First-ever Startupbootcamp Fintech accelerator demo tour winds up in Tokyo


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.

Steven Tong, Managing Director of Startupbootcamp FinTech

The Fintech Accelerator program run by Startupbootcamp, based in Singapore and lasting three months long, held its first ever Demo Tour in Asia. Commencing with its home base in Singapore on July 5th, the 10-day “Odyssey” of 11 participants from seven countries entailed visits to Chengdu and Hong Kong in China before winding up on July 14th in Tokyo, Japan (albeit on the final day only eight startups gave pitches, three firms of AIM from Korea, Fugle from Taiwan and Smartfolios from Russia being absent). In Tokyo, the Demo Tour was hosted by Finolab, with support from local partners.

Startupbootcamp is the accelerator arm of venturebuilder/design studio/consultancy Rainmaking, which has 11 offices on three continents. In Asia they seek to promote entrepreneurial problem solving within corporate teams across multiple industries. The Tokyo visit was opened by a Startupbootcamp Asia representative who outlined the endeavor and paved the way for the startups that had made it to Japan, with the day being ended by the Startupbootcamp FinTech Program Director summing up the tour.

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An overview of the pitches by the eight are as follows:

CherryPay (Singapore)

Singapore’s CherryPay presented their international Peer-to-Peer money transfer matching platform, which has the backing of Amazon Web Services as well as Cisco Systems. Chief Marketing Officer Kate Wu said her company provides reasonable rates and affordable service fees in addition to quick receipt of funds via local bank accounts through leveraging of its transborder network.

Smallticket (Korea)

Another businesswoman, who stood out in an attention-grabbing garb emblazoned with her company logo, was Julie Kim Jung Eun, Founder and the top officer at Smallticket of Korea. This online social insurance broker outfit, which minimizes risks using Peer-to-Peer rewarding platform, underscored the merits for micro-segment groups that utilize their system.

Vesl (the Philippines)

An all-Filipina management team as represented by the lady in charge of product development spoke on behalf of Vesl. It was noted that trade credit insurance at bite size was being availed to SMEs and others such as farmers cooperatives hitherto ineligible to gain access to cheaper financing. The startup from the Philippines now has an agreement with a global insurance broker.

Morakot (Cambodia)

Speaking of the Philippines, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Sophorth Khuon, of Cambodia’s Morakot offering microfinance, unveiled his company’s expansion plan into the island nation in 2018, following this year’s entry into Myanmar. He highlighted the problems faced by emerging markets, which his startup seeks to address with a business model based on core banking.

Scalend (India)

Regarding solutions for difficult challenges as exemplified with dealing with Big Data, Scalend showcased its AI-backed data and insights discovery platform for financial services companies. Ravi Madhira, who is one of the two co-founders, talked about how he and his business partner had over forty years of collective experience in building internet scale systems. (India)

As for AI, co-founder Yash Kotak of outlined their social media-use e-commerce enabler which realizes Instant Checkout among other things. The auto-engage sales based on jumper tech can be used on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, with planned adoption on other social media like Line in the near future.

Tixguru (Singapore)

Another Artificial Intelligence user, Singapore-based startup Tixguru, focuses on quantitative trading recommendations for financial institutions. Its robot advisor, according to Chief Operating Officer James Ong, is grounded in a decade-long experience in this business sector.

Smart Trade (Japan / China)

Smart Trade, with a base in both Japan and China, is also involved in “quant trading” although in this startup platform’s case the target market comprises individual investors. CEO@Japan and co-founder Tomoyuki Uchida highlighted their Algorithm Store and Algorithm Factory lines. The company CMO and co-founder Guangzhen Li is also known for being active in this arena.