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“Mature” Singapore fintechs still poaching from banks as they boost pay packages

Hiring by Singapore-based fintechs is holding up during Covid-19, but more mature firms are dominating the job market at the expense of the small startups that were typically eager for talent before the pandemic, say recruiters.

Investments into Singapore-headquartered fintech firms increased sharply year-on-year in the first half of 2020, according to a new report by BCG FinTech Control Tower. Total fundraising reached $650m, including a record high of $462m in equity funding. Investors targeted comparatively mature fintechs that are better positioned to accelerate their growth, with a big jump in mid-stage Series C+ funding.

These companies are also the most active in the fintech job market, say recruiters. “Mature fintech firms are now showing potential to offer competitive remuneration packages, and therefore they’re also starting to attract talent from top-tier financial institutions,” says Claudia Dumitru, a manager at Hudson in Singapore. “This is a shift compared to previous years where the package would generally come with a lower cash component and heavy focus on the equity portion,” she says.

“Candidates are definitely more drawn to mature fintechs in the current climate. Stability is a huge factor for consideration,” says Patricia Teo, director of the technology practice at Kerry Consulting. “Mature fintechs will take the opportunity to pick up talent from smaller ones and newer entrants this year,” she adds.

There have been several high-profile acquisitions of well-established Singapore fintechs so far this year. These include robo advisor Bento (bought by Grab), lending platform AsiaKredit (taken over by GoBear), and insurtech firm Policypal (now owned by AMTD). Meanwhile, firms such as sustainable lending company Helicap, SME-focused Validus, and payments operator Nium received substantial amounts of equity funding in the first half. These businesses are expected to increase their headcounts.

“Fintech fundraising held up in H1, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, largely due to investors seizing the opportunity to finance businesses offering competitive solutions for payments and e-commerce platforms,” says Dumitru. “As a result, many of our fintech clients have started to actively hire across different functions, with a particular focus on technology, legal and compliance professionals. These are largely new headcounts at mid-senior level,” she adds.

Within technology, Singapore fintechs are focusing their hiring on “front-end UI developers, mobile developers, software developers across various languages, DevOps engineers, and cloud engineers,” says Adam Davies, associate director at iKas International. “There’s a lot of fintech hiring going on, especially across payments, e-security, blockchain, and e-trading – although perhaps not at the pace firms would have hoped, given current market conditions,” he adds.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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