tryb Capital announces US$4M Strategic Investment into Chinsay AB, the Leading Independent Platform for Commodity and Freight Contracts

Chinsay AB, the leading cloud based platform for end-to-end administration of global commodity and freight contracts, has secured strategic investment of US$4 million from tryb Capital, a Singapore-based growth stage technology investor. The investment will be used to fund the continued development of Chinsay’s next-
generation product and expansion into Asian markets.

Chinsay’s platform offers a comprehensive suite of front-end tools and the opportunity to apply back-end APIs to enable clear productivity benefits to not only global traders, shipping companies and brokers but also ports, marketplaces and financial institutions involved in trade and trade finance. Chinsay sees a strong acceleration in growth in Asia alongside its major clients, which include the likes of ADM, Cargill, K Line, Noble Group, NYK, Rio Tinto, South32 and Unipec.

Magnus Böcker, Chairman and Co-Founder of tryb Capital stated, “Singapore’s position as a key shipping and trading hub made it more attractive for tryb Capital to invest into Chinsay. This is a great example of how innovative technologies from anywhere, in this case Sweden, can leverage Singapore as a growth platform into Asia.”

Dag Sundén-Cullberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chinsay commented: “Chinsay’s board and team see this as a great opportunity for the company to take in additional capital for the current expansion phase while staying fully independent and at the same time getting a strategically important shareholder with an active agenda in the technology industry. The tryb team’s experience and network within technology will benefit Chinsay greatly as we continue influencing and driving usage of new technology in the freight and commodities markets.”

tryb and Chinsay’s partnership is part of the growing interest in the digitisation of trade and trade finance and Singapore’s plans to become a leading Smart Financial Centre. Chinsay provides the opportunity to integrate into local trade ecosystems in Asia and optimise trading processes and workflows while providing enhanced big data analytics capabilities.

Markus Gnirck, Managing Director and Co-Founder of tryb Capital, added: “We believe in Chinsay’s growth potential as a core component of ASEAN and global trade infrastructure. We are looking forward to working with Chinsay to continue to develop defensible intellectual property.”

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Record fund inflows into ETF in 2017

By Arisa Siong – The ETF boom is happening and in a big way. The first two months of 2017 saw record global inflows into ETFs to the sum of US$130bn (ETFGI.com) – this is at least double to several times higher than inflows over the same period in the five years preceding. As a comparison, net inflows in 2016 amounted to US$390bn, which was a good year for ETFs but 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger. Most of the fund inflows into ETF stem from investors diverting funds from more-costly- actively managed funds into more-economical- ETF alternatives. The current industry trend is for the lowest cost funds to attract more and more funds. This in turn places downward pressure on management fees charged across the board by both ETFs and mutual funds. Vanguard and Schwab for instance, led the latest round of fee reductions in February.

Faced with increased price pressure and investment churn, mutual funds are forced join the race to zero. A report by JP Morgan and Oliver Wyman predict mutual funds will turn to ETFs to improve investment efficiency, in a bid to lower their costs. In particular, the report notes that ETFs should provide cost savings of 5-8bps for investments in mid to large cap stocks. Somewhat ironically, mutual funds could become the largest investors in ETFs, doubling current assets in ETF in 3-5 years. This is already happening now – Antoine de Saint Vaulry, Head of ETF and Flow Trading at Commerzbank, notes: “we see a blurring of the active-passive asset management divide, with more and more active asset managers using ETFs, to apply their investment strategies”.

In Asia, the ETF scene is still developing and while similar trends can be observed in Asian markets, the relative magnitude means that the impact is somewhat muted. Active fund management is still preferred and this lack of momentum means that there has not been the same pressure on management fees in Asia. Antoine de Saint Vaulry further adds that “the remuneration model for financial advisors in many countries is still not favourable to the development of ETFs, who can’t pay commissions. The markets who abandoned the commission based compensation models have seen massive inflows into ETFs (example Australia)“.

