Kuala Lumpur’s Nascent Fintech Ecosystem

Kuala Lumpur, which didn’t make TO the top 20 ranking in the Startup Eco System Report, is believed to have a prosperous environment for startups. It has entrepreneurial spirit, advantageous location in the middle of Southeast Asia and high English proficiency. The city is well positioned to claim a spot among the top Asian startup ecosystems, according to Compass.

„With an impressive growth in successful exits, Kuala Lumpur is experiencing the rise of a new generation of Malaysian tech entrepreneurs,“ the report reads. „Although weaknesses of the ecosystem still exist, access to funding and talent has improved thanks to responsive government policy.“

Cheryl Yeoh of MaGIC, a startup hub backed by the government whose objectives are to develop, educate, expose and accelerate entrepreneurs, believes that „2014-2015 is a breakthrough year for Malaysia in the tech startup space.“

Kuala Lumpur Fintech

„Within the year, we have seen the introduction of 7 new accelerators, each with a different focus: gaming (GameFounders), fintech (Maybank), iOT (Brinc), travel (Tune Labs), MaGIC’s very own MAP early stage accelerator, and 500Startups’ Distro Dojo growth-stage accelerator,“ Yeoh said.

 „We believe Malaysia has all the ingredients to be the best launchpad for anySoutheast Asian startup; from a track record of successful regional founders, to its lower startup cost as compared to Singapore and its multicultural and multilingual advantage.“

Maybank, Malaysia’s largest financial services group, kicked off its MaybankFintech program earlier this week, an initiative aiming to support startups and generate ideas in the financial technology sphere.

So far, a total of 115 tech startups participated in the program, including 109 from the ASEAN region.

„We want to be a central member of the Fintech community in the region, to help grow and support entrepreneurs, by providing them with an avenue to connect directly with the financial industry,“ Maybank Group Chief Strategy Officer, Michael Foong said.

Ultimately, the Maybank Fintech program is a tremendous opportunity for Maybank to harness the startups ecosystem and acquire the best innovation ideas in fintech. However, the purpose is also to help the ASEAN region benefiting from the economic and social impact of these technological advances, Foong said.

„Our long-term aim is to support the growth of ASEAN not only in terms of financial services and economic progress but also in the area of technology where we feel there is tremendous untapped potential. We are determined to make ASEAN the next growth area for tech startups.“

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