The session kicked off by introducing one of Vertex Ventures’ startups, NIUM, which has become the first global B2B payment unicorn in Singapore. Prajit Nanu, founder of NIUM, was able to realize his vision because he never stops dreaming and innovating which allowed NIUM to stay competitive. Prajit’s ambition and competency gained the support of the Vertex Ventures team who believes in nurturing and growing together with their startups.
Cedric Waldburger delved deeper into the topic and gave his thoughts on investing in founders, using a three-pronged approach – Execution, Empathy and Clarity –.
Trends on different investment themes were also identified. Investors in European or US countries gravitate more towards B2B companies; open banking and world capital markets, followed by B2C and BNPL. Investors in Asian countries are looking at B2C companies such as Neobanks and B2C payment lenders, as well as technologies such as Blockchain, DeFi and AI.
A lot of growth has also been observed. With the ecosystem now opening up, more startups are building and maturing, so more unicorns are expected to emerge in the FinTech sector in 2-5 years.
Additionally, with more startups emerging, there has been some discourse as to whether these new services or technology will replace existing architecture or be offered in parallel.
It is unlikely that these startups will replace existing players due to regulations and the best scenario would be for startups to work alongside traditional banks. Continued collaboration between FinTech companies and banks are essential for the future and growth of both the financial services industry and the technology sector.
“Traditional banks are not going to go away in a long time, and they still have a role to play in a FinTech emergent market. However, it is still necessary for banks to find the balance between pushing the limits and being regulatory compliant.” said Cedric.
The FinTech market is maturing as a result of the tremendous expansion seen in recent years. Open Banking, Governance, Embedded Finance, AI, Cryptocurrency, and Metaverse are some trends where increasing amounts of investment may be seen in the future.
Evidently, the financial environment has become much more open in recent years, owing to more startups experimenting with embedded finance. Hence, it is important to note that early collaboration between entrepreneurs, incumbents, and investors is the most efficient path to innovation.
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