ETFs are also used differently across Asia. The central bank of Japan (BoJ) accounts for 60% of the Japanese ETF market and uses ETFs as a monetary policy tool. BoJ has invested over US$2bn in smart-beta ETFs that are designed to channel funds to companies that are making a positive impact on employment, wages and capital expenditure. Such use of ETFs is unique to Japan and Japan remains by far the largest ETF market in Asia – accounting for over half of AUM in the region. In Taiwan, where the Bureau of Labour Funds (BLF) accounts for 55% of the ETF market, product innovation in ETFs has been rapid – TWSE introduced leveraged and inverse ETFs in 2014, and futures-based ETF in 2015, tracking the price of gold futures. Last October, BLF publicly called for more smart-beta ETFs to complement its existing portfolio of leveraged and inverse ETFs – smart- beta ETFs are now expected imminently on the TWSE.

In Singapore, retail ETF AUM increased by 23% in 2016, with the total number of individual retail ETF holders up by 18% over the same period. This reflects the collective industry’s marketing and education efforts have been effective, though there is still much room for growth. The stats in Singapore exemplify that in Asian markets where institutional investors do not actively invest in ETFs, growth is likely to be significantly slower. It is less obvious where the drivers of innovation in ETFs are likely to come from. Drawing from the Taiwanese and Japanese markets, it would seem that a unified voice from the buy side has significant swaying power and would send the right signals to the ETF providers to create appropriate products. If on the other hand, this is not feasible as demand is naturally fragmented across a multitude of product types, then growth is likely to remain organic and progress somewhat slower.

Some exchanges are making effort to boost volumes however. Will Lawton of Eigencat notes that the Malaysian Securities Commission recently announced initiatives to incentivise issuers and investors to participate in the ETF market segment, broaden investors understanding of the asset class and will enhance facilitation to allow the ETF market to grow. In Singapore, SGX is partnering with Marvelstone to organise ETF Asia Forum (www.etfasiaforum.com) on the 30 March, an industry event meant to stimulate discussion on tapping opportunities to boost ETF growth in Asia. This year’s forum will focus on leveraging on fintech to drive growth.

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7 things to know about Samsung and LG’s mobile payment announcements in Asia this week

Mobile payment via smartphones in Asia had two major announcements yesterday from Korean mobile phone manufacturers Samsung and LG.

Here’s seven things you need to know:

Samsung Pay launches in India

  1. Paytm partnership: The flagship mobile payments service of Korean phone manufacturer Samsung Electronics has been launched in India yesterday. In addition to the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled tap-and-pay solution, Samsung Pay has partnered with Paytm mobile wallet service and the National Payments Corporation of India’s United Payments Interface (UPI).
  1. Limited model support: The payments service will support the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6 Edge+, A5 (2016), A7 (2016), A5 (2017) and A7 (2017) models. A solution for lower end devices, especially those without fingerprint sensors, is expected in the near future.
  1. Banks on board: Samsung has partnered with various issuers and card networks, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Card and Standard Chartered Bank. Axis Bank powers the UPI solution which works for the P2P payments feature on Samsung Pay.

“Samsung Pay is highly secure through the signature KNOX Platform, fingerprint authentication and tokenisation. We have partnered with major banks and card networks to give our consumers the widest range of choices, and are working on bringing more and more partners on board soon.”

— Asim Warsi, Senior Vice-President, Mobile Business for Samsung India

  1. Now in 12 countries: Yesterday’s launch takes the total number of countries where Samsung Pay is available to 12, following its launch in August 2015. Apple Pay’s march into Asia has been visible only in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore so far.
Credit: LG

LG Pay to launch in South Korea by June

  1. G6 support in Korea first: LG Electronics in an announcement yesterday said that it will be launching its own mobile payments system, LG Pay. The feature will be available first in South Korea by June 2017 on the company’s flagship G6 smartphone that was released in March this year.
  1. Dynamics partnership: With other smartphone leaders expanding with their own mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, LG does not want to be left behind. The service will use the wireless magnetic technology created by US-based firm Dynamics Inc, with an experience akin to Samsung Pay’s tap-and-pay. This will allow the service to work with existing point-of-sale card terminals. The partnership with Dynamics was announced yesterday as well.

