Thursday 28th September 2023
After a competitive application process, the Financial Alliance for Women selected ten fintechs to participate in the fourth edition of the Alliance Hack, Gender Intelligent Fintech Design: Accessing the Female Economy. The selected teams, hailing from Colombia, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, each proposed an innovative business solution with the potential to further unlock women’s financial power. This includes a new challenge area in 2022 to target sustainable propositions towards women customers; a major area of growth for both fintechs and incumbents.
1- Financing Women-Owned/Led Businesses: Closing the financing gap for women-led micro, small and medium enterprises represents a $1.7 trillion growth opportunity for financial services providers. The gap persists due to a combination of constraints. Women may borrow from multiple sources, often using personal credit cards to finance their businesses, as bank requirements can be onerous for new entrepreneurs. In many cases, banks do not have adequate data to identify market opportunities in women SMEs, allowing for the continued assumption that there is no business case for serving them and that feminized (or “pink”) products are enough to meet their needs.
One fintech proposing a solution to address these barriers is Luka by Fundación Capital, a Colombia-based digital platform that provides WSMES with a comprehensive portfolio of financial services. The other is Boost Capital, a Singapore-based B2B, SaaS platform that lets banks onboard customers via chat on smartphones in just 5-10 minutes.
2- Building the Business Capabilities of Female Entrepreneurs: The combined experience of Alliance members has shown that closing the entrepreneurship gender gap will take more than financing alone. Non-financial services (NFS) such as training, mentoring, and access to networks and markets are also crucial to enabling more women entrepreneurs to start and scale businesses. The fintechs proposing such solutions in this year’s Hack include Athena FundX, a UK-based, AI-driven platform providing training, recognition, and access to finance for women entrepreneurs in the tech sector, and Nume, a U.S.-based platform for women’s personal well-being and professional development.
3- Transforming Mass-Market Women’s Investment Capabilities: Women’s wealth-building continues to be impaired. They tend to be less confident than men in their investment skills and remain under-served by asset managers. The Hack participants looking to address the investment gap for women in the mass market include Salt, an AI-powered platform based in India that provides curated financial products considering users’ psychology, life context and unique financial needs; FollowTrade, a Singapore-based social app that enables single women to share their investment journeys; and Perfingo, also from Singapore, an AI-powered chatbot platform that provides real-time financial advisory.
4- Greening the Customer Value Proposition for Women: Research suggests that women are more inclined than men to make climate-conscious purchases in households and integrate environmental factors into their investment decisions. Three Singapore-based organizations are taking part in the Alliance Hack with solutions to fulfill women customers’ demand for green finance. These are TrinityEco, a tech company that provides sustainability reporting and green financing products and services; GreenFi, a predictive risk and analytics software supporting the measurement behind sustainability-linked financing; and WeavAir, a software solution using satellite imagery and big data to help banks and insurance companies evaluate emissions and climate risk to strengthen ESG portfolios geared toward women investors.
These fintechs will soon embark on a month-long Hack journey to hone their proposals. Along the way, they will be supported by one-on-one mentorship and weekly clinics from this year’s main sponsor, the Singapore Fintech Festival, as well as key supporters APIX and Founders Peak, and other experts from our member’s network.
We look forward to hearing the Hack finalists pitch at the Annual Summit and collaborating with the next Alliance Hack winner following Tyme in 2020, LXME in 2021 and Tribe Fintech in 2022; all excellent business models for accessing the female economy.