On 19th July, Endeavor collaborated with JurisTech CEO See Wai Hun for a fireside chat, to mentor up-and-coming Fintech start-ups based in Malaysia.
The event was a part of these start-ups’ learning program, organized by 1337 Ventures, in an effort to further their knowledge on how to navigate the fintech landscape in Malaysia.
As a financial technology veteran, See Wai Hun knows the ins and outs of real life complexities and pitfalls that are commonly faced by technology companies who are looking to serve large global corporations as well as local/regional SMEs.
When Wai Hun co-founded JurisTech with John Lim and Steven Oey in 1997, technologies like artificial intelligence and data science were still at their nascent stage. Although the dynamic trio were way ahead of their time, the market simply wasn’t ready for such radical disruption. So, Wai Hun and her co-founders eventually implemented a blue ocean strategy, creating an entire new market for debt collection and litigation software, that transformed and revolutionized the Malaysian financial technology landscape.
As a pioneer in her field, Wai Hun shared her experience of running and building a start-up, how she came with an innovative business model that enabled her to circumvent convoluted compliance issues and bureaucratic red-tape that is the bane of financial technology industry. She secured her first few clients by offering up her software, a platform that unified lawyers and bankers, for free to the first few banks. By charging the lawyers instead of the bankers, JurisTech was able to secure their first few deals in a very short time.
Now that the landscape has changed dramatically, because JurisTech is selling enterprise solutions to banks and FIs. JurisTech has gone through a process of evolution, selling enterprise software to banks and FIs directly.
JurisTech COO Naaman Lee was present at the event, and he shared the three critical factors that start-ups need to master in order to sell into banks. These three factors are:
Legal and compliance, IT security and stringent enterprise architecture requirements.
It was a lively discussion that ended up answering some key concerns for start-ups. Namely, how to stay relevant in a world that is constantly being disrupted, or how long is the ‘runway’ for a start-up before they can actually take-off.
According to Wai Hun, start-ups better brace themselves for a long sales cycle if they are planning to sell to banks and FIs.
“A typical sales cycle oscillates between 1 to 2 years. One has to go through multiple levels of approval, get buy-in from various stakeholders and fill-up tons of paperwork before the project can be approved. So it is important to have sufficient amount of funding to weather the storm.
Another important piece of advice is to place bets. If you are not consistently innovating, you risk becoming irrelevant,” said Wai Hun.