“We are in discussions with all eight credit card companies in Korea, and seven credit card companies have decided to participate in the LG Pay service.”

— LG statement

  1. Still unclear: LG has still not disclosed international expansion plans, while the G6 is scheduled for launch in the US some time April 2017. Neither is it clear whether the service will be free like Samsung’s, or fees will be charged on transactions as with Apple Pay.

LG’s technology is explained as “generating a magnetic signal from a mobile device such as a smartphone, and paying it to a general credit card terminal”. The global mobile payment market size is estimated to be around US$780 billion in 2017, according to TrendForce.

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ETF market has high growth potential in Singapore

A view of the SGX signage outside their office in Singapore March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

By Arisa Siong – Over the past 10 years, the proportion of funds invested globally in passive strategies such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) has been steadily increasing. The shift from active to passive strategies most pronounced in equity. In the US, the proportion of passive stock market investments has doubled from just under 20 per cent in 2006 to just over 40 per cent in 2016.

Investors are increasingly attracted to cheaper funds and ETF have typical expense ratios that are a tenth of their mutual fund peers. The proportion of investors’ assets in funds with expense ratios of less than 20bps have doubled from 20 per cent in 2004 to 40 per cent in 2014. This is with reason, numerous studies have shown the expense ratio of a fund is a strong indicator of fund performance – the lower the fee, the better the fund tends to perform.

The ETF market in Asia-Pacific has grown steadily as well though still lags behind Europe and is further still from the US. In Singapore, despite a sound regulatory framework, vibrant financial service sector and a relatively wide choice of ETF products (around 80 listed on SGX), trading volumes of ETFs are low. Total Asset Under Management of ETFs traded on SGX in 2016 was just above $3 billion or 0.1 per cent of ETF AUM globally.

In comparison, Singapore’s GDP as a proportion of global GDP is four times higher. For a prominent financial centre, one would expect assets invested in a staple investment product such as ETFs to be more significant, particularly relative to the economy at large and given the rise in popularity of ETFs in other international markets.

This suggests that there is much room for the ETF market in Singapore to grow with potentially significant efficiency gains to be accrued by investors by switching to ETF alternatives. For instance, if a fifth of funds currently invested in mutual funds in Singapore were to be invested in ETFs instead, cost savings in differential expense ratios alone (conservatively assuming a 50bps differential) would amount to around $60 million per annum.

In the past six months, two new REIT ETFs have been launched on SGX. In comparison, smart-beta ETFs are gaining traction globally but remain relatively unknown and unused in Singapore. While many traditional ETF products are market-cap weighted passive stock indices, smart-beta products offer alternative investment strategies such as alternative indexing methods or asset classes.

The jury is still out on smart-beta though more innovation in the ETF space and sexier products that capture the fancy of local investors should help boost growth. There are of course other hurdles to overcome, the lack of willingness to distribute ETFs by banks and investor education, a space where fintech players such as robo-advisors could make a significant impact.

Arisa Siong, Head of MINNLAB at Marvelstone Group, will be speaking at ETF Asia Forum in Singapore, an industry event aimed at identifying ETF opportunities in Asia. Held on the 30th March at fintech hub LATTICE80, it provides a venue for the meeting of fintech and ETF players. Central themes for discussion include leveraging on fintech to drive ETF growth and index innovation. For more information, please visit: www.etfasiaforum.com

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Singapore’s Leading Fintech Minds Come Together in Full Day of Talks to Discuss Innovation and Disruption at the Heart of Asia’s Financial Services Sector

The leading minds of Singapore’s financial technology (fintech) ecosystem came together yesterday in a tour-de-force of discussions centering around the most innovative technologies disrupting Asia’s financial services sector.

FinTech Global Summit Singapore 2017, organised by private investment firm Marvelstone Group and held at LATTICE80 fintech hub in Singapore’s central business district, took place just a stone’s throw from the regional headquarters of some of Asia’s and the world’s largest financial institutions.

The full day of talks attracted an audience of hundreds from the heart of the financial and technology community, with high-profile stakeholders from both the public and private sector turning out in force to gain insight into Asia’s rapidly-evolving fintech landscape.

