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Inaugural SFF x SWITCH to Kick Off Tomorrow with a Focus on Sustainability

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Vlad Poptamas

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The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) will come together for the first time as SFF x SWITCH. Running from 11 to 15 November, this event will gather the global innovation and business community in Singapore. There will be over 400 speakers, more than 900 exhibitors, 41 international pavilions, and about 60,000[1] participants from 130 countries.

2.  Sustainability and Climate Change is the overarching theme of the combined conference this year, given the growing calls for the technology and financial sectors to be enablers and change agents for sustainability. This theme is reflected in the content of the conference, the design of the event space at the Singapore Expo and through the provision of food from sustainable sources. Please refer to Annex A for more details.

3.  The inaugural SFF x SWITCH will feature innovative technologies across five key sectors  FinTech, Urban Solutions and Sustainability, Health and Biomedical Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, and Services and Digital Services  to catalyse cross-industry exchange and learning in technology adoption, application of R&D, and commercialisation of new solutions.

Event Highlights

4.  The event will kick off with the three-day SFF x SWITCH Conference (11-13 November) at the Singapore Expo. The Conference comprises nine stages, where prominent speakers will discuss topics on Sustainability, Finance and Tech; Future of Finance; Investment and Global Markets Opportunities; Exponential Technologies; Global Access to Innovation; Future Directions with Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Healthcare Innovation; Powering Cities of the Future; and Sustaining the Future of Humanity.

5.  Among the speakers at the Conference are Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands; Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Singapore; Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education, Singapore, and Board Member, MAS; Agustin Carstens, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements; Pavan Sukhdev, President, World Wildlife Fund International; Kees Immink, President, Turing Machines Inc; Pat Bajari, Vice President for Core AI, Chief Economist, Amazon; and Sergey Ryazanskiy, Pilot-Astronaut and Hero of the Russian Federation.

[1] As at 10 November 2019

a.  Debuting this year is the Sustainability, Finance and Tech Summit (11-13 November), featuring over 50 speakers who will take the stage to discuss how they are paving the way for a more sustainable future in the world of finance and beyond.

b.  The annual Global Investor Summit (11 November) will bring together 17 venture capital, corporate venture capital and family office investors from San Francisco to Tokyo, to share their strategies for unlocking growth, impacting inclusion, and delivering long-term value creation in the FinTech and Deep Tech ecosystems.

c.  Leading the Deep Tech conference, the Global Access to Innovation track (11 November) will feature perspectives from a myriad of movers and shakers in Asia’s innovation ecosystem. From founders of tech unicorns to senior leaders from both the private and public sectors, conference participants can look forward to finding out more about the opportunities in market access, innovation and investment, in Asia and beyond.

d.  A new summit created this year to spotlight key issues faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is SME Digitalisation and Platforms  Business sans Borders (BSB) (13 November). The sessions in this track will cover pertinent issues such as ‘SME Financing Reimagined’, the ‘Impact of Trade Wars on SMEs and Platforms’ as well as the ‘Roadmap for BSB Beyond 2020’. The discussions will take place at a new Coral Triangle stage, which is designed for more intimate and interactive conversations.

6.  Alongside the Conference is the combined SFF x SWITCH Exhibition curated by SingEx, which showcases innovative solutions in FinTech and Deep Tech from around the world. The 41 international pavilions[2] will display solutions from their respective countries or regions. Visitors can also interact with 20 international financial regulators[3] at the Regulators Zone to learn more about business opportunities and regulations in those countries.

7.  The Innovation SG booth, featuring an interactive TechXperience Zone, will present technology, innovation and enterprise initiatives led by local and international players. From deal-making sessions and workshops, to industry launches and networking events, the showcase presents Singapore’s role as a vibrant Global-Asia node of innovation.

8.  Three exciting Competitions for the global innovation community will reach its conclusion at SFF x SWITCH:

a.  The Global FinTech Hackcelerator Demo Day, taking place on 11 November, will present 20 market-ready FinTech solutions intended to solve real-life industry problems in financial inclusion, insurtech, RegTech and SupTech, and a general category. Winners will be revealed later on the same day.

b.  Winners of the FinTech Awards will be announced on 11 November, recognising innovative FinTech solutions that have been implemented by FinTech companies, financial institutions and technology companies. Attendees can also catch the finalists presenting their 5-minute company pitches on 12 November at the Open Stages[4].

c.  SLINGSHOT 2019 (11  13 November), Startup SG’s marquee startup pitching competition that highlights the best global startups, has a focus on increasing deal-making this year. Semi-finals will take place over the first two days where the SLINGSHOT Top Global 100 Startups across six key tracks[5] will pitch their solutions to over 200 judges comprising industry veterans, corporates, tech giants and investors. More than S$2 million worth of prizes will be awarded. The top 12 startups will vie to be the Grand Winner at the Grand Finals happening on 13 November.

