Hong Leong Bank Seels FinTech Startups for LaunchPad 2018

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Hong Leong Bank Berhad (HLB or the Bank) is back with its 2nd year fintech and start-up programme following the critical success of its inaugural HLB LaunchPad last year. The overwhelming positive response from participants and partners alike has led HLB LaunchPad to expand the programme into a bigger platform, not only for the original target group of fintech start-up, but to include youth, Series A companies as well as CSR outreach later this year.

To this end, the Bank has launched and opened the enrolment of HLB LaunchPad 2018: ACTIVATE for aspiring start-ups wanting to make a break in the financial services industry. Applications are opened from now till August 17th, 2018. HLB LaunchPad 2018: ACTIVATE now welcomes both local and ASEAN-based fintech and technology start-ups, in line with HLB’s vision of becoming a highly digital and innovative ASEAN financial services organisation.


HLB LaunchPad is a mentorship programme developed to nurture tech savvy start-ups in reimagining the financial services industry. It is Malaysia’s first public-private partnership between HLB, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (CFSB), Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) and the ASEAN Angels Alliance. The programme specifically focuses on transforming financial services in three areas: Simplifying Banking Today, Digitising Customer Journeys and Experience; and Re-Imagining Banking for Tomorrow. It aims to work with start-ups who are able to solve banking challenges or provide “out of the box” solutions that can change the way banking is performed. Selected start-ups will stand to win cash prizes of up to RM100,000.00, receive valuable insights and mentorship from HLB’s senior leadership teams and gain access to the wider Hong Leong Group in Malaysia as well as in the region.

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, “As the rapidly evolving digital and technology innovation changes the service and financial landscape, the banking and financial industry not only needs to be agile and adaptive to serve the customers’ growing digital needs, but we also need to be future-ready and be innovative in thinking ahead of the curve. HLB believes that through cultivating the best minds and collaborating with like-minded partners, we are able to transform our organisation faster – from the way work, the way we empower our communities and business partners and most importantly, the way we serve and engage with our customers.”

A key proposition of the programme is the hands-on engagement and mentorship provided by HLB’s Senior Management. This opportunity will give the finalists first-hand exposure to the knowledge, experience, and expertise of key people driving product, business, and digital development. This has greatly helped last year’s finalist start-ups improve product-market fit through market validation, with some of them moving on to engage with HLB commercially.

In 2017, overwhelming applications were received for the programme, and of the 18 shortlisted start-ups invited to pitch, five made it to the finals – SalesCandy, Kakitangan.com, PropSocial, CapitalBay and Blinkware Technology.  All five startups completed the intensive 3-month mentorship programme and SalesCandy, an action-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, emerged as the winning team on the final Demo day.

The LaunchPad finalists continued to engage with HLB commercially with some noteworthy milestones: –

  • The programme has helped SalesCandy validate their product-market fit and the positive results of their pilot has helped them to expand regionally within a short duration after the programme.
  • In May 2018, Capital Bay and HLB received the “Best Financial Supply Chain Management” award from The Asian Banker – The Bankers’ Choice Awards 2018 in Hong Kong.
  • In June 2018, HLB launched the Digital Business Solution Suites for SMEs, bundling offerings from Kakitangan and Biztory.

Interested fintech start-ups can find out more about the programme at www.hlb.com.my/hlblaunchpad/

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