Bambu’s B2B Robo-advising Platform Democratizes Financial Planning

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Historically, financial planning was considered an option only for the white-collar crowd—those with lots of money would find a personal financial advisor to help them decide how much of their wealth to disburse to which asset classes.

That being said, over the past decade, a host of fintech startups have popped up around the world, looking to both capitalize on existing business and bring investing ability to new markets. Bambu, a Singapore-based company that built a robo-advising platform, is focused on the latter.

Founded in 2016 by Ned Phillips and Aki Ranin, Bambu is on a mission to apply the latest technology to financial advisory, thereby lowering the cost of such services and making them available to people who previously would’ve dismissed them as exclusively for the rich and powerful.

But while other global leaders in the robo-advising industry have found success going directly to the consumer (think Betterment or Wealthfront), Bambu is taking a different route by targeting established financial institutions.

Why? It’s really a product of where and how the company started, per Ranin.

“If you look at the places robo-advising took off, it’s large domestic markets: the USA, Europe, and some in China. At the center of this is the ease of moving through regulations and getting approval. For example, in Europe they have pan-European licensing processes that make it easy to get regulated in one country but do business across many. Asia, on the other hand, is fragmented, making the independent model a lot more difficult.”

This fragmentation led to Bambu working directly with banks on platform adoption, as the banks already have the necessary regulatory approvals. They then use the startup’s robo-advisory services to better serve their customers.

Using that model, Bambu was able to be the first robo-advisor to launch in its home of Singapore, relying heavily on AWS from the get-go, both from a technical perspective and a partnership perspective to help navigate the regulatory barriers surrounding financial services.

While today it seems like a given that most companies work on the cloud in some capacity, it wasn’t always the case, especially in emerging markets. Ranin describes how as recently as three years ago when Bambu started, the environment was less than welcoming, if not entirely skeptical.

“At the time, it wasn’t clear path for companies to launch utilizing cloud services, especially in highly regulated industries like ours. AWS and its local team in Singapore were hugely helpful not only in getting us ramped up, but also in understanding regulations, and making a case for why using the cloud actually increases security. Once that’s established there really isn’t any downside.”

With a solid stance in Singapore and activity underway in other Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Bambu has its sights set on geographic expansion. The platform was initially built for Asian countries, but it has since garnered much interest from the global community, a development that surprised Ranin and his team.

“We’ve seen inquiries come in from places all over the world, such as the U.S., South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Moving forward, Bambu will put more focus on building the platform for scale, making it easily launchable wherever the customer may be.”

Once completed, the startup’s next iteration will further the company’s goal of bringing financial advisory services to the masses, not only on home soil, but also for people around the world.

Original Source: AWS

What does it take to raise Series B funding? Learn from Gilmour Space and Bambu

Due diligence plays a big part in the decision-making process for raising capital. For most startups, the challenge lies in finding a secure and efficient way to accomplish due diligence with potential investors. An adequate view of a company’s business will empower investors to find the right valuation or investment strategy.

The art of the deal

“Raising money is all about telling your story, and it is also about time,” shares Ned Phillips, Founder & CEO of Bambu, a B2B software startup providing white label saving and investment API’s. He shares that startups and investors have to be both thorough and efficient in conducting due diligence….

ASIA’S TOP 19 WEALTHTECH COMPANIES 2019

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As conversations around fintech focus around financial inclusion and serving the underserved, we would be remiss to ignore the wealthtech scene burgeoning in Asia.

Wealthtech takes the management lead away from retail banks, partly by utilsing robo-advisors to significantly streamline the process, and hence, seen as tech with disruptive potential.

Asia is home to the world’s largest wealth management market too, thanks to China’s significant accumulationof wealth in recent years.

Asia’s wealthtech still rank behind counterparts from North America and Europe, accounting for 41.3% and 35%of investments respectively between 2014 and 2018, respectively. However, there has been slow but sure growth—wealthtech in Asia snapped up 15.5% of investments between 2014 to 2018.