[2]  International Pavilions representing Armenia, Bahrain, Canada, Catalonia, Central and Eastern Europe, Chongqing, Commonwealth, Denmark, Dubai, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Latin America, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, New Zealand, Nordics, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suzhou, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States of America.

[3]  The Regulators Zone will include Abu Dhabi Global Market, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, National Bank of Cambodia, Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, Dubai Financial Services Authority, Autorite de controle prudential et de resolution, Autorite des marches financiers, Bundesbank, Astana International Financial Centre, Central Bank of Kenya, Korea Financial Services Commission, Bank of Lithuania, Securities Commission Malaysia, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank of Thailand and UK Financial Conduct Authority.

9.  Investors and companies can look forward to the following Deal-Making Opportunities at SFF x SWITCH:

a.  Daily Mixers (11 and 12 November), taking place at the Innovation SG booth, will host some of the best-in-class global companies and investors and feature intimate Q&A sessions with top investors.

a.  TechInnovation (11  13 November), the premier technology-industry matching event, will showcase over 150 enabling technologies available for technology commercialisation or licensing. A special UK-Singapore innovation seminar and a thematic track on design-led innovation will also debut at TechInnovation this year.

10.  The Innovation Lab Crawl (14-15 November) will feature research facilities and in-house laboratories from 53 partners in the areas of FinTech, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Urban Solutions and Sustainability, Health and Biomedical Sciences and Services and Digital Economy. Interested parties can sign up at http://fintechfestival.sg/innovation-lab-crawl to see where new product and solutions are tested, learn about how these labs leverage the latest technologies and network with start-ups and key innovation executives.

11.  Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “Each year, in running the Singapore FinTech Festival, we strive towards achieving our vision of making it a global platform for knowledge sharing. This year, our partnership with SWITCH has given us that opportunity to draw a larger technology-focused audience beyond the financial services sector. It has helped propel SFF x SWITCH into a platform for the world to share thought leadership, make meaningful connections and to build better ideas that will benefit our community.”

12.  Mr Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Innovation & Enterprise), Enterprise Singapore, said, “With SFF x SWITCH as one event, we will bring together international tech communities, startups, investors, corporates and other enablers to network, share ideas and discuss collaborations. More than 40 international pavilions will present the latest innovative solutions and technology spanning across diverse sectors and disciplines. SFF x SWITCH presents opportunities for participants to start solving economic and industry challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship.”

[4] These stages are located at the Exhibition and open to trade visitors.

[5]  The six tracks are i) Consumer Products & Services, Media & Advertising, Retail & Food Services, ii) FinTech and InsurTech, iii) FoodTech and AgriTech, iv) HealthTech, BioTech and MedTech, v) Manufacturing, Logistics & Transportation and vi) Urban Solutions, Sustainability & Energy.

13.  Dr Cheong Wei Yang, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NRF, said, “SFF x SWITCH brings out the best of both the Singapore FinTech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology. It is symbolic of Singapore’s national effort to integrate research, innovation and enterprise as an iterative, interactive ecosystem – so that each one will spur the others to greater heights, with the aim of improving lives in Singapore and globally. It will ensure that deep technologies born out of basic science research in Singapore will see impact via the right economic structures and business models, enabled by innovative financing modalities and payment systems. I look forward to seeing many more products and services being launched into the region and the world, from Singapore.”

14.  SFF is organised by MAS, in partnership with The Association of Banks in Singapore, and in collaboration with SingEx Holdings. SWITCH is organised by Enterprise Singapore, NRF and Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) in partnership with SingEx.

 

SOURCE Monetary Authority of Singapore

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Addepar Broadens Reach with Expanded Offerings for RIAs

Vlad Poptamas

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Addepar, Inc., a leading technology platform for wealth management, announced a number of releases aimed at helping RIAs that serve a variety of client types excel in an increasingly competitive market. The new capabilities and features make it easier than ever for firms to adopt Addepar’s modern technology stack, streamline their operations and offer a truly differentiated client experience powered by best in class data, analytics and reporting.

