A first of its kind B2B, cross-border programme for Indian fintechs has been launched at Hong Kong FinTech Week.
Dubbed FT Slingshot, the new project aims to enable Indian firms with the ability to strategically scale and launch internationally.
With feature demo days in Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore, the programme’s purpose is to “showcase Indian firms’ strengths in B2B financial services” whilst also support international growth, in particular in Greater China and South East Asia.
Musheer Ahmed, managing director of FinStep Asia and Leader of FT Slingshot, noted: “FT Slingshot will showcase the best Indian FinTech companies with global ambitions, giving them access to the mentors and opportunities they need to achieve international expansion.
“The programme will bring together the world’s most dynamic FinTech communities and help accelerate the evolution of the financial services industry.”
According to MEDICI research, 96% of Indian start-up founders are targeting global markets, with fintech the “most popular segment” for entrepreneurs.
Those participating in FT Slingshot will be presented with opportunities to work alongside “top regional and international banks and insurers.”
Hoped to support companies in refining their products, these firms will also help Indian fintechs with scalability and releasing their solutions internationally.
The programme will also help the “most promising” fintechs with access to investment led by Sea Fund and other notable investors from India and Hong Kong.
Charles Ng, Associate Director General of Invest Hong Kong, commented: “Invest Hong Kong is delighted to support FT Slingshot. Hong Kong is an important part of the fast-developing Greater Bay area which, with a population of 70 million and an economy of USD 1.6 trillion, is bringing about exciting business opportunities.
“The city is therefore the perfect hub for connecting Indian businesses with Japan, Korea, Greater China and ASEAN. FT Slingshot will be at the heart of the action, bringing Indian start-ups and scale-ups to the wider FinTech community for the mutual benefit of the industry.”
The project, led by FinStep Asia in partnership with MEDICI and WHub, will incorporate mentors from across Asia’s financial services and fintech industries along with interactions from major banks and insurance firms.
Amit Goel, co-founder of MEDICI, said: “Two interesting trends have inspired us to co-create this platform.
“Firstly, Indian FinTechs have evolved at such a rapid pace due to modern financial infrastructure and FinTech adoption that they are exporting products and tech now to Banks and financial institutions globally.
“Secondly, B2B success stories like Freshworks and Zoho from India have led new B2B tech founders to think about global markets from day one.
“Therefore Indian B2B FinTech companies need more opportunities to take their products to Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and South East Asia to help drive FinTech forward.”
Karena Belin, co-founder and CEO of WHub and AngelHub, said: “Our mission at WHub is to unleash startups’ full potential by connecting them to the resources they need, and with FT Slingshot we’ll be helping take the Indian FinTech industry global.
“Hong Kong’s FinTech scene is thriving, having given birth to four FinTech unicorns already, representing nearly 10% of global FinTech unicorns, and represents a great springboard to helping FinTech start-ups scale in the East.”