See the original story in Japanese.
Financial Innovation Business Conference (FIBC) is an annual FinTech startup event which has been offered by Information Services International-Dentsu (TSE:4812, ISID) since
20112012. On 26 February, the 6th batch, FIBC 2016 was held in Tokyo, and domestic and international startups gathered there.
At FIBC, the Financial Technology startups pitch, the so-called “FinPitch,” is a tradition. After tight battles between 22 teams, a trading platform in which users can develop and share investment algorithm through deep learning, called “Capitalico,” won the top prize. In this article, we pick up on the prize-winning startups only.
The following were the judges of “FinPitch”:
- Masakazu Masujima (Mori Hamada & Matsumoto Law Office, Partner & Lawyer)
Mio Takaoka (Executive Director at Monex Group / Managing Director at Monex Ventures)
- Tetsuya Isozaki (Certified Public Accountant, General Partner at Femto Growth Capital)
- Makoto Shibata (Principal Analyst, Global Innovation Team, eBusiness & IT Initiatives Division at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ)
- Hisanori Ogawa (Director, Strategic Research Office at Mizuho Securities)
Top Award winner: Capitalico by Alpaca (USA / Japan)
Prizes: $120,000 worth of free Microsoft Azure cloud credit, Tickets for 2 people and 1-day exhibition booth pass at Tech in Asia Singapore, and artwork by Mr. Iida
Capitalico allows users to develop investment algorithm leveraging the deep-learning technology without having having advanced programming skills. Users can create their own algorithm, and based on it they can receive the trading signals or conduct automated trading. The team is planning to open a marketplace where users can sell their created algorithm during this year.
They will offer the service for $99/month and will target $240 million sales per year. On 7 March, they will release an iOS app to create algorithm on smartphones with several taps. Capitalico is based on Alpaca’s Labellio, an image recognition deep-learning platform, and Alpaca sold Labellio to Kyocera Communication Systems (KCCS) earlier this year.
ISID Special award winner: I’m IN by SMILABLE (Japan)
Prize: Sphero Android BB-8
It is tiresome to collect small sums of money from a lot of people by bank transfer or crowdfunding. “I’m IN” supports users to collect small sums by leveraging social network functions to realize projects. Conceivable use cases are to send birthday presents jointly with several other people or to collect fees at parties.
In the future, they are planning to apply it to the fields of ticket sales or auction, to open a projects gathering marketplace called Ideamall, to add a new function to enable offering a present from several persons by configuring an “I’m IN” button on the top page of e-commerce platforms and develop mobile apps.
Mitsubishi Estate’s Finolab award winner: Shift Payments by Shift Financial (USA)
Prize: Finolab tenancy rights
Y Combinator-backed Shift Payments issues VISA cards which can be settled using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Users can shop or withdraw money at stores or ATMs accepting the VISA card. The used sum will be debited from users’ wallet such as Coinbase linked to Shift Payments account.
Added to this, it is possible to link all sort of store values such as reward cards to Shift Payments Card. The system is integrated with Dwolla for bank account-to-account remittance service via mobile as well as Mint.com for financial account aggregation and analytics service.
Special Award winner: ConsenSys by Consensus Systems (USA)
Prize: Portable Video Projector Sony LSPX-P1
Consensus Systems is working on Ethereum, the foundation of Decentralized Applications (DApps), and Smart Contract (Contacts realized by electronically securing authenticity). Their solution ConsenSys uses private keys and can prove one’s authenticity with blockchain technology. On the other hand, by using public keys, users can retrieve required personal data items for contracts from a previously registered store and both of the parties concerned in the contract can make sure of their authentic presence for each other, upon using smart contracts.
In a demonstration of ConsenSys, they introduced the procedure to conclude a contract for Total Return Swap (a sort of Swap transaction) between two parties by smart contract, and explained the mechanism to follow the changes of each other’s reputation in transactions.
Special Award winner: Eversafe by Everspin (Korea)
Prize: Portable Video Projector Sony LSPX-P1
Everspin’s Eversafe is a server-side security solution for mobile apps and provides security modules that change with time to mobile app developers. By applying different security modules every time the users start apps, it can prevent hacking of mobile services or apps. There are two types of tariff: selling out to app developers as an on-premise environment OR charging users depending on the number of callouts from the module as a cloud-based service.
As the result of 3,245 hacking tests conducted by the South Korean security agency, they scored perfectly as to evaluation of efficiency. In Korea, they are cooperating with local security solution vendors linke Asiana IDT, Koscom and SK Inforsec, and for the global development they tied up with an a worldwide cloud service vendor although they have not yet disclosed the company name. Currently they are seeking a business partner in Japan.
Sony Bank Innovation Award winner: PlugAir Secure by Beatrobo (Japan)
Prize: Personal 3D Printer MakerBot ReplicatorMini
The total annual amount of phishing damage for individuals is 290 million yen (about $2.6 million) in Japan and has increased 60fold over the last 2 years. The annual damage caused by information leakage from companies are $1.27 billion. The causes of phishing and information leaks are primarily password cracking. As smartphones become used more as touchpoints than PCs, securing the smartphone is an urgent issue.
PlugAir Secure is applied from PlugAir, a music gadget developed by Beatrobo, for security purpose and it functions as a security key by plugging this gadget into the earphone jack of smartphones. It can be used as an authentication tool for various mobile apps or services without inputting password. In one PlugAir, users can put authentication keys for up to 30 different services.
Audience Award winner: Shift Payments by Shift Financials (USA)
Prize: Creation right of promotional video
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