October 24, 2019

Shinhan to launch startup incubator operations in US, UK, Indonesia

PUBLISHED : July 09, 2019 - 18:33

UPDATED : July 09, 2019 - 18:33

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Korean commercial bank-led financial holding group Shinhan Financial Group is poised to launch more overseas startup incubator operations, adding on from its first in Vietnam.

Incubator entity Shinhan Future’s Lab will kick off its operations in Indonesia in the third quarter of 2019.

Also by the end of this year, Shinhan Future’s Lab will open incubator units in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Shinhan Financial Group Chairman and CEO Cho Yong-byoung attends Shinhan Future's Lab demo day in December 2018.
Shinhan Financial Group

The financial group is in talks with technology innovation hubs for collaboration, including Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley and Level39 in London, in a bid to start its first batch of startup incubation programs next year, according to Cho Young-su, Shinhan Financial’s head of its Digital Strategy Team.

Cho said its new operations in the US and UK are designed to discover respective local networks to help financial technology startups grow further, in a meeting July 9 presided over by Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku, the nation’s top financial regulator.

The meeting marked the 100th day since Korea launched a financial regulatory sandbox to authorize financial technologies in a legal gray area. Since April, 34 companies, including financial institutions and fintech startups, have been granted temporary permission to take advantage of 37 financial technologies.

“Shinhan Future’s Lab’s alumni fintech startups need more support for research and development, as well as channels for funding, to scale up in overseas market,” Cho told The Investor.

As for the Indonesian operation, Cho expected a synergy effect with Shinhan Financial’s units dispatched to the nation that range from banking, securities brokerages and financing to asset management.

Since being founded in 2015, Shinhan Future’s Lab has supported 72 startups in Korea through four batches, and closed a combined 12 billion won ($10.1 million) in funding through last year. It started a fifth batch comprising some 40 startups beginning in April.

Shinhan Future’s Lab currently runs an overseas operation in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, partnering with Saigon Innovation Hub. Established in 2016, Shinhan Future’s Lab Vietnam is the first overseas incubator entity run by a Korean financial group.

By Son Ji-hyoung (

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