Standard Chartered and SuperCharger announced the successful completion of Hong Kong’s first home-grown Financial Technology accelerator programme. The programme was launched in October 2015 to find top FinTech start-ups to participate in a 12-week structured curriculum which aims to help them grow in Asia.
“Standard Chartered is proud to have concluded its first accelerator programme jointly with Supercharger in Hong Kong. We had great cross-industry collaboration from different players in the Hong Kong and China FinTech ecosystem and it provided the start-ups with opportunities to build on their strategies and businesses,” commented Standard Chartered Global CIO Anju Patwardhan. “It is part of our ongoing commitment to encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. For example, the Bank recently announced the opening of the eXellerator, our state-of-the-art innovation lab located in Singapore to accelerate the implementation of our digital solutions for our business.”
The program reached its first significant milestone in its journey to creating FinTech partnerships, Financial Services (Finserv) collaborations and fund raising opportunities. The Demo Day showcased in front of over 250 attendees the three key performance indicators of the program:
- FinTech x FinTech partnerships: Gatecoin, an early stage start-up has partnered with MicroCred, one of our later-stage FinTech companies, further confirming the potential strength of the programme’s unique structure of accepting both early start-ups and later-stage growth companies at the same time. This partnership allows Gatecoin to scale beyond Asia into Africa.
- FinTech x FinServ collaborations: Amareos has confirmed its relationship with Thomson Reuters, exemplifying how FinTech startups can empower traditional financial services firms by reinventing the competitive edge and innovative spirit of new opportunities.
- Fund raising opportunities: MicroCred has closed a HK$558 million (US$ 71 million) of capital investment round within the last two weeks of the programme. The funds raised will be used for the expansion of MicroCred in China and the development of their internet finance strategy. The SuperCharger Investors’ Demo Day was also held on 6 April 2016 to provide the best opportunity for the start-ups to meet over 30 potential investors.
“The vision to have both early and later-stage FinTech companies is a reflection of the necessity to accelerate growth of start-ups both during the programme but also among the cohort itself. We demonstrated the value of this model and this has made us hands down one of the most successful FinTech accelerator programs,” added SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator Programme Founder Janos Barberis. “Deeply rooted in Hong Kong, we are also able to demonstrate that this city can attract some of the world’s most successful FinTech companies whilst nurturing the outstanding local talents.”
FinTech companies supported by SuperCharger have benefited greatly from the programme. One of the late stage companies in the SuperCharger programme, MicroCred, has closed a US$71 million round during the programme. Eko Financial Services has grown at a rate of 500,000 new customers per month. On the China side, WeCash now has over 35 million users, growing by 5 million new customers within the course of our 12-week programme. Neat reimagines banking for the future generation, Amareos analyses the sentiment of the crowd to better invest, GateCoin provides the backbone infrastructure to allow financial firms to operate and Funding Society finances the SMEs representing the heart of growth and employment within Asia.
The SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator Programme is a partnership between Standard Chartered, together with Baidu and TusPark Global Network. On 7 April 2016, Supercharger hosted its first Demo Day in Hong Kong for the top eight start-ups selected out of 160 applications. The event drew over 250 potential clients, investors, senior executives and supporting organisations together and showcased the innovative business ideas from the startups, including Amareos (Hong Kong), Eko Financial Services (India), Funding Societies (Singapore), Gatecoin (Hong Kong), Jade Payments (United Arab Emirates/ Hong Kong), MicroCred (Hong Kong), Neat (Hong Kong) and WeCash (China). The start-ups are now showcasing internationally their solutions with Amareos being presented at Innovate Finance Global Summit today in London and Neat co-founder being represented at the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia Summit in Singapore in May 2016.