That’s one you probably don’t hear very often. In fact, isn’t everyone saying the complete opposite? So, what on earth am I talking about?

Truth be told, I don’t really think the global FinTech ship has sailed. 

In fact, more than $8billion has been raised so far in 2017 across 496 deals and 5 companies have earned unicorn status. Block chain and bitcoin startups have seen funding grow 100% on a quarterly basis. Insurance and wealth management related startups have seen funding rise by more than 200%. [1]

However, SE Asia is where I’ve called home since 2009, so I’m less concerned with the global FinTech market and more intrigued by what’s on my doorstep and it’s a very different reality.

In 2016, investments in SE Asia Fintech dropped by 36%. 

In investments and deals terms that’s $157m compared to $245m in 2015. Number of actual deals remained consistent. Of the 400+ Fintech startups in SE Asia, 98% are Seed and Series A, and 95% won’t reach Series B because they can’t scale and show results. [2] 

Asia represents a highly fragmented regulatory environment and infrastructure, which means that with every country you have to start from scratch. 

It also means 80% of a business’ resources are spent on launching in Asia compared to 20% in the US / UK. 

If we take that one step further, it means that in Asia 20% of a business’ resources are reserved for business development, compared to 80% in the US / UK.

What it also means is that hiring becomes even more critical. With only 20% of resources remaining to drive adoption, you need a sales team that’s equipped to do the heavy lifting.