Attendees from GIC, Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), Singapore FinTech Association, among other leading financial bodies came to network and listen. Also in attendance was regional news media from ChannelNews Asia, The Straits Times, The Business Times, Nikkei Asian Review, Inc Southeast Asia, Deal Street Asia, e27, and Coconuts Media.

Topics tabled for panel discussion included raising capital (crowdfunding versus venture capital), Big Data, the rise of robo-investors, mobile payments, cybersecurity, and the regulatory environment.

A highlight keynote by Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer at DBS Bank, revealed the extent of the challenges and opportunities faced by the world’s largest financial institutions in the digital age.

In their panel on Crowdfunding over Venture Capital and other Additional Sources of Funding, Joji Thomas Philip (Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Deal Street Asia) discussed the topic at length with Eddie Lee (CEO of New Union), Vikas Jain (Director at Funding Societies), Wong Joo Seng (Founder & CEO of Spark Systems), and Leo Shimada (Co-Founder and CEO of Crowdo).

“Fostering a strong sense of community within the fintech world has always been the vision behind Marvelstone Group’s activities,” said Gina Heng, CEO of Marvelstone Group.

“We started off as a private equity business at the core, but soon dived into complementary businesses to facilitate the building of knowledge, relationships and strength,” said Joe Seunghyun Cho, Chairman of Marvelstone Group.

“This, I believe, will provide enhanced value to our partners, investors, companies we invest in, and other key stakeholders. FinTech Global Summit in Singapore is a culmination of all these ideas and we are extremely pleased to have brought the ecosystem together in this way,” he added.

The event was held in partnership with IBM, Osborne Clarke, Spark Systems, JEDTrade, TransferTo and Finalytix. Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) supported the summit as a strategic partner, while LTP was the knowledge partner and Deal Street Asia the media partner.

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LATTICE80, the World’s Largest Fintech Hub, Expands to India

SINGAPORE & ANDHRA PRADESH, March 10, 2017 — Marvelstone Group, the private investment group behind the world’s largest fintech hub LATTICE80, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Andhra Pradesh in India to open the first LATTICE80 location outside of Singapore. LATTICE80 Vizag will be located in Fintech Valley Vizag’s Fintech Tower. As the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Vizag is already becoming home to some of India’s most innovative startup companies in the financial services space and beyond.

As part of the agreement, LATTICE80 will run training programmes to train 1,000 ICT professionals in India every year. The goal is to help link the community in Singapore and India, and encourage co-innovation in key new technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, Big Data, flexible platforms (API), and more. The new space is expected to open in Q3 this year.

“Less than four months ago, in November last year, we set up LATTICE80 in Singapore to fully support the government’s smart nation vision to transform into a smart financial centre. Now, we are happy to be part of the new Vizag-MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) partnership to support Fintech Valley Vizag and the Government of Andhra Pradesh in India. The goal is to bring together industry, academia and investors to innovate, co-create and build the fintech ecosystem,” said Gina Heng, CEO, Marvelstone Group.

“We see opportunities in Vizag to contribute in various ways. We are delighted to collaborate and launch LATTICE80 Vizag to benefit the fintech sector in India. By launching LATTICE80 Vizag, we want to facilitate knowledge sharing and establish partnerships between universities based in and affiliated to Singapore and Andhra Pradesh,” said Joe Seunghyun Cho, Chairman, Marvelstone Group.

“LATTICE80’s success will depend on the people and community that we bring together. With Singapore as our base, we hope to reach out to new markets for fintech startups to develop and collaborate. We are very happy to start our overseas journey with amazing fintech startups and partners. We thank the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Vizag Fintech Valley for giving us the opportunity to learn and grow together,” said Joel Ko, Managing Partner, Marvelstone Group.

India’s fintech market is forecast to be worth US$2.4 billion by 2020, a two-fold increase on the market size in 2016, according to KPMG. The state of Andhra Pradesh has the potential of 50 million fintech users, according to data cited by Fintech Valley Vizag.

