An interview with Bangkok Bank Innohub
Video credit to: Bangkok Bank
Bangkok Bank (BB): Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ned Phillips (NP): I’m Ned Phillips, CEO and founder of Bambu. I came out to Asia about 30 years ago. Grew up in Scotland and came to Asia with a one way ticket with a one month plan. I lived in Hong Kong for 14 and Singapore for 15 years where I worked in finance and technology industry.
Bangkok Bank (BB): So what started Bambu?
Ned Phillips (NP):I was a consultant to various Fintech companies, one was a robo advisor in Hong Kong. They were B2C selling directly to customers - In that one year, we must have had 20-30 calls from banks asking if they would sell software to them (banks). We said no. and when you say no 20-30 times when people are calling you up asking you for something. I said to my wife one time, I think I should do this.
Bangkok Bank (BB): What does Bambu do?
Ned Phillips (NP): In the next generation, everyone would save and invest in a digital format. And we build that software. We build the actual design of it, do the analytics of it - based on who you are and how much you save and invest then we automate that process. The reality of it is, saving and investment is today, a fairly poor experience in the digital world and our innovation is making saving and investing an awesome experience in the digital world. So that is the innovation and also building a profitable company.
Bangkok Bank (BB): Can you tell us about getting the Series A?
Ned Phillips (NP): Creating ideas, execution, developing a platform and getting revenue from it and building a development and building a relationship with your investors. We have done three rounds of investing - 2 seed rounds and one series A funding. We are incredibly thankful for the people who have believed in us.
Bangkok Bank (BB): What do you see as a milestone for Bambu?
Ned Phillips (NP): In 12 months, we will be cash flow positive, and in 3-5 years we want to be the global leader in building robo - these digital saving and investing tools. Leaders are defined as having the most clients and most revenue. I’ll be 55 by then, if someone want to purchase my company, I can slowly retire. At the moment it’s too much fun so I wouldn’t leave it.
Bangkok Bank (BB): Why did you choose to apply for Bangkok Bank Innohub?
Ned Phillips (NP): We believe that Thailand would be a great market and the best way to get into a market is to build relationships with the leaders in the market. We knew Bangkok Bank is the leading bank and Nest has a great reputation. As a Singapore company coming to Thailand and being a new company, we knew this would be a really good platform for us.
Bangkok Bank (BB): What is the difference for Bambu before and after joining Innohub?
Ned Phillips (NP): The challenge for b2b companies would be finding the right person to speak to in a bank. There are tens of thousands of people selling robo advisors , blockchain or artificial intelligence. How do you find the right person or how do you know that Bank works? I think the Innohub taught us how to deal with such challenges. A lot of has changed in our company - the number of people and our products. After Innohub , we have learnt how to adapt to some of our potential clients and we have changed a lot of the way we do stuff.
Bangkok Bank (BB): What would you recommend to startups that will be joining Innohub?
Ned Phillips (NP): If you’re thinking about joining, join the program. Be open with everything that you have. Often startups would try to show you part of their product however come here and be willing to show everything you have. Be completely open, interact with the other startups and flexible as well. Overall, it was a great program and enjoyed it.