“As the wealth management industry continues to undergo a dramatic transformation, we’re making good on our goal to meet wealth advisors where they are. We’re delivering new functionality in our platform that empowers RIAs to navigate these changes with purpose-built, intuitive solutions so that they can deliver lasting value to clients and grow their business for years to come,” said Addepar CEO Eric Poirier.

Making it easier for RIAs to modernize their tech stack
For established RIAs who want to modernize their reporting technology but find it daunting to make the switch, Addepar is introducing a broader and more flexible set of data migration options to efficiently and precisely fulfill each client’s data onboarding needs. This includes a newly introduced “Advent Converter,” which streamlines migrating data from Advent’s APX and Axys systems into Addepar. Addepar will continue investing in additional data management and conversion solutions to make it easy for any firm to upgrade to Addepar’s technology.

Addressing emerging demand and delivering more client value
Addepar’s strong traction with large RIA firms, banks and broker-dealers has exposed a previously unmet need in the market: the power to use Addepar’s platform for all advisor teams, from those with ultra-high net worth clients to those who serve the mass affluent. Today, the company is introducing AddeparGoSM, an offering that tailors Addepar’s software to the specific needs of these larger firms. AddeparGo is designed with a set of features, capabilities and custodial data feeds that optimize for speedy implementation and make it easy for larger firms who have a range of advisor teams to adopt. The company is making AddeparGo available to key partners and clients now, and will continue shaping this offering based on feedback.

Helping the back-office streamline operations and scale productivity
Many well-established firms have turned to Addepar for its ability to support sizable and complex implementations and provide data aggregation, analytics and reporting at scale. To offer even greater support, the company is pleased to announce the release of Addepar Teams. Teams is a set of advanced controls and permissions to serve firms that need to grant varying access by team, branch, role and functional responsibility. This set of digital capabilities dramatically simplifies the previously time-intensive and error-prone operational process of managing reporting controls, while achieving legal, risk and compliance goals.

 

SOURCE Addepar

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FinTech Startup TheGuarantors Announces New Chief Operating Officer

Vlad Poptamas

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New York-based FinTech company, TheGuarantors, has announced the hiring of Sean O’Donoghue as Chief Operating Officer. Since its founding in 2015, TheGuarantors has been a leader in finding innovative ways to solve for risk in leasing, using its expertise in real estate, risk, and technology. This recent addition to the leadership team reflects the company’s expanding product suite, geographic footprint, and client-base.

Mr. O’Donoghue is a solutions-driven leader with 30 years of proven excellence in developing and executing market leading technology and digital strategies, product development, operations, and financial management at a variety of established companies including DreamWorks Animation SKG, Madison Square Garden, Macerich, Oracle and KPMG. Mr. O’Donoghue excels in helping companies optimize existing business models, and identifying and developing new technology-based solutions. Most recently, Mr. O’Donoghue was Chief Operating Officer at Trōv Inc., a renowned InsurTech startup that powers digital insurance solutions for innovative businesses in the finance, insurance, mobility, and retail sectors, enabling the new ways people live, work and move.

Mr. O’Donoghue’s broad background aligns well with TheGuarantors’ own profile. Having worked in both corporate and startup environments, he has domain expertise in insurance, technology, real estate, media and entertainment, and he has delivered enterprise and B2B solutions, platform technology, as well as direct-to-consumer products. “At TheGuarantors, we pride ourselves on our agility and cross-functionality,” says CEO Julien Bonneville. “Different stakeholders from real estate, risk, insurance, technology, asset-management, etc. come to us for solutions because of how well we work across different verticals and domains – Sean is a perfect fit.” Mr. O’Donoghue adds, “TheGuarantors has established itself as an innovative and execution-oriented player at the cross-section of Real Estate, FinTech and InsurTech. It’s an exceptionally strong team, with a wealth of knowledge and new ideas, and I look forward to helping the company thrive and expand.”

In 2019 TheGuarantors announced $15 million in Series B funding, bringing their total amount raised to $27 million. Last year the company also launched a new product (Securiti, the smart commercial deposit), built out their current product offerings (Guaranti, an expanded program of multifamily products), re-branded, and successfully expanded nationally. With O’Donoghue as a trusted insurance and technology pioneer and leader, TheGuarantors will continue to provide tools, products, and solutions that can change with the market. Their vision is to be the “go-to” most trusted brand for insurance products and financial solutions throughout the real estate industry (servicing every real estate professional, resident and corporate tenant alike).

