I was joined by Maurizio Raffone on the podcast and it felt like I was catching up with an old friend. Sometimes, you can have a conversation with someone and you just don’t want it to end…and this was one of this times.
Maurizio and I reminisced a bit about our times woking in the traditional space of global finance, working at firms like Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and Bear Stearns. It was the reading of Michael Lewis’ “Liar’s Poker” that inspired Maurizio to go into the business after getting his Masters degree at the University of Cambridge.
After a successful first career that spanned London, Tokyo and Milan, Maurizio is now back in Tokyo as the Founder and CEO of Finetiq, a FinTech Consulting and Advisory firm.
We delved in detail into the FinTech landscape in Japan and the challenges startups face from a funding, regulatory and general banking perspective. The sector is being pushed by the unbundling of financial services as a whole and regulators in Japan are taking a top down approach to improving the environment for startups.
We also talked about the Crypto and Blockchain space, noting that Liquid recently raised a round that valued it as a another Japan-based Unicorn.
Many challenges remain in the Japanese market, not the least of which is the ticking time bomb of the aging population, but this also creates opportunities for new, innovative FinTech companies to address the related issues.