tryb conducted a survey in late October 2018 to obtain views from fintech companies and limited partners (LPs)[1] on a wide range of topics, including market conditions, the fundraising environment and opportunities in Southeast Asia.

  • Fintechs reported strong growth in their markets and are now focused on scaling and fund raising
  • Over 40% of LPs are planning to increase investment into fintech investment strategies in 2019
  • Nearly 75% of LPs were bullish on fintech in Southeast Asia with Indonesia as the most attractive market
  • Payments, lending and enterprise technologies were the most attractive fintech sectors to LPs
  • Strong demand from fintechs and LPs for investors with specific mandates and expertise in fintech

Both fintech and LPs were optimistic about Southeast Asian growth prospects and the fundraising environment. The survey found that most fintechs expect “moderate to rapid growth” in their markets, while nearly 60% of LPs reported that Southeast Asia is a “very attractive” market for fintech companies.


Herston Powers, Principal at tryb Group, stated “both limited partners and fintech entrepreneurs would like to engage fintech focused investors.  The corresponding expertise, network and focused investment strategy of fintech investors may amplify capital put to work in early stage fintech investments.” Seventy percent of LPs reported wanting to have more access to fintech deal flow and fintech-focused investors.

“The insurance protection gap in Southeast Asia offers new possibilities for innovation in micro-insurance and community-based insurance, where new business models are about to emerge in e-commerce, auto, travel and health protection.”

Evgenia Voronstova, Senior Strategy PM at global financial services company

Over 90% of LPs surveyed agreed that fintech will support financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. Powers continued, “this aligns with a core tryb thesis that fintech and insurtech will help support digitization efforts and address the financing and protection gaps in Southeast Asia.”


The top priorities of fintech companies and their required support from investors may not be too surprising based on the early stage of fintech companies (product-market fit and scaling) in the region.  tryb also collected quotes from fintech entrepreneurs on the topic of investor value creation.

They should apply their network to the best usage of the portfolio companies. Their strength lies in their relationships and their ability to open doors that would otherwise remain closed.”

Fintech entrepreneur feedback on value creation from investors

Co-founder of tryb Group, Markus Gnirck, stated “Southeast Asian companies have raised some capital and are now putting efforts into scaling across the region. It is time to bring products to market and produce numbers for the next fundraising round.” Three quarters of fintech companies are currently fund-raising based on survey responses. He continued, “one of the most underappreciated challenges for entrepreneurs is balancing the effort needed to raise capital and managing a business to scale. Singapore has remained the ASEAN fintech capital with respect to number of fintechs, while Indonesia was selected by investors as the most attractive market in 2018.”

Powers concluded, “we are encouraged by the survey results and as an early stage fintech investor will use these insights to enhance our value creation framework for fintech entrepreneurs and interaction with the investment community”.

Survey Respondents

tryb surveyed over 85 respondents from a wide range of fintech (53) sectors and limited partner (33) segments.

Fintech Respondents (by Sector) Fintech Respondents (by Home Market) Fintech Respondents (by Company Stage)
Limited Partners Respondents (by Type) Limited Partners Respondents (Mandates)

