Financial technology, commonly known as Fintech, is the term used to define emerging technologies aimed at enhancing and automating the provision and usage of financial services. Fintech helps companies, businesses and customers in managing their financial processes and operations better through the use of specialized computer and smartphone software and algorithms. In the 21st century, when Fintech emerged, it was used to describe the technology employed at the back-end of financial institutions; but now, gradually, the definition has become more consumer-oriented. A large number of financial platforms and apps are making use of the latest fintech innovations to power ahead.
Singapore and the Fintech Market
With 52 per cent market share in South-East Asia (SEA), Singapore has become the centre for the burgeoning fintech industry. The country currently has 490 + startups, and the top 3 biggest sectors are the payment, lending and investment industries. Although Singapore stepped in very late into the fintech market, it has managed to become the “Fintech Hub” of South-East Asia. For Asian operations, MNCs have their first choice as Singapore. With the assistance of the regulators and government, Singapore has grown and established itself as the largest fintech market.
However, the Singaporean fintech market saw a downfall during 2016 and 2017 because of some complications in the authorization process. The investment in the fintech market was $141 million, and the market crossed $83 million. Ever since the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been actively working to streamline the authorization process to attract the latest fintech entities to Singapore, this has made it the capital of fintech market in Asia. According to research by Accenture, fintech companies of Singapore saw a rise of $735 million during the first nine months of 2019. Compared to last year, this is a 69% rise.
Leading Fintech Platforms in Singapore
The country offers many advantages to investors, and hence, more than 490 fintech startups now call Singapore their home. Singapore comes with many opportunities for emerging companies. A powerful financial sector, strong physical and digital infrastructure and supportive environment by the government has made it possible for Singapore to lead the fintech market.
The top 10 platforms driving Fintech in Singapore are:
- BetterTradeOff (BTO)
Established in 2015, this Fintech startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced statistical models to offer exceptional life planning solutions. They help in making better decisions related to finance and future planning and is now available in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
It provides a blockchain-powered platform to serve migrant workers, students, travellers, and nomads, etc. by helping them with money transfers across borders. The main focus is to help people abroad who become under-banked. Over two rounds, the funding of Everex was $26.5 million.
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- Validus Capital
Validus Capital was founded in 2015. It acquired its Capital Markets Services (CMS) license in 2017 from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Recently, the startup raised $15.2 million in its funding round of Series B. Validus Capital is a peer-to-business (P2B) platform that brings together small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), institutional lenders and licensed individuals.
TOAST was established in 2015 and is a peer-to-peer (P2P) application for money transfer. The USP of TOAST is that it is transmitting the money faster than conventional money transfer shops and cheaper than banks.
Founded in 2015, it is the first home-grown crowdfunding platform of Singapore. For Asian companies that meet the four-point requirements of the venture, the company provides both equity and lending-based types of crowdfunding. Equity financing means investors are financing companies in return for equity shares, which would allow them potential capital gains and dividends later. With crowdfunding based on loans, investors are lending money in exchange for a legally binding promise to repay the loan on pre-determined dates of time and interest rates.
It is a mobile application which acts as a digital insurance manager. With the help of this app, users can manage their insurance policies through a single platform. Moreover, this app also gives recommendations of insurance plans which suit the users best. Their PAL token was introduced this year, and the PolicyPal Network is aimed at tackling key problems that cross insurance and crypto-asset fields.
Quoine provides financial services like trading and exchange, which are powered by blockchain technology. Through this platform, users are able to trade virtual currencies. They launched their own ICO, QASH in 2017. Soon after, the company revealed that it had raised 350 million QASH with an oversubscribed placement. This made it one of the world’s most popular and successful blockchain fintech ICOs.
- Silent Eight
It is a technology backed up by artificial intelligence (AI) system. It is a system that assists banks and financial institutions fight money laundering and the funding of terrorism. Capitalists from Silicon Valley and Singapore back this regulatory technology (regtech) which uses AI to provide innovative solutions using machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).
InstaReM helps in cross-border money transfer which is secure as well as fast. Many individuals and businesses benefit from this as it is a multi-featured and configurable platform. It provides remittance services for individuals and companies.
Read More: GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Jill Homan, President at DeepTarget
Hatcher+ is a data-driven investment platform which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to find early-stage opportunities in collaboration with world-leading accelerators and investors. It is a next-generation venture firm and uses patented algorithms, real-time tracking and personalized technologies to generate optimal returns for venture investors. It offers information on startups from accelerator programs and affiliate VCs, venture professionals and angel investors.
These are the top 10 Fintech platforms leading in Singapore. With the continued innovation taking place in this space, it is expected that in the near years we can see some more interesting introductions in the Singapore market.