As you may be aware, Lendo is trademarked in Singapore, which is fast becoming the fintech hub for the ASEAN region (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Here are some insights from Medici that helps explain why it is thriving here.
The ASEAN region is home to in excess of 630 million people and a quarter of the population lives in urban areas. It is also one of the fastest-growing regions as well as the seventh-largest economy globally.
Its population is young and educated with a literacy rate of over 80%, phone ownership stands at more than 0.5 phones per person, and it enjoys a low-to-mid unemployment rate of 0.5%–6.9%.
Singapore leads the region in terms of literacy (96.8%), life expectancy (82.7 years), cell phones per person (1.46), Internet connectivity (82.1%), and urban population (100%). It is also ranked globally as one of the easiest countries to do business in (ranked second worldwide), with a 100% foreign ownership regulation.
It is also the fastest-growing private wealth hub in the world and has overtaken Switzerland in this regard. Furthermore, Singapore banks are expanding their wealth management business as foreign players exit, because they couldn’t make their private wealth services sufficiently profitable.
Blockchain offers opportunities and disruption. It can also provide solutions to several issues including reduced fees for investors, lowered risks and costs for firms, as well as improved transparency.
Singapore also offers Venture Capital (VC) funds easier access through a proposed simplified regulatory regime, which will speed up time-to-market and lessen compliance obligations.
Its approach to regulations is also proving to be digital friendly. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) established the FinTech and Innovation group in 2015. Its remit is to formulate regulatory policies and technologies to better enhance and strengthen competitiveness in the financial sector.
And, for example, Startup SG is a government programme that aims to answer all the needs of the startups wishing to establish an office locally.
There are many more things fintech-related happening in Singapore that make it one of the most promising environments for Lendo to be in, as Medici’s overview of the city-state shows. The ASEAN region is going to be hugely important going forward for us, and for many other startups like Lendo: we’ll be keeping you updated about our progress here and in other parts of the world as our work towards launching continues.