Blockchain, cross-border payments, forex, digital advisory startups win big at 2017 Singapore Fintech Awards

Yon Heong Tung
Here are your 2017 Singapore Fintech Awards winners

Singapore’s central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) awarded S$1.15 million (US$850,000) to 10 fintech startups

The second edition of the Singapore Fintech Awards has come to a close, giving entrepreneurs and VCs a broad but in-depth of the rapidly evolving fintech landscape, over the course of three days.

However, 10 lucky fintech startups walked away not only with fresh knowledge and insights but also with monetary support, as part of the FinTech Awards, jointly organised by the Singapore central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

Collectively, S$1.15 million (US$850,000) were dispensed to the startups, which were segmented into four categories. A few days ago, e27 took a stab at guessing the winners but unfortunately, none came to pass (though, there were some close ones).

Before we dive into the list of winners, here are some quick facts about this year’s Singapore fintech awards.

  • There were 300 startup submissions globally, with the bulk of it coming from APAC. 30 of them were then picked to be in the finals.

  • The panel of judges consisted of 11 C-suite executives from financial institutions, including MAS, UOB, Mastercard, ANZ Bank, Prudential, and more.

  • The startups were evaluated based on criteria such as impact, practicality, interoperability, and uniqueness and creativity.

Without further ado, here are the winners.

ABS Global Fintech Award

Blockchain startup Blocko was the only winner in this category. Led by Founder and CEO Won-Beom Kim, the South Korean startup has developed a blockchain-based biometric log-in and payment authorization system for Lotte Card, a major credit card company in Korea.

With the biometric authentication method, users can log in and authenticate transactions on the Lotte app by using their fingerprints.

Blocko was awarded S$150,000 (US$110,000).

MAS Fintech Awards (Singapore Open)

Cross-border payments startup FlyWire was founded six years ago to help international students pay for their studies abroad. Today, it also helps healthcare and other business conduct international transactions.

For its solution, it was awarded the top prize of S$250,000 (US$185,000).

Singapore startup Silent Eight has a built a software that uses AI and machine learning to screen for suspicious transactions such as money laundering and terrorist financing. It claims its solution can reduce false alerts by 80 per cent.

Silent Eight was awarded 2nd place and a prize money of S$100,000 (US$74,000).

Singapore startup InstaReM provides digital international remittance services. The startup, which raised US$13 million in a Series B round led by GSR Ventures in June, received the third place award of S$50,000 (US$37,000).

MAS Fintech Awards (Singapore SME)

AGDelta has developed a digital wealth management platform that facilitates compliance monitoring; help financial advisor manage client relationships easily via tools, such as intuitive portfolio viewers; and sophisticated but user-friendly order and execution management services for trades.

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For its solution, AGDelta was awarded the top prize of S$150,000 (US$110,000).

Singapore startup FOMO Pay is a QR code payment solutions provider. It integrates a suite of payment modes such as WeChat Pay, Alipay, Baidu Wallet, BestPay, NETSPay, and mVISA.

FOMO Pay clinched second place with a prize money of S$100,000 (US$74,000).

US- and Singapore-based startup HedgeSPA delivers big data analytics solutions to help investment professionals better assess market trends and manage investment portfolios. It claims its predictive investment analytics platform can reduce peak-to-trough drawdown by as much as 75 per cent. It can also automate day-to-day portfolio management tasks.

HedgeSPA was awarded S$50,000 (US$37,000) at third place.

MAS FinTech Awards (Singapore Founder)

Spark Systems is a Singaporean startup that wants to facilitate faster and more affordable forex trading. Its platform “provides analytics to the user to capitalise their liquidity and trading history”. Last year, the startup received US$5 million in funding.

Spark was awarded the top prize of S$150,000 (US$110,000).

Singapore-based startup SingX has an online remittance platform that targets white-collar workers and SMEs. It allows users to remit money from Singapore to India, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Its value proposition to consumers is that it bypasses banks and therefore cheaper (and more intuitive).

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SingX was awarded the second place prize of S$100,000 (US$74,000).

Aida Technologies develops AI and deep learning solutions for three sectors: transport, so companies can manage commuters and traffic situations better; retail, so businesses can understand consumers better through insights from bills, invoices, social media engagements and more; and financial services.

Aida was awarded S$50,000 (US$37,000) at third place.

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