As the FinTech industry in the Asia Pacific region continues to boom, many entrepreneurs are founding innovative startups that are reshaping the way we interact with financial technology. Here is a list of the leading FinTech entrepreneurs in APAC to keep an eye on.
In 2020, the FinTech industry received a total of US$14.8 billion in investment in the APAC region. And, over the last two years, consumer usage rates of FinTech-powered services have tripled as China, India, and Singapore continue to be the largest FinTech ecosystems for startups. Here is a list of 9 FinTech entrepreneurs with amazing startups in the APAC region who are revolutionising the financial sector.
Fred Ngan and Michael Chan
Bowtie is the first virtual insurer in Hong Kong, it is also a licensed life insurance company co-founded by serial InsurTech entrepreneur Fred Ngan, and Michael Chan. They created Bowtie with the goal of providing consumers with a more transparent, affordable, and simplified insurance solution. Since it was founded in 2017, Bowtie has raised a HK$234 million in series A funding from Sun Life Financial in just a year. Besides co-founding Bowtie with Michael, Fred was also involved in founding two more InsurTech startups– Seasonalife and Coherent.
Cryptocurrency is slowly dominating the financial industry, and more industries are already pivoting into using digital currencies instead of physical coins and bills. Currently, it is estimated to grow 67.3% by 2025 alone. Wanting to support this growing need, bitFlyer is a Tokyo-headquartered global cryptocurrency firm with over 2.5 million users worldwide. Founded by Yuzo Kano, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs as an Equity Derivatives Trader for 6 years, he also designed bitFlyer’s next generation blockchain-type database “Miyabi” which achieves 2,000 crypto-transactions per second. In addition to Miyabi, Yuzu’s goal is to continue to uphold the reputation of bitFlyer being the leading bitcoin exchange and marketplace in Japan.
Michael M. Steibl
Micheal Steibl is a German entrepreneur who co-founded Rabbit Finance, Thailand’s leading financial marketplace. Using their free comparison tool, Rabbit Finance aims to provide customers with an unbiased, transparent, and trustworthy financial choice of insurance. Since its founding, the InsurTech company has already received US$15 million in funding alongside 3 investors. Currently, they have more than 1.2 million customers using their platform and have worked with firms like Aetna, AIA, Generali, and Citibank.
Widely known for being one of the most respected VC investors in Singapore and China, Jenny Lee mainly invests in startups working in EdTech, AI, FinTech, and Robotics. Currently, Jenny is a managing partner at GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm that mainly invests in multi-stage and sector-focused investments. The firm has backed more than 400 companies including Poshmart, XPeng, Airbnb, and Alibaba. Since 2011, Jenny was listed by the Forbes’ Global 100 VC Midas List as a top venture capitalist, and ranking as the #1 woman and #10 overall in 2015.
Nguyen Ba Diep
The digital economy is expected to grow US$200 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 18%. Within APAC, the payment industry will reach $295 billion, increasing 7.5% each year. This led to Nguyen Ba Diep founding Momo, Vietnam’s leading mobile e-wallet payment service. Currently, the company serves more than 8 million users. Momo has also reached investor interest from Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Private Equity, and has raised at least US$100 million from six global investors. The company is expected to go public and become a super app by 2025.
HiHedge is a robo-advisory platform for retail investors looking to invest in hedge funds, offering AI-driven trading strategies. They provide options for investors to select investment opportunities or available strategies, using data from Google TensorFlow. They aim to create unbiased, personalised, affordable, and optimised services to transform the investment business. Co-founded by Chiachi Ku,
HiHedge targets Taiwan and Singapore markets and plans to further expand into Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.
Evan Wong and James Han
CheckBox was founded by Evan Wong and James Han in 2016. The Australia-headquartered platform provides a no-code and automation solution for finance professionals and organisations to easily build workflow solutions. Their goal is to eliminate dependency on IT teams and avoid the whole process of taxes, auditing, regulatory and legal concerns, which can often stunt time-to-market in financial services. Since 2018, Checkbox has raised US$1.8 million in an angel round in 2018. Besides co-founding CheckBox with James Han, Evan Wong was 17 years old when he also founded Hero Education, Sydney’s Best HSC tuition service.
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