Being a media specialised in fintech reporting provides us with an unparalleled view of the emerging trends and players in the space.

After tracking the performance and announcements from hundreds wealthtech companies across our Fintech News Network’s Asian sites, the following are in our view, the top wealthtech companies in Asia….

Read full article: Fintechnews

How the UK and Singapore are partnering for the future

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by Scott Wightman

APR 19, 2019 05:50 AM

IN February, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat presented a budget to further cement Singapore's position as a regional node of technology, innovation and enterprise and to strengthen its position as "Asia 101' for global MNCs looking to expand into Asia's growing markets and as "Global 101" for Asian companies ready to go global.

Over the years, Singapore has built a world-renowned reputation for innovation, creativity and enterprise. So has the United Kingdom. The 2018 Global Innovation Index - jointly published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation - ranked the UK and Singapore as the fourth and fifth most innovative economies in the world. There is a keen understanding in both nations that innovation is the lifeblood of national prosperity.

This encompasses innovation in trade, business, governance, education and civil society agencies. It is also telling that both the UK and Singapore are adopting similar "whole-of-government" approaches to supporting industry to meet national challenges and set gold standards as trade and business hubs.

Under Singapore's Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan, announced in 2016, S$4 billion has been earmarked for research and innovation towards achieving Singapore's Smart Nation goal. This reflects the country's drive to maintain its competitive edge by building a knowledge-based economy and future skills-ready society. In the UK, as part of our Industrial Strategy, the government announced an additional investment of £7 billion (S12.4 billion) for R&D to be spent over five years as part of the National Productivity Investment Fund. This raises UK's public investment in R&D from £9.5 billion in 2016-2017 to around £12.5 billionper annum by 2021-2022. This is the biggest ever increase in public funding of R&D for the country. The UK's tech sector has been a major beneficiary of this boost in R&D investment, cementing its position as Europe's leading centre of new and emerging digital and tech businesses and the top European destination for global technology investment.

Singaporean companies are seizing the opportunity this creates to grow their business.

Bambu, a wealth management robo solution provider based in Singapore, opened its office in London last year. Another Singapore-based fintech startup, Chynge, has also chosen London as its only office outside Asia. These are just two of the many tech disrupters looking beyond Singapore's domestic and regional markets and attracted by the UK's compelling business environment.

And the UK government is making it even easier for Singaporean startups and entrepreneurs to establish themselves in the UK. Our new Start-up Visa is for early-stage, high-potential enterprises looking to enter the UK, while the Innovator Visa invites more experienced entrepreneurs to expand their business in the UK. Lower funding requirements and longer-stay options for eligible applicants mean these new visas offer greater opportunity for foreign companies to enter UK markets.

The interest and opportunities are not one-way. Just as more Singapore-based companies are choosing the UK for their overseas operations, we are seeing increasing numbers of UK companies choosing Singapore as their base to enter Asian markets.

Earlier this month, the Singapore eCommerce Enterprises Development (SEED) office opened in London with support from Enterprise Singapore to help UK companies expand into Singapore and the region. The choice of London is a clear endorsement of its strength as an incubator of innovative brands and a global market leader in consumer goods and products.

This comes at a time of ever-deepening cooperation and collaboration between the UK and Singapore. In January Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the UK's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched the new SG-UK Partnership for the Future. From government to government, business to business, academic to academic and person to person, the Partnership reaches every level through the four priority areas of digital economy, sustainable business and innovation, security and defence, and education culture and youth. While solidifying and expanding existing links, we are creating new collaborations between our two island nations on shared global challenges and opportunities, embracing technology for the benefit of our citizens, and businesses.

Source of article: Business Times

SINGAPORE’S 29 HOTTEST FINTECH IN 2019

Credit: Fintech News

Being a media specialised in fintech reporting provides us with an unparalleled view of the emerging trends and players in the space.

After tracking the performance and announcements from hundreds of Singaporean based fintech companies, here are (in our view) the top 29 fintech companies operating in Singapore.

