The explosion of financial technology (FinTech) in the West, China and India has been widely reported. Meanwhile, Europe keeps itself busy with Brexit, Open Banking Platforms and PSD2 (Revised Payment Service Directive). China commentary is dominated by the rise of payment ecosystems driven by Tencent and Ant Financial. India has achieved tremendous progress by introducing the new electronic identity systems Aadhaar, a unified payment interface and payment bank licenses.
On 27 July, 2017, tryb lost a founding member, a leader, and most importantly – a dear friend. Magnus battled cancer for several years, fighting the disease to the very end before passing away in St. Louis, Missouri.
A leader, Magnus built and led industry-defining businesses. He was the CEO of Singapore Exchange from 2009 to 2015, elevating it to become one of the world’s largest and leading exchanges. Prior to SGX, he was President of Nasdaq, playing an instrumental role in the eventual merger of OMX and Nasdaq in 2007. Under his leadership, OMX became the world’s largest provider of technology solutions for exchanges and clearing organizations.
A visionary, Magnus held over three decades of experience, reshaping the finance industry during that period. Magnus was Honorary Chairman of the Securities Investors Association (Singapore). He was also a member of the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at Singapore Management University, and Senior Advisor to Bain & Co. in relation to financial markets, exchanges and financial technology.
We, at tryb, will miss Magnus’ leadership, experience and camaraderie that he brought. We will stay true to Magnus’ values and spirit, building on existing momentum to achieve his shared vision.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Big data analytics is not a new phenomenon. However, many financial services companies are still in the early phases of adoption and face challenges securing talent and expertise in this area.
tryb hosted an exclusive breakfast session with the tryb community on big data analytics in financial services. The event included a panel of experts discussing use cases, implementation challenges and cutting-edge techniques. The panel was moderated by Veiverne Yuen, Managing Director (tryb) and included the following panelists:
- Michelle Katics, Co-Founder & CEO (Portfolio Quest)
- Jason Strimpel, CIO (COFCO International)
- Liu Feng Yuan, Director – Data Science Division (GovTech Singapore)
The panel discussed practical insights on privacy and potential use cases with respect to trading, anti-money laundering (AML), fraud detection and large public infrastructure problems. They debated the usefulness of “real-time” data and predictive models in the face of growing anomalies.
Chinsay AB, the leading cloud based platform for end-to-end administration of global commodity and freight contracts, has secured strategic investment of US$4 million from tryb Capital, a Singapore-based growth stage technology investor. The investment will be used to fund the continued development of Chinsay’s next- generation product and expansion into Asian markets.
Chinsay’s platform offers a comprehensive suite of front-end tools and the opportunity to apply back-end APIs to enable clear productivity benefits to not only global traders, shipping companies and brokers but also ports, marketplaces and financial institutions involved in trade and trade finance. Chinsay sees a strong acceleration in growth in Asia alongside its major clients, which include the likes of ADM, Cargill, K Line, Noble Group, NYK, Rio Tinto, South32 and Unipec.
Magnus Böcker, Chairman and Co-Founder of tryb Capital stated, “Singapore’s position as a key shipping and trading hub made it more attractive for tryb Capital to invest into Chinsay. This is a great example of how innovative technologies from anywhere, in this case Sweden, can leverage Singapore as a growth platform into Asia.”
Dag Sundén-Cullberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chinsay commented: “Chinsay’s board and team see this as a great opportunity for the company to take in additional capital for the current expansion phase while staying fully independent and at the same time getting a strategically important shareholder with an active agenda in the technology industry. The tryb team’s experience and network within technology will benefit Chinsay greatly as we continue influencing and driving usage of new technology in the freight and commodities markets.”
The largest FinTech Hub in the world, Lattice80, interviewed Markus about his entrepreneurial journey, the competitive edge of tryb and what advice he would give to startup founders. Read more here.
Share your journey to get to where you are
The past decade took me all the way from working with the Zulu tribe in South Africa in an HIV orphanage, to building carbon fibre clips for airplanes, to scaling up a suit business in Germany, followed by embracing the tech scene in London (CleanTech, IoT, EdTech) to finally financial technology. FinTech was certainly not something that I planned or saw coming. However, when I co-founded Startupbootcamp FinTech over three years ago, it was the right timing in the right place and I knew that I had joined a fascinating industry.
