Software services and consulting giant Accenture is inviting startups to apply for its annual FinTech Innovation Lab accelerator programme in the Asia Pacific region. The $41-billion technology giant will help these growth-stage companies accelerate product and business development with mentorship from technology and financial institutions, the company said.
Since starting the programme in 2014, more than 40 startups have been mentored by the Lab and these firms have together raised $508 million since participating in the initiative, Accenture said in the statement.
According to a recent report by Accenture, fintech startups and traditional financial sector giants are increasingly finding common ground to collaborate.
“There’s now widespread acceptance that the best way forward for banks and fintech startups is to collaborate where possible, creating big ecosystems that will help unlock huge value for all stakeholders, particularly consumers,” said Piyush Singh, Accenture’s financial services head for Asia-Pacific and Africa and also the regional programme sponsor for the Lab.
Accenture said that the Lab's focus was to foster a greater partnership between well-established financial firms looking for the next breakthrough technology and nimble startups eager to test their solutions and push them to market. It added that global fintech investments more than doubled in 2018, to $55.3 billion, led by a surge in funding to startups in mainland China, as well as by record fintech investment in Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia, among other markets.
“We’ve already seen banks, insurers and wealth managers partner with fintech firms, but the outlook for further collaboration and the resulting value creation is making investors more comfortable to spread their bets more widely, pushing broad gains around the world,” Singh added.
Startups must have a working version of their technology/solution to qualify for the Lab. Accenture will mentor 10 startups at its office in Cyberport, Hong Kong, which is a digital and startup community in the city.
Accenture has tied up with financial institutions like Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, SunLife Financial and Zurich Insurance apart from other Asia Pacific financial institutions.
The FinTech Innovation Lab of Asia-Pacific is modelled on a similar programme that Accenture co-founded in 2010 with the Partnership Fund for New York City, the $150 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. In 2012, another similar initiative was launched in London.