Start Singapore: CIMB partners fintech accelerator

CIMB Group CEO Zafrul Aziz (below, left) with co-founder of Startupbootcamp FinTech Markus Gnirck. The bank is partnering the company to mentor start-ups.
CIMB Group CEO Zafrul Aziz (below, left) with co-founder of Startupbootcamp FinTech Markus Gnirck. The bank is partnering the company to mentor start-ups.PHOTO: STARTUP- BOOTCAMP FINTECH

CIMB partners fintech accelerator

Malaysian bank CIMB is partnering local accelerator Startupbootcamp FinTech to mentor financial technology start-ups.

It will take an active role in offering business advice and banking expertise to the new batch of fintech start-ups joining Singapore-based Startupbootcamp's next accelerator bootcamp programme.

CIMB Group chief executive officer Zafrul Aziz said CIMB not only aims to advance financial innovation in the region, "but also create inroads for these fintech businesses in growing markets such as Thailand and Indonesia".

For CIMB, the partnership also opens up further avenues for collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas with these start-ups to grow fintech in Asia, he said in a media statement. The partnership agreement was inked here recently.

Startupbootcamp will open its next accelerator programme for about 10 start-ups early next year.

According to the media statement, to invite submissions from potential fintech start-ups, it will organise a FastTrack tour that will be held in 14 cities in Asia.

At each city, the FastTrack tour will provide start-ups with the opportunity to pitch before an audience of financial industry experts and angel investors and receive one-on-one advice on their business plans.

It is not a pre-requisite for start-ups to participate in this tour. They will get good experience pitching before industry experts and receive feedback.

Mr Steven Tong, managing director of Startupbootcamp FinTech, said he is looking for fintech start-ups in wealth management and cryptocurrency technology.

But he is also interested in seeing more back office and compliance solutions as well as the traditional fintech strongholds like financial inclusion and payments.

Money transfer app

Locally based money transfer start-up Toast has raised US$850,000 (S$1.2 million), led by Aetius Capital. Other investors include global private equity firm ACE & Company.

Toast takes the pain out of sending money abroad, particularly for foreign workers. Its innovative money upload facility, computer-aided customer verification and risk screening makes sending money overseas more convenient.

In a media release, founder Aaron Siwoku said: "Singapore is a great place for us to start as it is one of the most innovation- friendly centres in the world right now."

Toast is targeting Filipino workers here and in Hong Kong who regularly queue for a couple of hours on their day off to remit money home.

The Toast app is being developed now and will be available in Singapore for Android phone users from next month.

Toast will be expanding to Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar.


Building a B2B start-up

TradeGecko was born out of a friend's battle to manage inventory for his apparel business.

Today, this start-up's inventory platform has become core to the operations of thousands of small and medium businesses.

Co-founder Cameron Priest will share how he built this start-up, which has raised over US$10 million (S$14 million) to further expand on this success. Mr Priest will speak at The Hub on Prinsep Street on Oct 22 at 7pm. To register for the event, go to https://www.eventbrite.com and follow the links there.

Grace Chng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2015, with the headline 'StartSingapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe