AMTD News | AMTD ASEAN Solidarity Fund, backed by AMTD Charity Foundation, AMTD Digital and ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (“AFIN”), successfully completes its first batch of investments into 5 promising FinTech companies
AMTD Singapore Solidarity Fund Pte. Ltd., under AMTD ASEAN Solidarity Fund Group (“AMTD ASEAN Solidarity”), today announces the completion of its first batch of investments amounting to over S$8.6 million in five promising FinTech companies, with each company representing the industry leader in its respective specialization spanning across AI, credit card payment solutions, SME financing solutions, Insurtech, and cross-border payment platform.
The evaluation process for a second batch of investments is already underway in order to continue empowering and supporting the long-term growth and sustainability of Singapore’s FinTech community.
The five selected FinTech companies in the first batch of investments are (in alphabetical order):
• Active.ai, a platform that offers cloud-based Conversational AI to financial institutions;
• CardUp, a credit card enablement platform;
• Funding Societies, a SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia;
• PolicyPal, an InsurTech company, also the first graduate of the MAS FinTech regulatory sandbox; and
• TranSwap, a cross-border payments platform for regional businesses
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.
In addition to providing financial support, AMTD will offer each FinTech company full and open access to its one-stop digital platform and unique SpiderNet ecosystem to empower and interconnect businesses and entrepreneurs to resources and opportunities in the ASEAN region, the Greater Bay Area and rest of Asia.
Calvin Choi, Chairman and CEO of AMTD Group, and Founder of AMTD Charity Foundation comments, “AMTD is proud to be spearheading the solidarity effort together with our long-term partner AFIN for the FinTech community in Singapore. The completion of the first batch of investments is just the beginning, with more investments to be announced in due course. The AMTD ASEAN Solidarity Fund represents our connector for innovative and promising FinTech entrepreneurs in Singapore with the rest of the region; and propel Singapore as a Smart Nation with FinTech as its core enabler.”
Supriya Sen, Independent Director at AFIN-APIX, said “In the dynamic markets of Southeast Asia, digital solutions have the potential to create impact far and wide by serving those who may not have previously made the digital shift. To effectively reach these businesses and consumers, innovation and digital ecosystem development in the financial services industry will form a bedrock for enabling the next phase of expansion and growth. Accordingly, we are delighted that FinTech solution providers and financial institutions are coming together to use our digital platform to pursue collaboration opportunities and partnerships, creating innovative solutions that can have lasting impact on their markets of interest”.
Ravi Shankar, Co-Founder and CEO of Active.ai adds, “Voice and messaging are greatly transforming the digital experience and client engagement for financial institutions globally. Active.ai is excited to partner with AMTD and AFIN to bring Conversational AI platform to banks and financial services”.
Nicki Ramsay, Founder and CEO of CardUp adds, “We're excited to finalise the investment from the AMTD Solidarity Fund, adding AMTD both as an investor and strategic partner as we scale CardUp regionally. The strength of their network accelerates our expansion efforts across new products and markets, as we deliver our mission to provide individuals and businesses with a smarter and more rewarding way to make and collect big payments”.
Kelvin Teo, Co-Founder and CEO of Funding Societies adds, “We're honored to be selected by the AMTD Solidarity Fund. We believe that working together with AMTD and AFIN would enable us to further drive financial inclusion for SMEs in Singapore and Southeast Asia”.
Val Yap, Founder and CEO of PolicyPal adds, “We are extremely grateful for the support from our strategic partner AMTD to receive the investment from AMTD Solidarity Fund as we scale to new markets, such as Hong Kong together. We are aligned with our mission on building the digital financial services platform to empower consumers and SMEs with their financial and insurance needs across the region”.
Benjamin Wong, Co-Founder and CEO of TranSwap adds, “We are extremely honored to have been selected to receive this investment from the AMTD Solidarity Fund. AMTD Group is a strong global company that brings a proven commitment to making investments in future growth. TranSwap will benefit from AMTD's extensive network, including Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area as we look to expand in the region as well as introduce new products to help businesses seamlessly manage and execute payments globally”.
AMTD Group is a leading comprehensive financial services conglomerate, with businesses in investment banking, asset management, digital financial solutions; and non-financial services areas including education and real estate investment.
AMTD International (NYSE: HKIB; SGX: HKB), a subsidiary of AMTD Group, is the largest independent investment bank in Asia and one of Asia’s largest independent asset management companies, and has been a leading investor in FinTech and new economy sectors. AMTD International was successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, representing the first Hong Kong headquartered financial institution listed on NYSE. On April 8, 2020, AMTD International completed its secondary listing on SGX-ST, which marks a series of historical milestones, including:
• The first company ever to be dual listed on NYSE and SGX; and
• The first company featuring dual-class shares (“DCS”) listed on SGX.
