Latest ApexPEAK News
Jul 24, 2015
Singapore based fintech firm ApexPeak acquires Dutch ASYX Visual of ApexPeak website, July 2015 Posted Google Singapore-based fintech firm ApexPeak has acquired Netherlands-based ASYX , a supply chain finance and collaboration solutions providers, in a deal whose financial terms were undisclosed. This expands ApexPeak ‘s footprint from South Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia into Western Europe. This is the firm’s second acquisition of 2015, following the acquisition of Dubai-based Cashnomix . Cashnomix was a cloud based platform that enabled small businesses to collect money early on their invoices and served to solidify a suite of financial services that Hatcher has built in the region. Its proprietary cloud-based credit scoring engine took a data-driven approach to indicate success or failure as the primary credit criteria for approving a deal. ApexPeak, a working capital and trade finance platform, has been developed by Hatcher , which is a Singapore-based accelerator and investment holding company led by CEO John Sharp . Hatcher is also an investor in Dubai gateway and merchant finance platform Telr . Founded in 2013 by the team of John Fearon , Gaki Solomons and Nicholas Gan , ApexPeak offers working capital solutions to high-growth SMEs in emerging markets, providing cash flow solutions to businesses that are underserved by banks. The last funding the firm raised was a $1.8 million seed round in September 2013. ASYX, which maintains offices in the Netherlands and Indonesia, provides a secure web-based supply chain finance platform, serving both local and global clients across 12 countries. The deal provides ASYX with long-term financial backing to support its rapidly expanding list of customers and partners. The acquisition of ASYX facilitates ApexPeak gaining access to a financial services platform with a growing network of global buyers, sellers, suppliers, and distributors. According to an executive familiar with the firm, their business is rapidly growing, with ApeakPeak actively seeking acquisition targets, with a budget in the range of $1 million to $25 million. Possible future acquisition targets include B2B marketplaces, e-procurement companies and niche trading businesses that are engaged in import/export of non-cyclical consumer goods. The executive commented: “Such acquisitions are oriented towards opportunities that allow ApexPeak to own a direct relationship with customers, or alternatively, boost their technology capabilities.” Also Read: MaybankFintech garners participation from 115 tech startups Alternative financing The 2008 financial crisis saw banks adopt more conservative approach to granting business loans. This has resulted in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face greater difficulty in obtaining capital to finance their operations. With alternative financing solutions offered by fintech firms like ApexPeak, businesses can improve competitiveness and access growth capital. “Our acquisition of ASYX helps move ApexPeak one step closer to solving the procure-to-pay finance puzzle. This is a remarkable value-add acquisition, which positions ApexPeak well for rapid short-term growth as well as creating long-term value for shareholders,” commented Solomon, who serves as the ApexPeak CEO. Solomons added, “By providing businesses with access to smart capital, we want to be that third option for decision makers, alongside bank loans and credit cards, helping them unlock their growth potential.” ASYX will remain a distinct brand, with its management and technical team remaining in place. They will work with ApexPeak to integrate its technology and customers into an enhanced service offering, as well as identify new opportunities to work with banks and corporates, to finance and add value to the supply chain. ASYX will continue to maintain offices in both Netherlands and Jakarta. Commenting on the acquisition, the CEO of ASYX, Roel Elshout , said, “Being part of the ApexPeak family gives us the financial resources to bolster our existing capabilities as well as invest in future product enhancements. We can now better serve our existing and future customers.” Also Read: Hatcher launches early-stage venture fund with target of $100m Market positioning Given the status of Amsterdam and Singapore as emerging fintech hubs and global fintech investment tripling in the last five years, the financial sector is in the midst of a revolution ( with the epicentres of the global fintech being Silicon Valley, New York, London and Hong Kong). However, emerging centres like Singapore, Berlin and Amsterdam are diversifying the market, bringing unique capabilities, technology and infrastructure to the financial technology and services space. Trends in the US landscape are reflective of the global environment, with financial technology investments nearly tripling in the US in 2014, according to a new report by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City. According to the report – Fintech New York: Partnerships, Platforms and Open Innovation – the value of fintech investments in the United States soared to $9.89 billion in 2014, from $3.39 billion in 2013, a 191 per cent increase. Commenting on this development, Robert Gach , managing director of Accenture Strategy Capital Markets, stated: “This past year marked a paradigm shift in how financial services companies approach and embrace fintech innovation, as they recognize the vast potential that this strong network provides. Gach added, “An increasing number of banks and insurers are investing in connecting into the fintech ecosystem, whether through accelerator or incubator labs, venture investments or in other ways. We believe this explosive growth in fintech will help drive innovation within some of the world’s largest financial institutions.” According to an Accenture media release : “A key driver of the increase in investment in fintech is coming from the innovation needs within the financial services. Financial services firms are looking for new technology that can help them cut costs, comply with changing regulations, and, importantly, allow them to compete more effectively with new competitors.” Fintech investment is expected to quadruple and players like Citibank are developing their own cryptocurrency – Citicoins – as bitcoin ownership grows. Incumbents like Visa and Mastercard are using their weight to dictate what point of sale (POS) systems retailers deploy in a bid to preserve their share-of-wallet. With segments like payments, deposits & lending, fundraising & investing and blockchain-based cryptocurrencies driving significant shifts and disruptions with the fintech space, merger & acquisition activity is only likely to grow.