RHB recognises top fintech innovators at inaugural RHB Xcelerator demo day

  • Startups received 8 weeks of mentorship, consultations from RHB Group units
  • Program mentored startups in micro banking, customer experience & insurance 

Group pix of Senior Management of RHB Banking Group, 1337 Ventures team and the Top 7 startups.

[Ed Note: Article has been updated with additional information.]

RHB Banking Group announced the graduation of seven growth-stage startups from its inaugural RHB Xcelerator programme.

In a statement by 1337 Ventures, RHB’s partner for RHB Xcelerator, the firm said the accelerator programme offered mentorship to fintech and adjacent vertical startups that addresses challenges in insurance distribution, micro banking, customer experience and banking for the future.

The seven startups had undergone eight weeks of mentorship and consultations with different business units within the RHB Banking Group, which allowed them to better articulate their collaboration ideas and address gaps in their knowledge. 

The result was the successful completion of their proof-of-concept designs, leading to a potential collaboration with the banking group, it added.

Upon completion of the programme, RHB organised the RHB Xcelerator Demo Day, where the startups had the opportunity to showcase their proof-of-concept design to a panel of RHB senior leaders.

Ryan Teoh, group chief strategy and innovation officer at RHB said he is hopeful about the outcome of the RHB Xcelerator Demo Day, stressing that RHB believes that collaboration is a crucial component in pioneering innovation and maintaining its competitiveness as a key financial services group. 

“To this end, we are certain that the Xcelerator programme will lead towards re-energising the industry, as it allows us to further foster a space for collaboration with diverse and promising startups across Southeast Asia,” he added.

RHB partnered with 1337 Ventures for their first-ever corporate accelerator to help access startups around the ASEAN region and catalyse innovations with them.

For 1337 Ventures, the RHB Xcelerator programme is the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of work providing support for startups in the region through their award-winning Alpha accelerator programme.

Commenting on the role of the RHB Banking units, Bikesh Lakhmichand, CEO and founding partner of 1337 Ventures said, “Their active engagement, insightful discussions, and willingness to scrutinise, challenge, and assist have been key in refining these concepts. They have truly embodied the spirit of co-creation and proven that the future of banking lies not in solitude but in cooperation.”

The seven companies that showcased their solutions during RHB Xcelerator Demo Day were:

Agiliux: A platform that offers banks a comprehensive solution for managing their retail channels in bancassurance, integrating insurers and a centralized customer helpdesk. To streamline the claim submission process, they suggest implementing an interactive AI chatbot, eliminating the need for cumbersome forms. Additionally, they envision transitioning other customer experiences to a more advanced chat-based interface, enhancing overall customer interactions on the platform.

Moby Pay: An app facilitating online and offline payments via QR codes, offers a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service allowing payment deferral for two, three, or six months. With a proprietary scoring model that maintains low default rates, Moby Pay aims to capitalize on the global BNPL market, estimated at US$16 billion (RM74.2 billion) in 2022 and growing at 22% p.a. They propose instant settlement for payments and seek RHB's support in providing a credit line to fund their BNPL service.

Payrecon: A platform offering enterprise resource planning for Power Sellers, enables them to manage sales and inventories across major e-commerce platforms and offline sales through Point of Sales. With over 10,000 sellers and a gross merchandise value of US$709 million (RM3.3 billion) in 2022-2023, Payrecon suggests a partnership with RHB to provide inventory financing to Power Sellers through their platform.

[RM1 = US$0.216] 

Protos Labs: An insurtech company specializing in cyber insurance, operates in the Malaysian insurance sector. With the global cyber insurance market valued at US$11 billion and growing at 21% yearly, Protos Lab suggests that RHB venture into the retail cyber insurance market by leveraging their comprehensive end-to-end cyber insurance service.

TrinityEco: Plans to develop sustainability reporting systems for hospitals, data centers, and commercial properties using their AI-powered platform, Trivity. With the green financing market growing at 20% yearly and valued at US$3,650 billion, TrinityEco intends to offer their self-assessment tool as a white-label solution to RHB's SME customers. This tool will enable them to obtain a sustainability rating before applying for RHB's green financing products.

The Woke Company: Based in Brunei/Singapore, the firm provides digital financial education content and programmes in seven countries. Woke has proposed partnerships with RHB associated with debit cards for public university students, saving for children under family banking, stock and unit trust investing, and insurance.

Vircle: Vircle, an wallet, aims to enhance its payment systems and collaborate with RHB. The partnership seeks to strengthen payment processes, facilitate school fee collection, and position RHB as the preferred family banking choice in Malaysia.

These seven startups were chosen after a selection process in which all 49 applicants for the program underwent a preliminary round where they were interviewed by representatives from 1337 Ventures. From there, a total of 28 startups were accepted into the accelerator programme. 

Afterward, a second round of judging was conducted by the RHB senior management team, who evaluated the startups based on criteria such as impact, novelty, and ease of execution. Following this round, the top 11 shortlisted startups were chosen to undergo an intensive eight-week process during which they met with track leads at RHB to design and refine their proof-of-concept (POC). This process eventually led to the seven startups that pitched at Demo Day.

Bikesh confirmed that several startups have successfully completed their POC design and are now poised to move forward with POC development, deployment, execution, and seamless integration into regular business operations.

"It's worth noting that all collaboration ideas submitted to DNA have showcased remarkable impact, and the POC designs have been deemed highly feasible for implementation," he emphasized.


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