Feel free to also check our previous selection of the top Singapore Fintech companies and their progress.

Read full article here: http://fintechnews.sg/top-singapore-fintech-startups-2019/

Meet Franklin Templeton’s new digital czar

Harshendu Bindal ticks off the priorities for Franklin Templeton Investments:

  • changing consumer behavior in both its retail and institutional businesses,

  • meeting the challenge of the relentless demand for passive products,

  • ongoing regulatory changes,

  • shifting distribution needs.

That’s already a lot.

“Plus digital,” he told DigFin in his San Mateo, California office. “It’s all-pervasive. We need business leaders to devote time and energy to digital,” both to fend off its threats as well as to harness its opportunities.

Read full article here.

Fintech News Network: 12 Infographics Showcasing the State of Fintech Around the World

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2018 was an exciting year for fintech around the world with many developments across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Worldwide, fintech companies raised a whopping US$57.9 billion through 875 deals in the first six months of 2018 alone, already surpassing 2017’s results.

From Switzerland to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore, the following 12 infographics showcase the state of fintech around the world.

Full article here

Bambu and OUTvest win FinovateAfrica’s Best of Show awards

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Finovate’s first foray into the African fintech scene has been a huge success. The companies that demonstrated their technologies live on stage this week showed us innovations in everything from automated regtech and small business lending, to customer engagement and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled credit assessment.

Yet the two companies whose live demos made the greatest impressions on our FinovateAfrica audience were firms focused on one of fintech’s earliest – and most persistent – disruptions: the rise of the robo-advisor.

Article here: https://www.bankingtech.com/2018/11/bambu-and-outvest-win-finovateafricas-best-of-show-awards/

The Fintech and Proptech Fellows of Fusion Startup Accelerator

With over 250 people in attendance, the startups from the Class of 2017 presented their achievements midway into the programme. Fusion presented the results of the 3 vertical global ecosystem accelerators and blockchain initiatives to boost Switzerland’s tech and startup scene.

After 6 months of intensive mentorship, insightful sprints, pivoting, hard work and acceleration, the startups were ready to pitch in a room full of Investors, senior corporate executives, Academia, Mentors & members of the Press.

Fusion runs Acceleration, Incubation & Venture building programs for corporate innovators & founders, partnering with leading corporate & strategic investors to drive venture growth & breakthrough innovation.

Among Fusion’s corporate partners supporting the ecosystem are Investis Group, Notz Stucki, Temenos, FTI, Swisscard, and Mobiliere.

The Journal of Alternative Investment

The Abstract
The recent rise of robo-advisors (RAs) has threatened the traditional fund and wealth management industry. RAs’ assets under management (AUM) have risen manyfold through competitiveness on pricing, transparency and services and better expected returns linked to the use of quantitative finance and technology with less subjective human intervention. This article examines the postulation that RAs have an edge over traditional wealth managers. RAs can combine the judgement and computing resources of both human and machine, or bionic power, to provide alternative wealth management services to meet the diverse needs of private wealth clients. However, the authors expect traditional wealth managers to respond by providing new and improved customized and integrated services at competitive fees.

Fintech Startups in Asia Switzerland Should Watch Closely

Asia is witnessing a strong increase in fintech investment as overseas investors search for opportunities in emerging markets and as western banks look to bolster their presence in the region.

In the first quarter of 2018, investment into fintech companies in the region surged on the back of a quartet of US$100 million+ mega-round deals. The region saw more than US$2 billion being pumped into its fintech startups, nearly as much as North America during the same period, according to CB Insights.

Benzinga Global Fintech Award Finalists For Best Robo-Advisor Are Changing The Wealth Management Field

The Benzinga Global Fintech Awards are a yearly showcase of the greatest advances in fintech from leaders and visionaries in the worlds of finance and technology. This year, executives, developers and innovators from the likes of Facebook, Amazon, IBM, JP Morgan, Zelle, TD Ameritrade, TradeStation, Fidelity and so many more attending the Oscars of Fintech.

