FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

DBS launches ‘matchmaking' platform linking clients and startups

Participating firms can name the bank as their anchor client during fundraising activities.

DBS Bank has launched Startup Xchange, an accelerator programme matching its corporate and SME clients with startups who can best respond to their business requirements, according to a statement.

With a key focus on artificial intelligence (AI), data science, immersive data and the Internet of Things, DBS launched Startup Xchange in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Also read: HSBC Singapore rolls out accelerator programme for SMEs

Startup Xchange aims to accelerate DBS and its clients’ digitalisation plan by assisting startups with tailored solutions, the statement said. Through the programme, firms can benefit by naming the bank as an anchor client when raising capital with the investor community.

DBS research found that 78% of startups launched in Singapore over the last three years were defunct as many failed without continued support from established sponsors and partners.

“Startups sometimes have the brightest minds to develop the most cutting-edge technology solutions but they lack an anchor client and continuous funding,” head of DBS’ innovation group Bidyut Dumra said.

The programme has so far connected 21 startups to units within the banks and SME clients, producing 10 emerging technology solutions to date. One such project includes recruitment bot ‘JIM’ that was developed with the participation of startup which is amongst the bank’s SME clientele.

Nightclub operator Zouk, a DBS client, has also turned to Startup Xchange where it was able to facilitate queuing by tapping on retail chatbot Foodster.

Startup Xchange is a revamp of DBS’ earlier accelerator programme, DBS HotSpot, and is part of the bank’s five-year $10m investment in 2015 to support startup development.

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