He competed against 5,000 other startups from different continents, narrowed down as 1 of 5 finalists, and eventually came out as the winner yesterday, making him the first Malaysian startup to become a global Seedstars winner.
KL is based in KL and specializes in improving access to financial products and services such as markets, API services and more. The startups are co-founders Robin Ang and Jared Lim, who came from entrepreneurship as well as from banking and computing.
He went to each other with 20 more M’sian teams
Seedstars is a private group based in Switzerland that is branded as the largest startup competition in the world, and is considered one of the most prestigious startup accelerators.
Overall, Finology’s Seedstars experience lasted about 10 months, starting with their application in August 2020. From there, they underwent a preliminary review and were then invited to compete in a national competition against 20 other Malaysian teams before a jury.
When they won in Malaysia, they were later sent to join the regional competition and each time they repeated their field in the semi-final and final round of Asia with boards of different judges each time.
All the while, they also participated in Seedstars Academy classroom programs and had access to their mentoring panel of various specializations. And of course, their journey ended with them leading the list in Asia yesterday and representing the region in the global finals.
Experienced player on the fintech scene
Finnology currently has 2 markets, Loanstreet and Loanplus. Although they both work with home loans, here’s how they differ:
|Directly to the consumer. Users can apply for housing and personal loans online, and even buy motorcycle and car insurance directly from their portal. It also provides current pricing prices and loan acceptability limits from various insurers and banks.||B2B2C service used by real estate developers and real estate agents. When they sell a property, they use Loanplus to get mortgage approval for their buyers in minutes.|
Dictionary of dictionaries: B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) is the place where company 1 sells its product or service in partnership with company 2 to the end customer.
In addition, they also offer credit and insurance APIs for businesses looking to obtain bank loan approval for their customers and insure insurance on their own platforms.
So far, they have collaborated with big names like iProperty, Mudah.my, Tropicana, UEM Sunrise, RHB, Hannover Re, Zurich, Gibraltar BSN and international clients.
They didn’t think he had a good shot to win in the beginning
“We could never have imagined that we first started 10 months ago, we would be world champions,” Jared shared with the Vulcan Post. “It wasn’t until we passed the other Asian finalists that we started to think we hit well as champions.”
The special feature of this year’s competition was that everything was fully maintained via the Internet. “Otherwise I’d be writing to you from Switzerland now,” Jared joked.
The competition practically has its own set of challenges. There were times when live shows were interrupted during their pitching sessions, and moments when voice quality was so poor that juries struggled to listen to what they were saying.
However, another challenge was that both Jared and Robin had to stay awake during odd hours in class and in the field hours due to time differences, as the events took place in the Swiss time zone.
Fortunately for them, the team of Finology is able to independently manage daily operations, which gave them time to work on this competition.
As Robin handles investor relations, Jared has taken on the role of representing Finology at Seedstars and sharing the progress of their business in each round.
He went out to raise the circle after this victory
Seedstars alumni are entitled to the usual accelerator benefits such as mentoring, access to Seedstars Academy materials, and even a high probability of investing from their VC vehicles, subject to certain conditions, of course.
“We will go out for sure to raise a new round of this victory. This will help us bring more financial products and services to market that are designed for a seamless delivery experience, ”Jared told the Vulcan Post.
They hope their victory will attract more attention and attract the support of budding startups like theirs in Malaysia, and more foreign direct investment (FDI) for the nation.
“We hope this can help address the outflow of good companies that want to relocate out of Malaysia out of necessity.”
Jared Lim, co-founder of Phinology
Credits for prominent paintings: Robin Ang and Jared Lim, co-founders of Phinology