“The Andhra Pradesh Government is not merely trying to create the right ecosystem for promoting fintech in the state, but to develop a whole fintech culture. It wants to conduct a series of events to promote fintech in the city and the state. LATTICE80 will help the government in the endeavour,” said J A Chowdary, special adviser to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on IT.

The LATTICE80 philosophy is based on the physical structure of a lattice. It represents an open framework where companies can build upon one another’s strengths. LATTICE80’s objectives include helping fintech startups grow and expand their businesses, supporting existing corporates and financial institutions in their adoption of innovation, and serving as a bridge for both the public and private sectors.

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Global participation marks Spring Conference 2017 at Fintech Valley Vizag

Andhra Pradesh government aims to develop Vizag as national and global hub for fintech innovation

  • Over 150 start-up companies competed in four Fintech Challenges – 40% participants from across 15 countries
  • Over 30 international delegations attended event – including Singapore, Switzerland and Japan

Visakhapatnam, March 10, 2017: Setting the stage for Government of Andhra Pradesh’s ambitious initiative, #SpringConference 2017 was inaugurated at Novotel, Visakhapatnam yesterday. Fintech Valley Vizag is Government of Andhra Pradesh’s flagship initiative that brings together industry, academia and investors to innovate, co-create and build the fintech ecosystem. The Fintech Spring Conference 2017 marks the beginning of this journey. The primary objective of the event is to explore trends and opportunities in fintech. This is a platform where the finest minds of financial and startup community get to share mind-space with thought leaders, business leaders, artists, actors, musicians, futurists and entrepreneurs.

Offering full support to organisations, incubators, facilitators and start-ups, inviting anyone with disruptive ideas to be a part of Fintech Valley, on the edge of innovation, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu interacted with delegates for an hour over video conference and took inputs from fintech community present at the Spring Conference. He will chair The Fintech Valley Forum setup to focus on various aspects of the ecosystem creation. While addressing the august gathering he said, “The Fintech Valley Spring Conference is our step in joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is a spectacular combination of technology and Internet of Things (IoT). In recent times, technology has started influencing our lives in a comprehensive manner. The demand for Fintech is growing each day. To meet this demand, we would need the support from Fintech and Cyber security companies. We also need the academic institutions to adapt curriculum that trains individuals to contribute to fintech sector.  I extend my best wishes for the success of the initiative and hope it provides multiple opportunities to meet the futuristic requirements of our country and the global economy at large.”

In his keynote address, Special Chief Secretary and IT Advisor to the AP Chief Minister, J. A. Chowdary stated, “Indian IT 1.0 is facing difficulties. The next flight towards IT 2.0 will be backed by fintech. The tectonic shifts this will cause and entail is captured by the expression ‘fintectonics’. It is a fintech culture we are creating here – a culture of doing something for the betterment of the common man, a culture of creating an ecosystem by getting the right industry linkages and finding the right formula for the critical manpower.” Present on the dais were Roy Teo, Director, Fintech & Innovation Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS); Utkarsh Palnitkar, Partner KPMG; George Inasu – COO, Fidelity Financial Services; Puneet Pushkarna, Chairman, TIE – Singapore and Joe Seunghyun Cho – Co-founder and Chairman, Marvelstone Group.

To accelerate the evolution of Fintech Valley, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) has also initiated a fintech networking event every month, in addition to the annual fintech international flagship event. This year, on October 9-10, the government will host the Blockchain Technology International Event. The flagship Global Fintech Summit will take place on Feb 19th & 20th, 2018. This event provides the opportunity to participate in the $1 million global fintech award challenge and the INR 1 crore Indian fintech award challenge.

An invigorating Investment Panel Discussion on ‘Funding Fintech – wearing an investor’s hat’ was moderated by P. S. Sreekanth, Investment Director, Hyderabad Angels; Sampath Iyengar, Partner, Forum Synergies; Abhinav Chaturvedi, Principal, Accel Partners; Prasad Vanga,  Founder and CEO, Anthill Ventures; Utkarsh Sinha, Enterprise Technology Investor, Bitkemy Ventures; Puneet Pushkarna, Chairman, TiE – Singapore and Utkarsh Palnitkar, Partner and National Head IGS Advisory Management, KPMG. Beginning the discussion with the post demonetization scenario, the panelists sustained their dynamic dialogue in identifying fintech investment portfolios with high RoIs.

