Recently AMTD Singapore Solidarity Fund Pte. Ltd., under AMTD ASEAN Solidarity Fund Group (“AMTD ASEAN Solidarity”), announced its first batch of investments in five innovative FinTech companies spanning across AI, SME financing solutions, insurtech, cross-border payment platform and card payment solutions. This first batch of investments amounted to S$11.5 million through a variety and innovative mix of investment structures including, among others, equities, convertible notes, venture debts, warrants and options.
AMTD ASEAN Solidarity, with an initial capital of S$50 million, was jointly established by AMTD Digital, a Singapore headquartered subsidiary under AMTD Group focusing on building a one-stop connected comprehensive digital solutions platform in Asia; AMTD Charity Foundation, a charitable organization founded in 2016 by Mr. Calvin Choi, Chairman and CEO of AMTD Group; and the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (“AFIN”) to support and anchor eligible FinTech companies registered on the API Exchange Platform in ASEAN countries during this challenging time of the pandemic.
Benefiting from Singapore’s strategic position as an international FinTech centre, the Government’s and particularly MAS’ supportive measures, and ecosystem builders’ backing, Singapore’s FinTech sector has demonstrated its resilience during the pandemic: according to BCG FinTech Control Tower, a research unit developed jointly by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Expand Research, FinTech companies in Singapore raised a total of S$462 million (US$332 million) in equity funding in the first half of 2020, representing a 19% year-on-year growth. The number of FinTech companies has grown to over 1,000 from around 600 at the end of 2019.
The five selected companies in the first batch of the investments represent FinTech leaders in its respective specialization, which include Funding Societies (a SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia), Active.ai (a platform that offers cloud-based Conversational AI, helping financial institutions redefine their customer services and automate process), CardUp (a credit card enablement platform, which allows payment and collection of expenses using credit card, in places where cards are not accepted), TranSwap (a cross-border payments platform for regional businesses), and PolicyPal (an InsurTech company, also the first graduate of MAS FinTech regulatory sandbox).
Calvin Choi, Chairman and CEO of AMTD Group comments, “AMTD is proud to support the FinTech community in Singapore, witnessing the resilience and embracing opportunities in its FinTech and innovation sectors. AMTD will leverage Singapore’s deep talent pool, its multi-dimensional capital market, and bring in AMTD’s global connectivity and our SpiderNet ecosystem to anchor and support the long-term development and sustainability of the local FinTech ecosystem. The Solidarity Fund is a centre of care, centre of support, and an anchor point. We welcome more innovative companies to join APIX and more entrepreneurs to join our ecosystem, together we deliver the best-in-class digital experience to customers from locally to globally”.
Supriya Sen, Independent Director and Chairperson of the Investment Committee at AFIN, says, “We are very pleased that the Solidarity Fund has already received more than 40 applications from FinTech and innovative companies, encompassing a wide range of use cases in payments, InsurTech, WealthTech, RegTech, credit scoring, chatbot, SME lending, and digital assets across different ASEAN countries with Singapore as a regional hub. We went through a rigorous process of selection, out of which these 5 FinTech companies have been chosen for the first batch of proposed investments. We at AFIN are committed to support the FinTech community in Singapore, and to help them leverage Singapore’s talent pool and robust FinTech ecosystem to drive innovation in financial services in Singapore and the world.”
Apart from rendering financial support, AMTD will offer these FinTech companies open access to its one-stop digital platform and SpiderNet ecosystem to empower the entrepreneurs and maximize the user experience and digital offering to Asian consumers and SMEs. In particular, AMTD is committed to invest into building innovative solutions that can help SMEs accelerate their digital transformation, improve financial inclusion, and contribute to Singapore’s leading position as a Smart Nation. Last month, AMTD signed a strategic collaboration agreement with GlobalLinker, a key participant in the Business-Sans-Borders initiative to jointly build a digital community and digital tools portal for Asian SMEs.