5 Swiss Fintechs That Should Consider Expanding to Singapore & Southeast Asiaby Fintechnews Switzerland August 7, 2018
Switzerland has a long history of doing business in Singapore. Today, over 400 Swiss companies, which mainly operate in the areas of banking, transport and logistics, biotech, insurance and professional services, are present in the city-state. According to the Business Times, these businesses are now employing approximately 28,000 people in Singapore.
Today, the business ties between Singapore and Switzerland are stronger than ever as the two countries look to excel in fintech development and adoption.
For Swiss fintech companies, Singapore acts as the key hub in and a gateway to Southeast Asia, and several of companies have already taken the plunge and entered the market. These include Netguardian, a regtech startup which established its Asia-Pacific (APAC) headquarters in Singapore in February, and Werthstein, a digital wealth management specialist originally from Germany but also operating in Switzerland, which entered the Singaporean market in March through a startup acceleration program.
Ayondo, a European company with offices in Switzerland, Germany, the UK, Spain and Singapore, became the first fintech company to list in Singapore back in March. Ayondo specializes in trading and investment solutions for retail and institutional customers.
Other Swiss fintech firms that recently established a presence in Singapore include Additiv, a robo-advisory services provider, Appway, a company that builds software for financial institutions’ digital transformation, Nektoon, the operator of Squirro, which offers a cloud solution for search-based data discovery and advanced analytics, and insurtech company Entsia.
Who should go Singapore?
But Switzerland also has many promising and fast-growing fintech ventures that have yet to expand to Southeast Asia and should consider doing so rapidly.
These ventures include Contovista, a Zurich-based company that provides banks with personal financial management solutions. The company’s portfolio includes a complete personal finance management solution, a finance management solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as a portfolio analytics solution. Contovista’s clients include Raiffeisen, Aargauische Kantonalbank, Zurcher Kantonalbank, and more.
Another interesting venture is Apiax, a regtech startup. Apiax combines legal and compliance expertise with cutting-edge technology to help clients, including banks and fintech companies, transform complex regulations into digital compliance rules and manage regulations digitally. The platform consists of up-to-date and verified digital rule sets, and a regulatory cockpit for legal and compliance teams to manage regulatory updates, review and deploy them.
One particular area that has a lot of potential in Singapore is services and solutions for SMEs. SMEs are at the heart of the Singapore economy, making up 99% of the city-state’s enterprises.
A player in this field that should consider entering the market is Bexio, a cloud-based business software that gives small businesses, startups and freelancers everything they need to run their enterprises effectively, covering customer management, order processing, bookkeeping, and integrated e-banking. Although recently acquired by Mobiliar, Bexio remains independent and is currently focused on further developing its platform.
Amnis Treasury Services is another interesting player. The company specializes in international payments and treasury services, currency exchange, risk management and related advice for SMEs. The company’s mission is to allow for SMEs to settle foreign exchange transactions on the the same terms as large companies, while being fully transparent regarding its fees.
Finally, as Singapore has set out to become a leader in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, a new and innovative solution from Switzerland is Alethena, a platform that strives to become an initial coin offering (ICO) and blockchain asset rating agency.
Equility, the owner and operator of Alethena, is developing a due diligence methodology that allows evaluating and rating ICO and post-ICO projects based on the decisive technical, business, legal, and governance factors.
Singapore: the gateway to Southeast Asia
From 2014 to 2016, Singapore had seen close to 200 foreign and local fintech companies commence domestic operations, registering the fastest growth rate in Asia.
The boom in Singapore’s fintech industry is attributed to several factors including the business-friendly environment, government support, light-touch regulation, and access to expertise and talent.
Since 2016, the city-state has been hosting one of the world’s largest annual fintech events in the world. The Singapore Fintech Festival, which attracted more than 25,000 participants last year, is coming back from November 12 to 16, 2018, and is set to, once more, bring together the world’s brightest minds in financial services and fintech.
This year again, the Swiss Pavilion will provide Swiss exhibitors with the opportunity to pitch their companies and products to relevant stakeholders, as well as to meet and network with potential clients, partners, end-users, and industry representatives. These will be able to gain a better understanding of what they will need to succeed in Asia’s fintech market.
Featured image via Publicdomainpictures.net.