Fintech hub Lattice80 to open in India in global expansion plan

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Singapore fintech hub Lattice80 plans to open an office in India by the end of next month, the first step in a global expansion that will spread to London, New York and the Middle East.

The firm is in discussions with 30 tenants for the 30,000 square-foot space in Visakhapatnam, about 800 kilometers from Bengaluru, chief executive officer Joe Seunghyun Cho said in an interview. The hub can host as many as 100 tech startups, he said.

"While it is difficult to find good engineers for tech startups globally, there are millions of them in India," Cho said. "The pool is strong and deep, and labour costs are low. The country is one of the best places to build tech resources."

Founded in November, Lattice80 says it is the world's biggest fintech hub, providing office space and infrastructure to 85 startups in Singapore. The space also houses the Singapore office of R3, the consortium of global financial firms developing blockchain applications. Lattice80 is funded by Marvelstone Group, which is also headed by Mr Cho and invests in other fintech firms.

Some of the firms taking space in Visakhapatnam are already operating in the Singapore hub and are seeking to expand overseas, Mr Cho said. Among them are Miss Kaya, an online bank for women, and robo-advisers Bambu and Smartfolios.

The India office is part of a global expansion strategy, Mr Cho said. The company plans to open an office in the Middle East this year, then branches in London, New York and Silicon Valley in 2018. He is also in talks to with other Asian cities, including Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bangkok and Ulaanbaatar.