Starting from this month, fintech startups in Taiwan can officially apply to join the fintech regulatory sandbox (also known as “Finance Science and Technology Development and Innovation Experiments Bill”) established by the Financial Supervisory Commission.
The fifth country to have a fintech sandbox, Taiwan is ready to introduce its fintech innovations to the world. Here are the top 7 fintech startups in Taiwan you should know:
LnB, short for “Lend & Borrow”, is Taiwan’s first P2P lending platform. Founded in 2015, LnB has approved more than NT$150M (US$5M) in loans. LnB has its own credit scoring system, rating loan borrowers from A+ (highest) to K (lowest) and approving loans with corresponding interest rates from 2.5% p.a. to 19% p.a.
Within 6 months of its launch, LnB raised a multi-million-dollar series A round funding from Acorn Campus Ventures. Jennifer Yang, the founder of LnB, has stated that with the substantial amount of personal credit in Taiwan, LnB can reach 10% market share by 2020.
Standard Chartered Bank announced their partnership with LnB on May 16, 2018, becoming the first financial institution approved to do so in Taiwan. LnB users can choose to apply for loans from Standard Chartered through the LnB platform.
Founded in 2014, CoolBitX develops and manufactures hardware and software that store cryptocurrencies offline. Through physical cards and mobile app, it helps to protect cryptocurrency holders and reduces the risk of hacking attacks. Its first-generation Bitcoin wallet “CoolWallet” was launched in 2015, and has sold more than 100,000 worldwide.
In addition to Bitcoin wallets, CoolBitX’s products also include Slekt, a card that integrates multiple credit cards. In 2017, it entered Korea in cooperation with KT (Korea Telecom), Korea’s second-largest telecommunications company.
CoolBitX raised a seed round of US$500,000 in March 2017, and in January of the same year, it also raised RMB 280,000 (approximately US$200,000) from Singapore’s first equity crowdfunding platform. Kyber Capital, BitMain, and Midana Capital are amongst the shareholders. In March 2018. CoolBitX announced that it has received SBI Group’s strategic investment, and has also become a key player in the SBI Group’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Tixguru recently launched the first cryptocurrency fund platform in Asia. Tixguru adopts an ETF-like operation system to index the main cryptocurrency in the market, using CAP tokens through smart contract to indirectly hold a basket of cryptocurrencies. In addition to the passive funds, Tixguru will also introduce active funds, which is managed through machine learning and quantitative analysis, in the CAP (Crypto Asset Portfolio) fund platform.
Before launching CAP, Tixguru’s main product was a robo-advisor that manages quantitative trading for high-end investors.
After participating in the Taiwan Institute for Information Industry (III)’s FinTechBase last year, Tixguru became one of the Top 10 startups in Startupbootcamps (SBC) accelerator. It also received funding through the accelerator to set up a company in Singapore.
AMIS is arguably the first commercial blockchain platform in Taiwan. It adopts Ethereum smart contracts to solve financial technology, payments, and other cross-domain information flow issues. Vitalik Buterin, the inventor of Ethereum, has also served as technical advisor to AMIS.
AMIS has formed alliances with six major local banks to expand the application of blockchain in Taiwan. The first public project was “Fubon Wallet” app for Fubon Financial. With Fubon Wallet app, employees of Fubon Financial can make cashless taxi trips for business purposes.
INSTO is a mobile payment platform that allows users to buy and sell products or services and process payment in installments. Users can customize their installment payments through INSTO’s mobile app or website.
INSTO raised a US$1.9M seed round funding led by Multi-Dimensional Angel Partners in 2015 and a US$600,000 pre-A funding led by SYSTEX.
TapPay, an online payment tool, is committed to providing convenient and secure payment services for buyers and e-commerce companies. TapPay currently works with 10 different banking companies and handles more than 3 million transactions per month. It is expected to expand to Hong Kong and Singapore in 2018.
TapPay ranked 69th in the 2017 Fintech 100 by H2 Ventures and KPMG. FinTech 100 includes the world’s leading 50 financial technology companies, ranking according to innovation, financing activities, scale, and coverage.
Cherry Pay is a peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer matching platform. It aims to provide real exchange rates, transparent service fees and transfers within an hour. CherryPay is one of the innovative fintech startups that lowered the cost of remittance for foreign workers. The company charges both task requesters and takers a service fee of 0.5% to 2% for every successful match made on the platform, depending on the country the users reside in. As of March 2018, the total transaction volume reached US$30 million, and the number of registered members also exceeded 40,000, with an average of 50 to 60 members a day.
Cherry Pay also participated in FinTechBase before being chosen to compete in the Top 10 for SBC Fintech Singapore.