Accelerating fintech in China
Saturday night on a Shenzhen street corner, a young guitarist dressed in Johnny Cash black strums away, singing melodies. His open guitar case has a laminated QR reader, propped up, welcoming digital tips from passersby.
China’s expeditious adoption of fintech is generating profits not only for startups, but also the companies investing in them. Sitting in the headquarters of FinPlus, a fintech venture capital firm and accelerator, its CEO, Mosso Lau, said, “There are very many opportunities.”
In 2016, investment in mainland Chinese and Hong Kong fintech ventures totaled $10.2 billion, exceeding North America’s $9.2 billion. Many domestic financial services and e-commerce conglomerates are supporting Chinese fintech startups. Additionally, foreign investors include KKR & Co. L.P., Bain Capital, Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, IDG Capital Partners, Ping An Insurance, DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Lau said traditional financial institutions weren’t meeting customers’ needs. Thus, FinPlus, a private company with a dozen employees and a US $7.5 million balance sheet, was founded in 2015. It specializes in fintech incubation and Series A funding. In exchange for an equity stake, FinPlus offers target companies funding, office space, back-office services, product design, marketing support and industry analysis.
Photo courtesy of Ted Lee.