Accelerator program marks fifth-year anniversary as fintech investments in Hong Kong surge
HONG KONG; April 13, 2018 – Applications have opened for Accenture’s (NYSE: ACN) annual FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific, a 12-week program that helps early- and growth-stage fintech companies accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to top financial institution executives. Applications can be made at http://www.fintechinnovationlab.com/asia-pacific/ through May 11.
One of Hong Kong’s first fintech accelerators, Accenture’s Lab marks its fifth year of operation as the city firmly establishes its standing among the world’s leading fintech centers, luring millions of dollars in venture capital funding for local startups and serving as a place where companies from other parts of the globe come to develop and offer their technologies and services. Alumni companies from the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific have to date raised US$288 million after participating in the program.
According to Accenture analysis of CB Insights data, investments into Hong Kong-based fintech companies more than doubled last year, from US$216 million in 2016 to US$546 million in 2017 – nearly as much as the total invested in all the fintechs in Australia, Singapore and Japan combined (US$321 million, US$180 million and US$105 million, respectively). Since 2010, Hong Kong fintechs have raised US$940 million, nearly one-third more than the amount raised by Australian fintechs and more than double the amounts raised by fintechs in Singapore and Japan, according to the Accenture analysis.
“The fintech market has evolved significantly since we launched the Lab in Asia-Pacific in 2014, with financial institutions recognizing the real benefits fintech can bring to their business and the value of partnering with startups,” said Adrian Seto, Accenture’s senior director, Innovation & FinTech, Asia-Pacific. “The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific had a marked impact in helping bring together the ecosystem in Hong Kong, and the progress is there for everyone to see, with a surge in fundraising for startups that has helped solidify the city’s position as a major global financial hub.”
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is for entrepreneurs that are developing cutting-edge and disruptive technologies for the financial services sector, particularly in the areas of big data; analytics and cognitive computing; insurance solutions; security and identity management; risk management and compliance; digital marketing and social media; cloud; payments; blockchain technology; and talent management applications. To be eligible for the Lab, applicants must have a working beta version of their technology/solution.
Chief technology officers and senior business and operations executives from the Lab’s participating financial institutions will select up to 10 of the fintech applicants to take part in the Lab through a competitive process and provide them with intensive in-person mentoring in Hong Kong.
The Lab, which begins on July 30, will partner the chosen fintech start-ups with senior-level financial institution executives and leading technology entrepreneurs to help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business strategies through a series of workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings and presentations. Cyberport, which houses the largest fintech community in Hong Kong, will provide work space to participating start-ups. The Lab culminates in October with selected participants presenting at Investor Day in front of an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.
The principal financial institutions for 2018’s Lab are: Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Credit Suisse; Goldman Sachs; HSBC; J.P. Morgan; Macquarie Group; Morgan Stanley; Nomura; Société Générale; Standard Chartered; Sun Life Financial; and UBS. In addition, supporting financial institutions include: BlackRock; China CITIC Bank International; China Construction Bank (Asia); Citi Hong Kong; Generali; Maybank; Siam Commercial Bank; ZhongAn International; and Zurich Insurance.
“We’re living in extremely exciting times, but all the excitement is driven by the disruption that we see across the industry landscape and the only response to disruption is innovation,” said Piyush Singh, a managing director at Accenture and the company’s financial services lead for Asia-Pacific and Africa. “Financial institutions have come a long way in recent years, discovering the value that fintechs can bring to the table and how startups can help more traditional firms innovate. They also understand they need to change their internal culture and adapt their workforce to meet these new requirements and technologies in the digital era.”
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific is modelled on a similar program that Accenture co-founded in 2010 with the Partnership Fund for New York City, the US$150 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. In 2012, Accenture and a dozen major banks in London launched the FinTech Innovation Lab London, with support from the city’s mayor and other government bodies. In 2014 Accenture launched the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong. Globally, the Labs’ alumni companies have raised more than US$1.07 billion in venture financing after participating in the program. In 2017, Accenture worked with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to develop a fintech program in Dubai.
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