Singapore-based MC Payment announced today it has acquired a controlling stake in Genesis Payment Solutions.
Genesis is a Singaporean payments company that is licensed by Alipay to acquire merchants for the Chinese online payments provider. It also helps businesses adopt payment methods by Global Payment Asia Pacific, Wirecard Singapore, and American Express.
The terms of the deal are undisclosed. MC Payment chief investment officer David Wang tells Tech in Asia the acquisition was made with a combination of cash and MC Payment shares.
Through the deal, MC Payment gains access to Genesis’ clients, mostly small- and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the firm’s merchant-acquiring license with Alipay.
“Chinese outbound tourists to the Asia-Pacific region have been growing at 26 percent the past seven years, with yearly expenditure at US$45 billion,” David says. “This is a great partnership for MC Payment to grow our payment solution products and aggressively target new merchants.”
It seems that the only certainty about what a Trump presidency is going to mean is uncertainty. Trump’s predilection to “tweet first, think later”, his populist and protectionist campaign message, his frequent ‘policy’ reversals, and a wide spectrum of cabinet nominees all add up to confusion and therefore uncertainty in markets as well as in government halls around the world.
There is a growing consensus that interest rates are headed up (there is so little downside that the odds favour this anyway), that risk premia will expand (due to volatility as well as economic and geopolitical risks), and that the greenback will remain strong. History would indicate that this combination generally leads to lower private sector investment and lower valuations around the world. Add to this the challenges that are appearing in regards US trade policy (the TPP has virtually no hope of surviving in its current state, tariffs may be introduced, and increased pressure will be brought on companies looking to move operations offshore) and global companies may well be looking at higher costs and reduced (or even negative) revenue growth. Naturally, ASEAN economics, currencies, and companies will not be spared this global volatility and uncertainty.
Who are the individuals that are driving the fintech wave, that are attracting billions of dollars in funding and that are transforming, and sometimes even disrupting the financial services sector? Besides the big names in Europe and America, where can they be found in Asia?
The Trailblazers of FinTech
They are the trailblazers of this movement, feared by banks, increasingly loved by governments, pushed by venture capitalists and celebrated at conferences. Having personally worked with hundreds of founders in Europe, Asia and North America in the past few years, fintech founders are a special breed. They are steering through regulatory and compliance waters and sometimes jealously looking at their counterparts in other tech industries, e.g. gaming or lifestyle, where scale might be easier and sales cycles shorter. Because fintech ecosystems are starting to take off in Asia, fintech entrepreneurs are the new stars in hubs like Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney.
So, let’s take a closer look at this species of fintech entrepreneur and see what kind of different categories can be identified. And just to be clear, there is no right or wrong. Everyone exists for a reason.
tryb was invited to speak to over 90 Board of Directors of Malaysian Financial Institutions in Kuala Lumpur on 4 August 2016. In 90 min the audience learned about the impact of technology in finance, how banks respond to the trends and what kind of technology companies tryb sees in the market.
Culture: How do we evolve, first leadership and then organisation-wide, to become more agile by being tech-first?
Talent: Where and what kind of non-banking hires can be deployed and what responsibilities can they be given to empower innovation?
Interfaces: How fast can we digitise and create user (Ux) and software (API) interfaces that nurture FinTech partnerships to improve RoE?
Analytics: What kind of data is available and how can we leverage it for better decision making?
Efficiency: What decisions and processes can be automated?
Feedback for tryb
“The Fintech session by tryb is probably one the best session on Fintech that I have attended. The presenters, one with fintech industry experience and the other with regulator and investor experience, gave a good balance of what’s happening in the industry and how to manage changes that will challenge the banking industry. I totally agree with one of the participant who remarked that this session was probably the most concise and effective session on fintech you can do in 2 hours.”
After the much reported fundraise of over US$150M worth of Ether a few weeks ago to start TheDAO (the largest crowdfunded venture fund to date, based on Ethereum Blockchain), an entire ecosystem of decentralised autonomous ambitions were challenged last Friday. An attack on TheDAO sent US$60M worth of Ether to the account of an unknown hacker, exploiting a vulnerability in the way smart contracts distribute resources.