Ten leading fintech companies have been selected for the seventh annual FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific, a mentorship program created by Accenture that helps startups fine-tune their business plans and solutions by pairing them with mentors from leading financial institutions.
This year’s program received applications from 162 companies across more than 30 countries, with solutions related to the five themes for the 2020 program: data & analytics; digital bank solutions; emerging technologies; health insurance ecosystem; and intelligent automation.
Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, natural language processing and other technologies, the 10 selected startups — which hail from seven markets, including India — have developed innovations designed to help financial institutions address a variety of challenges, including keeping up with compliance requirements, analyzing large volumes of structured and unstructured data, and building more-personalized customer products and services.
The Lab will partner startups with senior executives from the participating financial institutions, as well as with technology entrepreneurs and industry experts. The mentors will work with the companies to further develop their solutions and business strategies through a series of virtual meetings, user-group sessions, workshops and networking opportunities, helping them connect with potential customers at top institutions.
“The quantity and high caliber of this year’s applicants have resulted in an extremely strong class for the 2020 program, and the pandemic has not stopped the demand for more innovation in financial services,” said Ravinder Chhabra, a managing director at Accenture and the executive sponsor of the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific program in Hong Kong. “In fact, we’re seeing more firms accelerate their digital transformation journeys, and investors are increasingly looking at fintech solutions to help banks, insurers and payments firms improve how they operate and serve customers. We remain committed to nurturing a healthy forum for startups and financial institutions to learn from each other and continue to innovate.”
Sonali Kulkarni, Lead – Financial Services, Accenture in India said, “We are seeing some fantastic innovation coming out of India’s fintech ecosystem, be it for digital payments, credit and risk management, underwriting or security. As per an Accenture analysis of data from CB Insights – a global venture-finance data and analytics firm, released in February 2020, fintech investments in India nearly doubled, to US$3.7 billion in 2019, making the country the world’s third largest fintech market.”
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is a collaboration between Accenture and leading financial institutions, which this year include AIA International Limited; Bank of America; BlackRock; China Construction Bank (Asia); Credit Suisse; Dah Sing Bank; Generali; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited; J.P. Morgan; Macquarie Group; Maybank; Morgan Stanley; Natixis; Saxo Markets; Société Générale; SC Ventures by Standard Chartered; Sun Life; ZA International; and Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.
The 2020 Lab formally kicks off in October and culminates in December, when the participants will present their solutions at a virtual Demo Day to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.
The 2020 FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific participants are:
- Knight FinTech (India) – A Singapore- and India-based fintech, Knight FinTech provides an AI-powered, SaaS-based treasury management and credit assessment platform to help financial firms increase returns and decrease risk. Its interest rate and credit risk models analyze millions of data points to provide actionable insights to treasury managers or dealers taking a position on yield curve or taking a corporate credit risk exposure.
- Fedo (India) – Fedo’s algorithm quantifies an individual’s risk for various diseases and his/her propensity to file a claim over the next few years, based on a photograph, enabling insurers to onboard and underwrite customers digitally with little to no manual intervention. The solution has helped Fedo’s retail health insurance clients reduce underwriting costs by 50% and turnaround times by more than 70%.
- Fano Labs (Hong Kong) – Specializing in speech recognition and natural language processing technologies across a wide variety of languages and dialects, Fano Labs helps enterprises with customer service, compliance and other lines of business, enabling them to accurately identify potential compliance risks, reduce costs, and uncover potential sales opportunities.
- KADA (Australia) – KADA’s AI-based platform, known as K, enables financial institutions to scale data knowledge across the organization. By analyzing millions of event logs, K helps companies identify hidden context of data, understand how its people use data, and create networks between data stored in data warehouses, data lakes and analytical tools — giving people the knowledge they need to deliver faster and better data outcomes.
- Flybits (Canada) – Flybits is a leading customer experience platform for the financial services sector, delivering personalization at scale. With an extensive collection of customizable modules that preserve consumer privacy, Flybits enables banks to increase speed to market, and maximize return on investment through its digital channels. Flybits enables financial institutions to elevate their mobile apps, creating a ‘human-touch’ experience and advancing the customer experience beyond transactions.
- SPIN Analytics (United Kingdom) – SPIN Analytics helps tier-one and digital banks improve credit risk management with its explainable AI-based platform, RISKROBOT™. The platform provides 10x acceleration of model development, validation, documentation and deployment, which reduces maintenance time by at least 90% and total costs by 70%. Encoding 28 years of credit risk-modeling experience into AI and insights, the platform helps banks make decisions and control assumptions. The solution covers all types of credit risk models for regulatory, risk management, and business purposes.
- Capitalise.ai (Israel) – An Israeli-based startup offering non-technical traders the ability to automate their trades, using free-style text with no coding needed. Capitalise.ai’s trading platform turns text into complex algorithmic trading strategies, using natural language processing technology. Capitalise.ai’s platform is already being used by leading brokers around the globe, amplifying their performance by offering their traders a unique trading experience.
- UVAS (Singapore) – UVAS (by Atlant.io) is a securities exchange offering primary issuance of shares and debentures, secondary trading and optimized post-trade process, with automatic clearing, settlement and custody, all at 90-95% cost savings compared to other exchanges. UVAS strives to remedy the situation of illiquidity and opaqueness in capital markets and serves as a turnkey solution for the alternative asset space.
- Symbo (Singapore) – Symbo uses its proprietary digital insurance platforms to digitize insurance distribution in partnership with insurance companies. Its award-winning mobile app helps insurers digitally engage with intermediaries, tied agents and financial advisors by simplifying insurance transactions.
- Staple (Singapore) – Staple’s cognitive AI-based solution helps reduce the costs of back-office operations, such as compliance and onboarding checks. By combining computer vision, natural language processing, optical character recognition and machine learning, the solution can read, interpret and extract data from documents at scale, regardless of layout, format or language.
Launched in Hong Kong in June 2014, the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific has received more than 1,000 applications since its inception, and the program’s 49 alumni companies have raised US$525 million and created more than 1,500 jobs after participating in the program.
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is modeled on similar programs that Accenture co-founded in New York and London in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Globally, the Labs’ alumni companies have raised, in total, approximately US$2 billion in venture financing after participating in the program.