The Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) has launched Project Tapir, partnering with Malaysia-based venture capital (VC) firms, Artem Ventures and OSK Ventures International Berhad (OSKVI) to identify and showcase promising Singapore FinTech companies who are keen to launch in Malaysia.

This includes companies in the payments, regtech, insurtech, AI, sustainability and climate related tech, education, healthcare space, enterprise tech and other emerging technologies where Artem Ventures and OSKVI specialize, SFA said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, 1337 Ventures, a Malaysian-based VC firm specializing in early-stage technology startups, is supporting this project as a secondary partner.

Anchored by Artem Ventures and OSKVI, with 1337 Ventures as a partner, SFA hopes these partnerships under Project Tapir will provide Singapore FinTechs with a comprehensive ecosystem that ensure a higher chance of go-to-market.

Under the arrangement, SFA will play a key role in shortlisting potential Singapore FinTech companies to be part of an SFA delegation that will travel to Malaysia for a business mission in May 2024.

Both anchor venture capital firms will support the selected companies in their expansion efforts in Malaysia, including providing access to local industry insights and advice.

“SFA is committed to supporting the regional expansion of Singapore FinTechs to Malaysia through this partnership with Artem Ventures and OSKVI,” said Shadab Taiyabi, President of SFA.

“Finding the right growth partners is key for Singapore FinTechs that want to grow regionally,

“Artem Ventures and OSKVI both have deep expertise in the Malaysian FinTech space and we hope this latest initiative will support our members and positively impact both the economic and talent markets in both countries,” he added.

Low Zhen Hui, Managing Partner of Artem Ventures, commented that Artem Ventures is proud to champion the integration of Singapore FinTechs into a thriving Malaysian tech ecosystem through this partnership.

“Through strategic collaborations and support, we aim to foster economic growth, cutting-edge innovations, and the creation of valuable job opportunities in the Malaysian market,

“Together, we are building bridges between nations and shaping the future of the regional FinTech ecosystem,” he added.

Amelia Ong, Chief Executive Officer of OSK Ventures International Berhad, added that the firm stands strong in its commitment in driving sustainable private market growth and digitalization advancement in the Southeast Asian region.

“Through this partnership, we aim to foster stronger bilateral ties between the digital ecosystem in both countries and we hope to empower fintechs with the resources and insights to thrive in a growing ecosystem,” she added.

According to the statement, this initiative represents a cross border collaboration that will benefit both the Singaporean and Malaysian governments aspirations by promoting their respective interests in neighboring countries.

With this initiative, Singaporean fintechs are supported when expanding overseas while Malaysia is showcased as an attractive location for foreign investments.

The SFA is a cross-industry non-profit organization. Its purpose is to support the development of the FinTech industry in Singapore and facilitate collaboration among the participants and stakeholders.

The SFA is a member-based organization with over 800+ members. It represents the full range of stakeholders in the FinTech industry, from early-stage innovative companies to large financial players and service providers.

To further its purpose, the SFA also partners with institutions and associations from Singapore and globally to cooperate on initiatives relating to the FinTech industry.

The SFA has also signed over 70 international Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to lay the network for its members and ecosystem.

Artem Ventures is a VC fund management company currently managing a fund in partnership with FWD Group that invests in early-stage fintech and insurtech companies.

To-date, Artem Ventures has vetted more than 750 companies and helped its portfolio secure further funding, market access, mentors, and advisors.

OSKVI is an investment firm provides VC and venture debt to Southeast Asian companies seeking growth capital.

The firm currently has 37 active portfolio companies.

1337 Ventures is an early-stage VC firm focused on pre-seed and seed-stage investments in Malaysia and South East Asia.

Established in 2012, the Malaysia-based VC has utilized its learning to accelerate the growth of over 3,500+ startups from five different countries.

1337 Ventures has launched accelerators for multinational corporations and government-linked companies such as FWD, NTIS, Bank Negara Malaysia, Khazanah Nasional, Telekom, Digi, MDEC, CIMB, RHB, and Maybank.

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