HONG KONG, Jan. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ayannah, a mature stage startup from the Philippines, was deemed the 'Best in Show' by the judges at the Fintech Finals 2017 (FF17) pitch competition at PMQ in Hong Kong brought to you by Visa, as part of the StartmeupHK Festival. Twenty-three startup finalists had six minutes to shine on stage in front of judges and a live audience of fintech professionals, enthusiasts and media. While all were winners in their own right, only Ayannah got to go home with the US$10,000 prize.
Ayannah provides affordable and accessible digital financial services for the world's unbanked. Miguel Perez, Ayannah's CEO said, "We are thrilled and honoured to receive this recognition this year! We look forward to keeping this momentum going and will work on continuing to grow our business with the proceeds."
As Best in Show, Ayannah is also invited for a co-creation engagement with Visa at its Innovation Center in Singapore, to explore and ideate on business solutions and opportunities together with a team of subject matter experts from across Visa's business.
Three Best In Category trophies were also distributed. Best Early Stage Startup went to Bambu from Singapore, and Best Growth Stage Startup was won by DarcMatter from the USA. BIMA from Sweden claimed the Best Mature Stage Startup. All winners will also receive the benefits of partnership opportunities and promotion through Next Money channels.
Associate Director-General of Invest Hong Kong, Charles Ng, said, "Hong Kong welcomed the Fintech Finals back here again during the StartmeupHK Festival 2017. We were glad to meet the 23 shortlisted startups, five of which from Hong Kong, to present their innovative fintech solutions on stage. Hong Kong has a fertile ground for fintech startups to grow. It has a robust and market-driven fintech fundraising centre, with different accelerators and innovation labs in town and the largest Smart Space Fintech located in Cyberport. Invest Hong Kong's dedicated fintech team is here to help overseas startups embrace the vast opportunities in Hong Kong, the mainland China and beyond."
Judges worked from a score sheet to rate the startups, based on the following criteria: business model application, scale and robustness; transformative concept and technology; market opportunity and size; customer experience design and ease, financial opportunity and forecasts and, of course, the quality of their team presentation.
Ralph Koker, Head of New Channels Solutions, Asia Pacific, Visa stated, "As one of the judges of the competition, I was impressed with the incredible ideas from the finalists. It is very encouraging to see the fintech community in Asia taking a leading role in creating new solutions for consumers and businesses. Increasing collaboration across the innovation ecosystem is particularly exciting for Visa and is needed for the payment industry. We are building tomorrow's payment experiences through co-creation with our partners, including fintechs, by extending access to the Visa network and our open API platform Visa Developer."
Next Money founder and FF17 organizer, Rob Findlay, commented: "This has been an incredible 2 days of fintech. We are thrilled for Ayannah on their well-deserved Best in Show win, and we congratulate and applaud all of the startups that participated these past 2 days for their absolute dedication and passion for innovation. These are clearly the individuals that will continue to influence the future of fintech here in Asia."
About Next Money
Next Money, co-founded by Rob Findlay, is a global fintech community that fosters the reinvention of finance through design, innovation and entrepreneurship. Next Money brings together peers from across disciplines including startups, banking, technology and design. Through meet-ups and events, hosting speakers and panelists, members come together to discuss, learn and discover new ways to transform the finance industry for the better. Originating in Singapore, Next Money has grown over the past four years into a global brand represented by city chapters of like-minded people all over the world and continues to expand. Learn more about Next Money and the Fintech Finals 2017, go to ff17.nextmoney.org/.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks -- VisaNet -- that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit https://usa.visa.com/, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.
About Invest Hong Kong
InvestHK is the department of the HKSAR Government established in 2000 to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong's vibrant economy. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.
About StartmeupHK Festival
Hong Kong's startup ecosystem has witnessed phenomenal growth over the past few years and the city is consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing startup hubs in the world. To celebrate and showcase the startup ecosystem, InvestHK is organising its 2017 StartmeupHK Festival running from 16-20 January. Delving into the future of entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation, the week will feature keynotes, interactive how-to-sessions, hackathons, powerful lessons from seasoned founders and investors in sectors such as fintech, digital health, smart city technologies, IOT, retail innovation plus much more. For more information, please visit www.startmeup.hk.