Gunadi explained.

IMG_3885 (1)

Dimo CEO Brata Rafly in the company’s booth at IFFC 2016

Dimo – Sinarmas Bank

Mobile payment startup Dimo and Sinarmas Bank were one of the businesses who had the opportunity to sign their MOU in the presence of President Joko Widodo.

According to Dimo CEO Brata Rafly, the partnership can help with the startup’s user acquisition strategy, particularly in consumer education process.

“This year we are focussing on educating the market and securing more partnerships, as consumer education will not be successful without an increase in the number of partners … So the education process has to target three subjects: Merchants, banks, and the customers. And it has to happen at the same time,” he said.

Rafly also stated that the startup is looking forward to announcing another partnership with three banks –one state-owned enterprise and two private banks— in October.

Amvesindo Chairman Jefri R. Sirait (second from left) during a press conference at IFFC 2016

Amvesindo Chairman Jefri R. Sirait (second from left) during a press conference at IFFC 2016


On the venture capital firms side, Venture Capital Association for Indonesian Startups (AMVESINDO) and the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA) announced the formation of the ASEAN Venture Council.

The ASEAN Venture Council will be an umbrella organisation consisting of venture associations interested in the promotion of the ASEAN Venture Capital Ecosystem. It intends to enable its member associations to promote and develop the venture capital industry in a more concerted effort across the region, by leveraging each other’s strengths and capabilities. Particularly in hosting events, advocacy, research, education and deal flows.

“We are expecting to learn a lot from our friends at SVCA and the ASEAN Venture Council … Looking at the enthusiasm from our startup friends in today’s event, we believe that there is a great commitment to building a better ecosystem,” said Jefri R. Sirait, Chairman of AMVESINDO.

The MOU-signing for this partnership was also witnessed by President Joko Widodo during the opening ceremony.

[Original Article]

PE Data Snapshot

The Era of Limited Partner Cooperation

By Palico, 23 Aug 2016

Given that the private equity fundraising market has never been more crowded or diverse than it is today, with a record 2,959 funds seeking capital, it’s hardly surprising that many investors feel hard pressed when it comes to sourcing, vetting and investing in the best private equity opportunities. Indeed, the conviction among LPs that cooperation with their peers will be an increasingly important tool for broadening their resources and improving returns emerges as a striking theme in Palico’s two most recent biannual surveys of limited partners and general partners.

In Palico’s Fall Global Private Equity Compass, 71 percent of limited partners noted that they already share information with other investors and a further 21 percent said they intend to do so, leaving only 8 percent of investors who see no real value in cooperation. Some nine out of 10 investors cooperate to “seek references on funds under consideration” while nearly two-thirds hope to be referred to new potential investment candidates.

Taking the idea of cooperation and information sharing a step further, 57 percent of investors said in Palico’s latest Summer Compass that the resources of limited partners, and hence returns, would improve if more limited partners “joined forces” through investing alliances and mergers. If intentions can be taken as a reliable indicator of future trends – not at all clear given political complications – then the private equity industry should brace for a wave of alliances and mergers among limited partners.

The desire of limited partners to cooperate and even to merge underlines the inadequacy of traditional networks and resources in a private equity industry that’s seen assets under management grow to $4.3 trillion from $30 billion in the past two decades. Once restricted almost exclusively to the U.S., private equity today spans the globe, encompassing a multiplicity of activist, long-term investment strategies rather than just leveraged buyouts and venture capital. By putting limited partners in touch with peers who share the same interests, as well as with fund managers, Palico’s virtual marketplace helps investors maximize their resources.

[Original Article]

MaGIC, Uber and Digi join forces to launch an ideation lab in Malaysia

Selected participants stand a chance to be a part of the ideation lab and travel to Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco

By Dayana Sobri


The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Uber and Digi have launched an ideation lab aimed at growing exciting, impactful business ideas from entrepreneurs within the ASEAN region.

The initiative will provide aspiring startups with an opportunity to be part of the ideation lab and an international exposure trip to San Francisco.

Interested participants with revolutionary ideas can start applying for the programme from today until 17 September 2016.

Following that, a panel from MaGIC, Uber and Digi will handpick the top 20 entrepreneurs to participate in a two week ideation lab, which will run on Digi Incub8 and MaGIC’s pre-accelerator curriculum, at MaGIC’s campus in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

The selected startups will learn how to develop three key aspects of their future business: customer, product and market. These will help the entrepreneurs fine-tune their ideas or concepts and create a working prototype, preparing them for the next stage of seed investments and funding.

After the lab, the top 20 entrepreneurs will have a chance to present their refined business ideas to key executives from MaGIC, Uber and Digi at the Global Entrepreneurship Community event on 2-3 November 2016.

Winners will have the opportunity to meet early-stage investors and other key players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in San Francisco.

“This could be a great springboard for early-stage companies in the region to fine-tune their innovative and revolutionary ideas further before going into the market. We also hope that the lab will provide the participants with a forum for education, mentorship and inspiration, leveraging on the knowledge-based economy. We look forward to your submissions and remember, there are no ideas too small,” said Ashran Ghazi, CEO of MaGIC, in a press statement.

Founded in 2014, MaGIC offers access to local, regional, global investors and partners that are committed to nurturing the startup ecosystem.

Digi Incub8 is a pre-accelerator programme for idea stage startups. It is part of Digi-X, Digi Telecommunications’ innovation lab.

[Original Article]