Asia’s leading fintech accelerator program has finally set roots in Malaysia, welcoming 10 start-ups from across the world to Kuala Lumpur, a springboard for many of these entities into Southeast Asia and beyond; and for a select few, a gateway into key global Islamic financial markets.
Leveraging on its existing partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Kong-based SuperCharger expanded its geographical presence into Malaysia in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and Allianz Malaysia. The inaugural Kuala Lumpur program received over 100 early stage and late-stage scale-up applications from 30 countries covering a diverse range of verticals including insurtech, regtech, payments, wealth management, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.
The 10 finalists all bring unique and complementary solutions to the program, with all featuring several cross-industry innovations. The businesses tackle problems that improve financial services, whether it comes from client security, user experience and wellbeing, new products or intelligent services for banks. As a result, there are many potential collaboration opportunities between start-ups and SuperCharger’s institutional partners.
Testament to Malaysia’s global stature as an international Islamic finance hub and an emerging regional center for digital economy and fintech, the program also attracted entities with a Shariah compliant proposition looking to take advantage of the country’s sophisticated infrastructure and market dominance to foray into the global Muslim market. These start-ups include regtech platform Capnovum and big data analytics firm MyFinB.
“We are excited to be part of the SuperCharger program here in Kuala Lumpur, especially because of the local Islamic finance market and Malaysia’s importance to Islamic finance globally,” Niclas Nilsson, founder & CEO of Capnovum, said. “With the global Muslim population expected to grow twice as fast as the overall world population to 2050, and total Islamic finance assets to grow from today’s US$2 trillion to US$3.5 trillion by 2021, it is uncontroversial to predict intensifying innovation in Shariah compliant products and increased focus on Islamic regulatory frameworks.”
Nilsson added that Malaysia’s unrivalled command on the domestic Sukuk segment and high concentration of Shariah finance assets make the country a sweet spot for the development of Islamic regtech.
“Capnovum is therefore evaluating Kuala Lumpur as a base from which to target not only Asian institutions, but Islamic financial markets on a global scale.”
MyFinB, on the other hand, sees tremendous potential for AI to be adopted by the Islamic banking and finance sector – specifically in pre/post financing for Islamic financial institutions and Islamic microfinancing institutions.
“MyFinB can provide strong insights on the profile of a business owner or fund seeker – by helping to automatically assess the risks and opportunities to the financiers, and propose the type of financing solutions that are both Shariah compliant and yet aligned to the needs of the fund seekers. Costs can certainly be pushed down when the processes are automated and decisioning is expedited with accurate risk-based pricing approaches.”
MyFinB Malaysia is co-owned by global Shariah scholar Dr Mohd Daud Bakar and MyFinB Holdings, led by AI pioneer Muhammad Nazri Muhd.
“At present, there is no independent and systematic monitoring of Islamic microfinance institutions. It is estimated that there are 329 microfinance institutions in 38 OIC countries, serving over 28.4 million borrowers with gross loan portfolio of US$7.3 billion. This represents 29.5% of total number of microfinance institutions in the world,” noted MyFinB.
With MDEC’s support, the 12-week program will run until the 15th December 2017 at the Komune co-working space, UOA Corporate Tower, The Vertical in Bangsar South.