Survey Results and Findings

What is your view on the fund raising environment for fintech  companies over the next 6-12 months?
Do you plan to increase or decrease your investment to the following in 2019?
Fintech- Fundraising Environment Limited Partners- Future Investment Plans for 2019
Majority of fintechs were optimistic about fundraising with nearly two thirds reporting a “strong to extremely strong” fundraising environment over the next 6 to 12 months. Over 40% of limited partners are planning to increase their investment allocation to fintech, while 35% are also aiming to increase their exposure to Southeast Asia.
How would you rate your market?
Overall, how would you rate the attractiveness of Southeast Asia market for fintech companies?
Fintech- Market Growth Prospects Limited Partners- View on Southeast Asia Market
Fintechs were notably bullish on their own market growth prospects. Nearly half of fintech companies reported “moderate growth” in their markets, with another 47% that reported “rapidly growing” markets. Only 2% of startups expect their markets to decline. Corroborating some of the views of fintech companies, nearly three quarters of LPs view Southeast Asia as a “Very or Extremely” Attractive market for fintech.
Which areas do you believe are the most attractive in fintech?
Which markets are the most attractive in Southeast Asia?
Limited Partners- View on Most Attractive Fintech Sectors Limited Partners- View on Most Attractive Southeast Asia Markets
On a sector basis, limited partners rated Payments (39%) as the most attractive fintech sector for investment, which was followed by Lending (16%) and Enterprise Technology (16%). Limited partners ranked Indonesia as the most attractive market (48%) in Southeast Asia, which was followed by Singapore (32%).
Will Fintech and Insurtech help address financial inclusion issues in Southeast Asia?
Limited Partners- Fintech will help address Financial Inclusion Issues in Southeast Asia Limited Partners- Insurtech will help address Financial Inclusion Issues in Southeast Asia
  • The vast majority of limited partners agreed that fintech and insurtech will help address the financing and protection gaps in Southeast Asia.
  • However, there was a higher level of uncertainty around insurtech’s impact compared with fintech in the areas of Southeast Asia Financial Inclusion.
Do you want access to early stage fintech venture capital funds or fintech deal flow in Southeast Asia?
Limited Partners- Do you want Access to Early Stage Fintech Venture Capital Funds or Fintech Deal Flow in Southeast Asia
Notably, 70% of limited partners would like access to fintech deal flow and fintech focuses venture capital funds. Another 23% were willing to consider investment in fintech while less than 10% were closed to the idea of investing in fintech.
What are your company’s top priorities?
What are the most impactful ways that investors can help a company achieve their goals?
Fintech- Top Priorities for a Fintech Company Fintech- Most Impactful Ways that Investors can help a Fintech Company
Scaling (29%) was reported as the top priority by fintech respondents, which was followed by Fund-raising (24%) and Sales (18%). Notably, these priorities do not completely align with the desired support the companies would like from their investors. Nearly a third of fintechs reported that investors should focus on fundraising for value creation support from portfolio companies. Fintechs also feel that investors can add value by by leveraging networks (15%) and assisting with scaling (14%).
How would you rate the overall value creation support for your top priorities from your existing investors?
Fintech- Value Creation Support from Investors
  • Over half of fintechs reported that their shareholders were providing “Very to Extremely” Valuable support with regards to value creation.
  • However, there were a fair amount of respondents that were less positive on the value creation support they receive, which may indicate that investors may need to consider focusing on the most impactful areas of fintech value creation.
On average, how often do your investors provide guidance, advice or operational support?
How would you like frequency of guidance, advice or operational support from your investors to change?
Fintech- Frequency of Guidance, Advice or Operational Support from Investors Fintech- Frequency of Guidance, Advice or Operational Support from Investors
Approximately a third of fintech companies receive guidance, advice or operational support from their investors every month, which was followed by ad-hoc (22%) and weekly (18%) support. Fintech respondents were split with regards to the desired amount of investor support, with approximately half satisfied with current support and the remainder wanting increased frequency of support.
Is your company currently fund-raising?
Fintech- Is your Company Currently Fund-Raising
As of the end of October 2018, 75% of fintechs were in fund-raising mode.
In the past, have you met with or pitched to a fintech focused investor?
In the future, would you like to meet or pitch to more fintech focused investors?
Fintech- Have you engaged a Fintech Focused Investor Fintech- Would you engage more Fintech Focused Investors
Over 85% of respondents have met with a fintech focused investor while nearly 40% reported they would have liked more access to fintech focused investors in the past. Almost all fintech respondents would want to access more fintech focused investors in the future.
What is the typical number of VC fund investments you make per year?
What is the average size of VC investment (in USDM)?
Limited Partners- Number of Venture Capital Fund Investments (per Year) Limited Partners- Average Venture Capital Fund Investment (USDM)
Most LPs reported making up to 5 venture capital fund investments with typical ticket sizes between USD 1–10 Mn per year. Most funds in our sample invest USD 1-10 Mn per venture capital deal, with very few funds operating in the mega–size deal market.

Selected Quotes

Create a viable ecosystem for investee companies to leverage and derive value.

Investors should help founders balance short and long term goals, and be realistic as to what a given level of investment can achieve. Leveraging an initial investment to attract other investment is especially crucial in the early stages.

Fintech are looking for resilient investors who are able to invest in vision, team and products.

They should apply their network to the best usage of the portfolio companies. Their strength lies in their relationships and their ability to open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

Helping with knowledge and network is the most sensible place an investor can bring in value without trying to disrupt the whole business.

The Chartbook

For additional insights including quotes directly from the surveyed fintechs and limited partners, contact us for the PDF version of the chartbook.


We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Evgenia Voronstova as one of the authors of this research. Evgenia is a Senior Strategy Project Manager at a global financial services company. She has over a decade of experience in banking, insurance and technology. We would also like to express our gratitude to Claudia Zeisberger for her feedback on this research. Claudia is the Senior Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences and Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise at INSEAD, and the Founder and Academic Director of the school’s private equity centre (GPEI). Finally, a special thanks to Lydia Ng and Ayushi Sharma for their assistance with this report.

For more information on the tryb Fintech and Limited Partner Survey 2018 contact Herston Powers.

[1] Limited partners are defined as organizations and individuals investing into funds and other non-direct investment entities. Investors are defined in this survey as organization and individuals that invest directly into fintech companies.