Additionally, the finalists’ demos and presentations for the ICICI Bank Start-Up Challenge & the HDFC Life Start-Up Challenge were showcased to the audience, wherein the competitors took questions from the judging panelists. Following this, another Banking Panel Discussion on ‘Consumers and Marketplaces changing in an increasingly cashless world’ was moderated by Ms. Neha Punater, Partner and Head Fintech, KPMG. Key panelists Akhil Handa, Advisor to MD & CEO, Bank of Baroda; Shashi Bhushan, Managing Director, Investment Management Technology, Goldman Sachs India; Ramesh Loganathan, Professor, IIIT Hyderabad and Sudin Baraokar, Head of Innovation SBI discussed challenges faced by start-ups in being unable to identify and direct resources towards the accurate fintech problem area. They also proposed the need to create a consolidated industry-wide ‘use case’ library to facilitate innovation. Neha Punater – Partner and Head, Fintech at KPMG in India said, “The fintech innovation challenges hosted at the event was a tremendous success. We received 150 applications from 15 countries across the globe including India. Through the Knowledge Partner association with Fintech Valley Vizag we are creating a vibrant ecosystem of partner start ups, BFSI players, investors, mentors, academia that would spur innovation in Vizag.”

Furthering collaboration towards developing this ecosystem, the Government also signed a partnership agreement with LATTICE80, Pearson, Anthill Ventures, HackerEarth, F6S, Forum Synergies, Hyderabad Angels, Zone Startups, ParadigmIT and Trade Land Finance Tech Consortium (TLF).

The first Fintech Valley Vizag Spring Conference brought together fintech companies, start-ups, researchers and key government officials working in the fintech sector and provided opportunities for disruptive business solutions. The peaceful atmosphere offered by Visakhapatnam compared to other bustling tech-hubs in India, created a serene environment for igniting fintech innovation and disruption ideas at the Fintech Valley Spring Conference. Fintech Valley Vizag is rapidly becoming the epicentre of fintech disruption. Since the launch of Fintech Tower, the Andhra Pradesh government has signed numerous partnership agreements with renowned educational institutions, corporations and governments that share the state’s vision of becoming pioneers for building strong standards for fintech and mutually sharing the desire in working towards cooperative advancement through information and resource sharing.

 

 

About Fintech Valley Vizag

The next wave of digital disruption in Fintech and innovation is taking place in Fintech Valley Vizag

The Fintech Valley brings together public and private players, state of the art incubators and accelerators, innovation labs, mentorships, angel investors and anyone willing to break free from traditional processes. The self-sustained global Fintech Ecosystem provides more than just access to Fintech and its innovators; it nurtures an oasis in which cyber security, block chain, digital education and research thrive at international standards. The Fintech Valley was built to equip individuals and businesses with a unique set of opportunities to grow through enabling market access for start-ups to angel investors, and providing world-class infrastructure, funding, human capital and innovation.

Driven by Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s vision to create 5 lakh jobs in Andhra Pradesh by 2020 through technology-enabled services, the recently established Fintech Valley is a playground for start-ups and innovators looking to disrupt traditional business processes.  Vizag is set in the #1 ranked state for ease of doing business and boasts a strong IT industry with a turnover of Rs. 2,000 crore, supported by a robust industrial base and educational infrastructure that is continuously expanding. Fintech Valley is the destination in India to achieve unmatched business goals and successes that can compete internationally.

 

About Spring Conference 2017:

Fintech Valley Vizag is Government of Andhra Pradesh’s flagship initiative that brings together industry, academia and investors to innovate, co-create and build the Fintech ecosystem. The Fintech Spring Conference 2017 marks the beginning of this new journey. Spring conference have delegates from Fintech companies, start-ups and financial services. Startups who have participated in the Fintech Startup Challenge 2017 are exhibiting their demos at the conference. Startups from Singapore, UK etc. will also participate in the conference.

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