The third part of IWL Consulting’s specialist series zeroes in on which regions are leading the next wave of innovation and how it will affect investors moving forward.
IWL Consulting’s VC expert in the team, Graham Mitchell, said: “Two countries in Southeast Asia that have made tremendous progress in FinTech are Vietnam and Indonesia.
“Both countries have growing VC-backed ﬁntech ecosystems, and large tech platforms that have developed ﬁntech services on top of their original products. The most important limiting factors right now include under-penetration of mobile internet usage and building trust amongst consumers and businesses in conducting digital transactions.
“Last year in November I visited India and met with a lot of ﬁntech companies which also have interesting links with Chinese ﬁntech leaders. In China and India there are already a few investable opportunities available for us and we believe this will grow substantially over time. With the recent team additions, we have added substantially to our knowledge on Asian ﬁntech”.
Thomas Winters, Wealth Manager, said: “Asia has always been on the forefront of ﬁntech adoption. That was apparent pre-crisis already. There are some explanations for this: ﬁrst, supportive governments; second, good smartphone and internet penetration levels; and third, no legacy infrastructure. This last point especially is a big difference with the West, where payment choices are abundant.
“The US is far advanced when it comes to innovation. Adoption levels are gradually increasing. Europe has too stringent regulations for tech-enabled platforms to thrive, hence plays only a small role on a global level. That is not to say there are no high quality companies to be found in Europe or innovative companies, but compared to a massive internal market (Asia) and an excellent access to funding (US), Europe loses out”.
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