DBS Bank launched today a new programme in Singapore and Hong Kong, which is aimed at matching DBS and its corporate and SME clients’ problem statements to startups.
Called the Startup Xchange programme, it is part of a five-year S$10 million investment made by the bank in 2015 to support the development of startups.
Unlike typical accelerator programmes, Startup Xchange brings in startups to co-create solutions with the bank, thus addressing real-world business problems.
It will be focused on four areas of frontier technology that will help businesses stay relevant in the long run: artificial intelligence (AI), data science, immersive media, and the Internet of Things (IOT).
By harnessing the power of these emerging technologies, the bank as well as its clients are able to stay one step ahead of their customers, and fulfil their business and lifestyle needs in a faster and more seamless manner.
A Win-Win For Both DBS And The Startup Community
Since its pilot launch several months ago, Startup Xchange has successfully matched 21 startups with units within the bank, as well as the bank’s SME clients, to solve business pain-points.
This has resulted in the successful rollout of 10 emerging technology solutions to date, with another 10 solutions expected to be launched over the next 12 months.
Besides helping DBS and its clients digitise their business, Startup Xchange also allows startups to showcase the solutions they developed for DBS, and to name the bank as an anchor client when raising capital with the investor community.
For instance, Singapore-based startup impress.ai that partnered DBS’ HR team created JIM, the first virtual bank recruiter in Southeast Asia.
Upon the launch of JIM, impress.ai raised US$1.2 million and a five-fold increase in monthly revenues from the partnership, paving its transition from a startup to a more sustainable business.
It is now working with 15 large enterprise customers, including household names like AXA, NTUC Income and Singtel.
Bidyut Dumra, Head of DBS’ Innovation Group, describes Startup Xchange as a win-win for both the bank and the startup community.
“Startups sometimes have the brightest minds to develop the most cutting-edge technology solutions, but they lack an anchor client and continuous funding. Startup Xchange is great as it helps the ecosystem of startups, DBS and its customers to commercialise emerging technology solutions to quickly achieve shared business goals,” he said.
“[It] provides a platform of true collaboration by fostering a common culture of innovation through design thinking and experimentation for both startups and DBS project sponsors. This will also help us in furthering Singapore’s Smart Nation ambition.”
Featured Image Credit: DBS