It’s now been 2 years since we started SC Ventures. Then, we highlighted three priorities: creating strategic options in banking through venture building, committing to intrapreneurship focused on client and business problem statements, and experimenting with the way we work. On the second anniversary of starting our mission of Rewiring the DNA in banking, we are taking stock and considering what’s next.
Innovation across the ecosystem
Innovation draws on collaboration across individuals & businesses, fintechs, industry peers and the wider ecosystem.
- We opened new eXellerator labs in Nairobi, Shanghai and Hong Kong
- 500 internal and external partners visited whilst we opened in Shanghai; likewise another 500 in Hong Kong, which included our inaugural RegTech flywheel industry collaboration
- 1,500 people visited us during 16 hours of Singapore Fintech Festival Lab Crawl 2019 – as much as the space would allow
- Singapore and Africa collaborated on the first Afro-Asia Fintech Festival with the Central Bank of Kenya and Monetary Authority of Singapore
- SC Ventures Fintech Bridge went live in both English and Chinese as a meeting place for fintechs and the Bank, bringing solutions and business challenges together. Over 500 fintechs are now registered and we launched another 5 challenges or use case searches since the beginning of this year.
The spirit of Intrapreneurship lives on
31 intrapreneur teams are taking their ideas forward, including:
- mortgage approvals in minutes in Dubai
- digital savings whilst spending in Hong Kong
- AI-driven client insights for Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking
We’ve received 2,000 ideas since launch – from the Venus challenge marking International Women’s Day, challenges in China and Africa, to working with the FinLab teams in Taiwan. From these ideas, new services or capabilities of the Bank have emerged as well as individual ventures in their own right. The SC Innovate community now stands at 22,000.
Investing in potential
Our $100m investment fund was launched in early 2019. Fund investments are emerging technology partnerships for the Bank, on their way to scaling up. Among the companies we’ve invested in is:
- Instabase with whom we’ve worked for several years and are now used in multiple production instances across the Bank. We were delighted to support their growth (and, along the way, a billion-dollar valuation)
- We welcomed three other companies to the fund this year – Digital Reasoning, Silent Eight, and SOCASH
As we explore new technologies, we’ve been building a base of expertise and intellectual capital in digital assets and cryptocurrencies, which we believe is world-class in financial services – stay tuned for more news. Elsewhere in the Bank, investments were made in:
- Symphony Communications (also powering an award-winning client co-creation with Blackrock, itself an Intrapreneur submission to a client co-creation challenge)
- Viva Republica’s digital bank consortium in Korea
- LINE’s consortium in Taiwan which was awarded its digital bank license
Building ventures for the future
Venture building is starting to bear some real options in the way we serve customers and communities. As we explore new business models, from building platforms to plugging into them and leveraging new technologies – such models are related to (but ultimately not constrained) by how we see banking today. We recently announced:
- our platform joint venture with Assembly Payments to support e-commerce merchants aggregate and manage their payments
- Solv, a platform for conversational commerce providing financing and other business services is in its testing phase, enabling growth for 5,000 SMEs in India
- CardsPal is finding 1,200 people better lifestyle deals with their credit cards across Singapore
- nexus has reached a milestone in bringing Banking as a Service (BaaS) at scale in our markets, beginning with a major partnership in Indonesia
- Singapore considers virtual banking, the Hong Kong Virtual Bank – branded Mox – will soon commence its second wave of beta testing
Progress has been at times hard won but ultimately, deeply gratifying. Many individuals and teams have played a significant part in making the past two years a reality. For that, thank you. We had lessons learned too. Communicating our purpose for the Bank and its clients; helping the Bank be more experimental, moving more quickly with a healthy dose of calculated risk-taking; to name a few.
SC Ventures: Connecting
We live from engagement. Literally. Just like humans need to connect with others in order to lead a purposeful life, we need connections in order to achieve our objective. For us, this speaks to the societal purpose of finance: when we “Rewire the DNA in banking”, we must do so in the context of the communities we serve, in order to make any sense at all. As SC Ventures, our community includes clients, Fintechs, corporate partners – then also people such as Intrapreneurs, subject-matter-experts and not least… you.
Our commitment to you is to create the right conditions to experiment and shape new ideas into reality – from Intrapreneurship, client co-creation to fintech PoCs and venture building. Once again, thank you to everyone who has been part of the humongous effort to date.
Our aspirations far exceed where we are now. We are committed to making innovation an integral part of the culture in our bank and realizing the formidable transformation potential that exists today in banking.
To connect with us: visit SC Ventures Fintech Bridge or reach out to the team at our SC Ventures Linkedin page.
Come join us in Rewiring the DNA in banking. Visit SC Venture Fintech Bridge