[SINGAPORE] Homegrown e-payment startup MatchMove has emerged a winner at the London showcase of the 2014 Innotribe Startup Challenge - part of Swift's Next Bank Asia event that seeks to connect the finance industry to the financial technology (fin-tech) start-up ecosystem.
MatchMove Wallet, which CEO and co-founder Shailesh Naik presented at the May 1 showcase, is a mobile virtual credit card targeted at the over 500 million "uncarded" smartphone users in emerging countries, where credit card penetration can be as low as 2 per cent, according to Mr Naik.
"Winning in Europe has given us credibility and an enormous boost of confidence. As new entrants to fin-tech, we now have validation from a recognised, high-visibility innovation discovery programme like Innotribe," Mr Naik told The Business Times yesterday in an interview.
MatchMove started as a social entertainment platform provider in 2009, and ventured into e-payment in late 2013. Last year, it emerged as the fastest-growing tech company in South-east Asia. It had a revenue of US$1.1 million in 2012, Deloitte's Technology Fast500 Asia Pacific report revealed.
The Singapore-based start-up, along with four other winners of the London showcase - CurrencyTransfer, Ensygnia and TransferGo (from the UK) and Mambu (from Germany) - will compete in a final round in Boston in September.
Also joining them are five winners each from the New York showcase (taking place on June 5) and the Singapore showcase, held yesterday at the National Design Centre in Bugis.
Some 15 start-ups from Asia-Pacific and Europe took the stage to pitch their fin-tech solutions to a 150-strong audience of bankers, venture capitalists and technologists.
The five winners were Fastacash (from Singapore), Lendstar (Germany), Advanced Merchant Payments and Sixscape Communications (Hong Kong), and Stockspot (Australia).
"The Innotribe Startup Challenge brings curated, high-performing fin-tech start-ups to the banks and financial institutions who are increasingly made to think about disruption," said Fabian Vandenreydt, head of markets management, Innotribe and the Swift Institute at Swift.
But while some banks claim that they are ready for disruption, their legacy and mountain of regulations will continue to hobble the process for a while, said Hugh Mason, co-founder of Singapore-based accelerator JFDI and a guest speaker at the event.
Yesterday, Singapore was also unveiled as the venue for the 2015 Innotribe Startup Challenge finals, thanks to its status as a "start-up hub", and the fact that it enjoys support from both the government and private players, and is home to many global banks, said Swift's Mr Vandenreydt.
Swift, short for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, comprises over 10,000 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate members in 212 countries.