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Timothy Li


Welcome to another year where the only certainty is uncertainty. However, amidst the unpleasantness of cuts and failures the jeopardy will foster ingenuity, new energy and growth where it wasn’t predicted.

It could be that predictions lead to mass confirmation bias. But all the signs are pointing to consolidation and M&A in Tech/Fintech in 2023. This will undoubtedly lead to some pain which many are already feeling, through cuts and lay-offs. But as is the bitter-sweet nature of the world, there will also be opportunities. Particularly for the bigger players (Banks, Established Fintechs etc who can take advantage of business models which need funds, customers or both. They will have the luxury of selecting the diamonds that will help drive innovation in their business. Accelerating their progress in key areas and fending off the Neo-players that have been encroaching on their territory.

This will ultimately make the landscape a little less interesting and competitive for a while, but the customer in the street should still get some of the benefits as the tech makes its way into the offerings of Banks, Insurance Companies, Real Estate etc

So, if I’m a founder right now (which I am) what do I do?

With a cast of thousands, you will need to stand out if you are looking for a dance partner or buyer. Your brand and brand story can add significant percentage points to your deal. They can make the difference. I have seen it happen.

Supported by a tremendous team, I built a successful business in the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) space. We proved the model, got traction and got profitable. We arrived at the realization that we needed a partner to give us the scale and resources to go to the next level. As serendipity would have it, as part of our growth strategy we had gone through a process of examining our brand story, positioning, value proposition and the presentation of our brand across all touchpoints. As a by-product, this work provided us with the clarity and distinction to stand out in the minds and eyes of potential investors and acquirers. It also added real money to our valuation by elevating our proposition with a new level of sophistication and detail.

Your direction of travel, the story that drives it and how your world sees you is of critical importance. It is not the answer to everything, but it is among the most positive and productive investments you can make in your business at any time, particularly the tough ones.

My prediction is the firms that get that right are the ones with the best chance of winning.

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