Japan's Finatext launches Malaysian subsidiary

Original article: http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Japan-s-Finatext-launches-Malaysian-subsidiary

TOKYO -- Japanese fintech startup Finatext has set up a local subsidiary in Malaysia. The company offers real-time economic statistics based on big data in Japan and aims to provide a similar service in Malaysia.

The Malaysian subsidiary is Finatext's second office outside of Japan, following the one it opened in Taiwan in 2016. The company has signed a strategic partnership with Malaysian investment bank Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad and will first kick off its business in the country by providing the bank with consulting services for its mobile app.

Finatext was founded in 2014 and runs one of the biggest mobile social networks for forex, stocks and mutual fund investors and those who are interested in investing. It acquired Nowcast, another fintech startup focusing on big data analytics, in 2016. Nowcast offers real-time inflation data for Japan and recently came up with methods for forecasting the country's gross domestic product in near-real time. Finatext aims to replicate this service in Malaysia as well.

"We're really interested in ASEAN as an economic bloc," said Kohei Morinaga, who is currently the CEO of the Taiwanese subsidiary and will take on the same role for the Malaysia arm. "Starting from Malaysia, where the financial market and the internet infrastructure are already relatively well-developed, we would like to think about expanding to countries like Indonesia and Thailand that have large populations."

John Leggett