The BZ Awards are half party, half business development bonanza—they’re a rare chance to meet and network with everyone in finance from CNBC’s Josh Brown to the head of financial services at Facebook to the heads of trading at every major brokerage.

To offer more clarity on who is competing for the prize of most innovative in each category, Benzinga is breaking out the finalists in each category and offering more information about what they do.

List of Robo-Advisors

Bambu Goes Global, Launches London Office, Adds Technical Talent

The news that robo advisor Bambu has opened a new office in London and won its first American client is a reminder that, in fintech, when the going is good, the good go global.

“We would like to announce a new client project based in America that we landed recently,” the Finovate Best of Show winning company reported in its blog Thursday morning. “We are looking forward to working with them on building a robo solution for their region and will update you all with more details as we get closer to launching it.”

Bambu lands first American client, prepares to open office in London

Bambu lands first American client, prepares to open office in London

We would like to announce a new client project based in America that we landed recently.

We are looking forward to working with them on building a robo solution for their region and will update you all with more details as we get closer to launching it.

In April, we will be opening our new office in London located at Level39 - Europe's largest financial technology accelerator space. The opening is part of Bambu's long-term growth strategy to offer our services and expertise on a global scale. 

We welcome four new employees to the team - Nick Wakefield, Chen Jie Yang, Hui Min Lee & Tino Sambora. Nick Wakefield was previously our sales consultant but now leads as Managing Director in Europe. Chen Jie joins us to enhance our AI capabilities while Hui Min contributes her design expertise to the team. Lastly, Tino Sambora is here to boost the front-end development of our on-going projects.

Source: Finextra

The Asset Digital Awards highlights growth of banks’ digital offerings

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THE process behind what appears to an end user as a seamless, simple, and intuitive digital solution, is often anything but, as new digital offerings have to run a rigorous gauntlet through countless technical and control-related checks before finally going live. The banks which put in the legwork to provide such seamless end user experiences, as well as successfully onboarding a significant number of clients to their digital offerings, are honoured at The Asset Triple A Digital Awards 2017.

Bambu wins Best of Show at Finovate Asia 2017

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Bambu, the leading digital wealth company in Asia, won the Best of Show Award at Finovate Asia 2017 in Hong Kong, yesterday.

Finovate is a series of conferences focused exclusively on showcasing the best and most innovative new financial and banking technologies. Finovate began in New York 2007, and today it consistently attracts large, high-impact audiences of senior financial and banking executives. The Best of Show awards at Finovate are highly coveted, and many past winners have gone on to great success.

My fintech story: I want to transform financial services

Millennials are starting all the fintechs, right? Not quite. Aged 50, ex-broker Ned Philips is bucking the trend after spotting a gap in the robo-advice market. 

Ned Philips, founder and CEO of fintech firm Bambu, is a perfect example of how age is just a number. Running his own fintech start-up at 50, we caught up with him on his early years at the heart of the fintech revolution, his journey so far, and tips for fintechs when collaborating with a bank.

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DBS Bank Hunting For a Robo-Adviser

Singapore's largest lender DBS is looking to add a robo-adviser solution to its product suite, finews.asia can reveal exclusively.

DBS Bank is looking for a partner to work on a robo-adviser, a source familiar with the matter told finews.asia. While Asia boasts a vibrant and expanding wealth technology scene, no significant deals have been struck. Local banks are working closely with startups, but there has been no major investment yet.

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Bangkok Bank wants to put Thailand in the Fintech Hub race

Thailand’s first global Fintech accelerator program, Bangkok Bank InnoHub, has completed its inaugural program with the eight participating startups pitching their innovative technologies to Thai and international investors on Demo Day.

Selected from 199 applications across 32 countries, eight startups have successfully completed the 12-week intensive program at Bangkok Bank, receiving expert coaching and advice from dedicated mentors within the Bank and its corporate innovation partner, Nest, in areas such as technology, business development and finance in the context of market and regulatory conditions in Thailand and the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC.

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