Neobanking for SMEs in Southeast Asia: On Call with Aspire CEO and co-founder Andrea Baronchelli


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In this episode, to help us better understand what it takes to build a neobank in Southeast Asia, we called Andrea Baronchelli, CEO and co-founder of Aspire (Y Combinator Winter Cohort 2018). We talked about how Aspire is becoming the banking platform of choice for SMEs in the region, from the pain points and risks of the neobanking trajectory to forging partnerships and a path to profitability. Andrea also shares lessons from his years as a Lazada co-founder and executive.


00:04 Introducing Andrea Baronchelli;

00:50 Check-in on how Aspire is operating remotely;

01:14 Origins of Aspire's neobanking trajectory;

02:29 Unique aspects of building a neobank in Southeast Asia;

03:41 Infrastructure risk of building a neobank in Southeast Asia;

04:21 How Aspire has been addressing pain points of SMEs for financial services (with examples);

06:34 Aspire 2.0;

08:05 Proposition for banks;

10:27 Approach to partnerships (with the likes of Visa, Nium, TransferWise);

11:54 How Aspire operates in four markets;

12:58 What will set Aspire apart moving forward;

14:38 Lessons from Lazada and why Andrea chose to go into SME banking;

16:00 What to expect from Aspire moving forward;

16:50 Rapid-fire Recommendations from Andrea;

Read the transcript

About our guest

Prior to Aspire, Andrea Baronchelli was the CMO for Lazada in Singapore. He was part of the Lazada founding team and spent 6 years building the #1 e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia across Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. He also held several leadership positions within Lazada and Alibaba Group including regional EVP and CEO for the Vietnam business. Andrea is a Y-Combinator & Rocket Internet Alum. Before joining Lazada Group, Andrea was based in London in Investment Banking with Jefferies and Societe Generale.


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The content of this podcast is for informational purposes only, should not be taken as legal, tax, or business advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security, and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any Insignia Ventures fund.

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