AMTD Digital, the digital solutions arm of AMTD Group headquartered in Singapore, is engaged in digital financial services, digital marketing and data intelligence, digital connectors and ecosystem building, and digital investments. AMTD Digital aims to build a one-stop, comprehensive, cross-market, and innovative digital solutions platform.
AMTD Charity Foundation (“AMTD Foundation”) is established by Mr. Calvin Choi, Chairman of AMTD Group, to fulfill the commitment of Mr. Choi and AMTD Group in giving back to the society and upholding social responsibility. AMTD Foundation has been putting in great efforts in promoting education, relieving poverty, and supporting people in need in Asia and across the world. AMTD actively supports a range of corporate social responsibility activities, such as the sponsorship of Caritas Charity TV Show for 13 consecutive years, and being a key supporter of amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research), one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations on AIDS research, etc. AMTD Foundation has also been committed to promoting technological development and talent cultivation. AMTD has formed a long-term partnership with Xiaomi, Singapore Management University, and Institute of Systems Science at the National University of Singapore to establish “AXSI Digital Finance Leadership Program”, cooperated with the University of Waterloo to launch the “University of Waterloo-AMTD Innovation Hub” and “AMTD Waterloo Global Talent Postdoctoral Fellowship”, and collaborated with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to create the “AMTD Fintech Centre of PolyU Faculty of Business”, leading to the establishment of the first doctoral degree in FinTech program across Asia.
ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) is a non-profit entity formed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and the ASEAN Bankers Association, with the objectives of supporting financial innovation and inclusion around the world. Its Corporate Founding Members are AMTD Foundation and Mastercard.
APIX, the flagship product of AFIN, is the world’s first cross-border, open architecture API platform, where financial institutions and FinTechs can integrate and test solutions via a cloud- based architecture. Through APIX, financial institutions and FinTech firms can discover one another on a curated global marketplace, design experiments collaboratively in the sandbox and deploy innovative solutions rapidly at a lower cost.
Active.ai is a Singapore based Fintech company with subsidiaries in the US and India, using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver Conversational Banking services. It helps banks and credit unions create intelligent virtual assistants, bringing in automation and insightful customer engagement. Active.ai’s conversational banking technology uses advanced NLP and machine intelligence to enable customers to have natural dialogues over messaging, voice or IoT devices.
CardUp is a credit card enablement platform, which enables the payment or collection of big expenses using credit card, in places where cards are not accepted today. Examples of payments include rent, tax, invoices, payroll and more, which are still paid by cash, cheque or bank transfer. With CardUp, individuals and businesses can now shift these big payments to their existing credit cards. This provides an unparalleled opportunity to earn credit card rewards, access interest-free credit and digitise payments - making big payments rewarding. CardUp also helps businesses of all sizes maximise the benefits of credit card payments to conserve on-hand working capital. This is especially relevant in this post-pandemic world, where businesses face immense cash flow pressure and are looking to free up cash on hand in a flexible manner. CardUp also equips them with tools to automate and digitise payables and receivables processes, helping finance teams work remotely and thrive in the new norm of reduced face-time. CardUp manages hundreds of millions in payment volume in Singapore today.
Funding Societies | Modalku is the SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia. It is licensed in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, and backed by Sequoia India and Softbank Ventures Asia Corp amongst many others. It provides business financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is crowdfunded by individual and institutional investors. In 5 years, it has helped finance over 2.8 million business loans with over S$1.6 billion in funding. It was given the MAS FinTech Award in 2016, the Global SME Excellence Award at the United Nations’ ITU Telecom World in 2017, Brands for Good in 2019, recognised by IDC as amongst the 5 fastest growing FinTechs in Singapore, and the Stevie Award in 2020.
PolicyPal is an InsurTech company, founded by Val Yap, supported by 500 Startups, PayPal and angel investor Koh Boon Hwee. The company is also the first graduate of FinTech regulatory sandbox approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. PolicyPal works with 30 global insurance companies, with US$3 billion sum assured coverage on their platform. The company helps consumers to understand their insurance needs and empowers them with financial planning solutions to protect their health and wealth. PolicyPal was also named by KPMG as one of the leading global FinTech innovators in 2019. Val Yap was named by the Forbes magazine as “30 under 30” for Finance and Venture Capital and the Fortune magazine as “40 under 40” list for Finance globally.
TranSwap is a cross-border payment platform for businesses and everyday people who seek to make payments overseas while reducing FX costs and complexity. We offer the most competitive rates through our proprietary online transaction portal and a wide network of FX Partners to enable our users to fulfil global payments at the lowest cost efficiently.