Updated: Sep 14, 2022
As published by: Esquire
Open finance has made its way to the Philippines, and now, Filipino angel investors have teamed up with Brankas to launch the country’s first open finance accelerator. Brankas is Southeast Asia’s leading open finance tech company, and together with Kaya Founders, an early-stage investment firm made up of angel investors, Brankas began the Open PHinance Challenge earlier this week. The eight-week accelerator program gathered 11 teams and startups in the region to generate innovative open finance products to solve problems in the market.
Over 30 teams and startups applied for the Challenge, but only 11 were selected. They were chosen based on their “problem identification, product relevance, innovativeness, and team dynamism.”
Coming from seven sectors and four ASEAN countries, the chosen startups are: AltSwitch, a blockchain-based startup aiming to develop secure wallets; Betterteem, a cloud-based HR app that utilizes AI; Cropital, an agriculture crowdfunding platform for farmers; Datacultr Fintech Limited, a digital debt collections and risk management startup; Dyippay, a fintech startup in the public utility vehicle sector; KoleK, an enterprise SaaS that orchestrates receivables processes for companies; Mochi, a B2B BNPL startup for MSMEs; Rambooor, a web3 startup focused on decentralized finance; Sonicboom Solutions, a fintech focused on serving building owners and drivers in mobility and parking industries; Spiro Carbon Group, an agri-startup that enables farmers to transition to climate-friendly methods; and Taikee, a personal finance platform that uses AI to generate unique financial management plans.
The 11 startups will undergo intensive mentoring where they will be trained in product ideation, business development user validation, regulatory compliance, pitching, and fundraising. Throughout the eight-week program, the startups will develop a product and pitch it on demonstration day where they will be judged by a panel of investors, startup founders, and open finance experts.
Of the 11 startups, only three will be chosen and sponsored to pitch their ideas at the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) from November 2 to 4, 2022. And from the top three teams, only one will be crowned the grand winner and receive P5.5 million ($100,000) capital.
"We want to cultivate the next generation of startups, so they can launch their businesses enabled by open finance technology and global best practices,” said Todd Schweitzer, Founder and CEO of Brankas.
“More and more financial institutions (FIs) are seeing a business value in partnering with startups where they can do distribution, monetization, and data sharing on behalf of the FIs. This is what we hope to enable with the Open PHinance Challenge, and hope that it benefits the users of the participants as well.”