 

SOURCE TheGuarantors

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American Discovery Capital Announces Strategic Growth Investment in SmartBug Media®

Vlad Poptamas

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American Discovery Capital (ADC)—a private equity firm focused on investing in leading family-owned and middle market companies in high-growth sectors—today announced its strategic growth investment in and partnership with SmartBug Media®.  SmartBug® is the highest-rated HubSpot partner in the world and a leading Intelligent Inbound® marketing agency that assists businesses in generating leads, increasing awareness, and building brand loyalty through inbound marketing, digital strategy, design, marketing automation, and public relations. As part of its investment strategy, ADC will work closely with SmartBug to develop new growth channels and expand the company’s capabilities and team, while supporting its continued delivery of the highest levels of customer service and value.

ADC focuses on partnering with business owners and entrepreneurs who have built successful, established businesses with strong fundamentals that can benefit from ADC’s operational experience and capital to support future growth. Its partnership with SmartBug demonstrates ADC’s ability to identify unique investment opportunities and exemplifies its partnership approach with innovative owners and entrepreneurs.

“SmartBug demonstrates the quality and attractive attributes we look for in an investment,” said Mike Denbeau, partner at ADC. “Its unique business model—which includes strong and steady growth, recurring revenue and long-term customer relationships, a strong culture of innovation, and a unique ‘remote’ business model that provides access to a nationwide talent recruitment pool—has already proven very successful in the digital agency space and is one we look to build upon in partnership with the company’s highly talented management team.”

John Joliet, partner at ADC, added, “Over a decade ago, Ryan Malone anticipated the coming shift from traditional outbound marketing to data-driven, inbound marketing services for middle market growth companies, and he saw an opportunity to build a world-class professional team by employing an innovative ‘remote’ business model.  We believe this unique philosophy has paved the way for SmartBug to develop its strong reputation throughout the industry as a market leader and respected advisor, which has resulted in numerous awards and accolades over the past few years. ADC believes that SmartBug’s ability to ‘productize’ this value in a recurring, long-term relationship model using its proprietary recruitment, employee training, and customer delivery processes makes its future prospects even more compelling.”

SmartBug has a number of unique and impressive attributes that made it an attractive investment for ADC:

  • SmartBug is a leader in the high-growth inbound marketing sector, which is benefiting from a rapid shift of spend from traditional outbound marketing channels to data-driven, digital inbound marketing.
  • Unlike the traditional agency model, which has historically focused on project-based, short-term campaign work that can be high cost with unclear ROI implications for the client, SmartBug offers customers a compelling, data-driven retainer model. This model allows customers to outsource their digital marketing needs on a turnkey basis, driving long-term value for the client with a heavy emphasis on ROI.
  • The need for SmartBug’s services is especially mission-critical in the large middle market segment of the U.S. economy, where companies typically do not have in-house digital marketing capabilities and access to the level of marketing talent that larger firms possess, creating a large untapped opportunity for SmartBug.
  • As the highest-rated HubSpot Partner in the world and HubSpot’s Global Partner of the Year, SmartBug has won a number of prominent industry awards recognizing the quality of the company’s work product, team, and workplace culture, including winning more than 150 MarCom Awards in the past two years alone, making the Inc. 5000 list three years in a row, being named to the inaugural Adweek 100: Fastest Growing Agencies list, and earning a number of Comparably and Great Place to Work® awards.
  • SmartBug’s strong value proposition and unique retainer model have driven strong growth for the company and provide a reliable base of recurring revenue to re-invest in growing the company’s customer relationships and talent.

“We are very excited to partner with ADC, and we feel like their team and goals align fully with our values, our remote business model, where we believe the market is headed, and most importantly, our people,” said Ryan Malone, founder and CEO of SmartBug Media. “The ADC team is a uniquely talented and forward-looking group that understands and values the overarching purpose of our remote model: that you can win in business while retaining the flexibility to do the things that matter to you and your family. We believe there is a large, underserved opportunity to provide high quality digital marketing services to clients with the cost certainty and emphasis on ROI that clients highly value and our unique model affords, at scale—and we are excited to partner with ADC to address this compelling market need.”

 

SOURCE American Discovery Capital

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