Caecilia Chu (Singapore Entrepreneur)

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Caecilia Chu
Caecilia Chu YouTrip.jpg
EducationBachelor of Science (Finance), Master of Business Administration
Alma materWharton School (University of Pennsylvania), Harvard Business School

Caecilia Chu is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the multi-currency mobile wallet, YouTrip. YouTrip is headquartered in Singapore and has bases in Hong Kong and Thailand. In 2020, Caecilia Chu won two titles at The Financial Technology Awards for her leadership accomplishments.[1] That same year, she was also featured on the 'The Gen.T List' for her achievements in the Fintech sector.

Background[edit | edit source]

Caecelia Chu pictured for Generation T Asia. Photo from source.

Personal life & family[edit | edit source]

Caecilia Chu was born in 1983.[2] While she was growing up, her father worked as a postman and her mother was a kindergarten teacher. Caecilia Chu has shared in interviews that the family lived "(from) month to month".[3] Speaking to the Vulcan Post about her upbringing, she said:

“My parents never had the opportunity to really study, so they taught me the value of education (and) the value of hard work. Although I grew up from a pretty common background, they taught me that education is important — it will change your life.”[4]

Caecilia Chu is married with two children.[5]

Education[edit | edit source]

Caecilia Chu was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She subsequently obtained a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.[6]

Early career[edit | edit source]

Caecilia Chu worked in the corporate finance industry at companies such as McKinsey & Company and Citibank after graduating from university.[4][7] In 2012, she left the corporate world to set up a Hong Kong-based e-commerce business that shuttered after two years.[4][8] In a 2019 interview with Tech In Asia, Caecilia Chu shared the following about her first entrepreneurial setback:

"I have been doing quite well academically... I was working at pretty good (companies). I think the most humbling (realisation from) my first start-up is... that once you're no longer with a big brand name, people really don't care about you as much. The most important lesson I learnt is: What value do I bring?"[3]

In 2014, she moved to America to seek opportunities in Silicon Valley. Speaking about her decision to leave Hong Kong, she said:

"I think at that time I was soul-searching, to be honest. I would love to say, 'Hey I'm so determined, nothing can stop me, I'm going to be a founder for life'... but the truth is that I was trying to figure out if the start-up (life) really for me and (to figure out) what's so wrong about the approach that I took (the first time)."[3]

Apart from her enterprise sales experience in America, Caecilia Chu has also worked in Zhongguancun in Beijing and Shanghai, China.[9] Her professional experience at Lufax in Shanghai influenced her to establish a FinTech startup.[10]

Entrepreneurship[edit | edit source]

The co-founders of YouTrip. Photo from source.

Having been featured by several publications for being a female leader in the fintech industry, Caecilia Chu consistently maintains that gender does not determine a person's success.[5][11][12][13] Speaking about the challenges that she has faced as an entrepreneur, she said:

"I’d say the number one challenge we need to resolve is gaining consumer trust... Imagine being a new name, brand new start-up – we need to convince people to put their hard-earned money into a digital product."[14]

Co-founder of YouTrip[edit | edit source]

In 2016, Caecilia Chu established You Technologies alongside her business partner, Arthur Mak.[15] The company's first and only product, the multi-currency mobile wallet, YouTrip was launched in August 2018.[16][17] The founders launched YouTrip in Singapore based on the support that they received from the Singapore-based company, EZ-Link.[2][18] According to Caecilia Chu, Singapore was also chosen because of its "attractive outbound tourism market".[8] She has said the following about establishing a business in Singapore:

"When we first launched in Singapore, we were very well supported by the Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS). Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, connected us to EZ Link... Starting our operations in Singapore has helped us to set proper operational processes in place which in turn, made it possible for us to replicate when we ventured overseas."[19]

In 2019, YouTrip expanded to Thailand after securing a partnership with the Thai bank, Kasikornbank.[20]

References/Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Wong, Brenda. "YouTrip CEO Caecilia Chu Wins Double Accolades". YouTrip. September 28, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ong, Janet. "YouTrip expects to double headcount in the next 6-12 months: CEO Caecilia Chu". Yahoo! Finance. November 20, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Startup Snapshot. "Her first business failure sent her soul-searching abroad". Spotify. December 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Zafirah Salim. "Challenging The Banks With A Single Card: Caecilia Chu, YouTrip CEO". Vulcan Post. March 6, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Baker, Jill. "How Asia’s female entrepreneurs are reshaping tech for good". Reuters Events. June 25, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  6. "Caecilia Chu". LinkedIn. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  7. Loh, Dylan. "Harvard alum plots disruption of Asia's money-changers". Nikkei Asia. June 2, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tam, Caroline. "YouTrip: The Singaporean Startup Looking to Help You Save on Fees". Hive Life. March 6, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  9. "The Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020". The Financial Technology Report. September 21, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  10. Soo, Zen. "Singapore’s YouTrip wants to eliminate pesky foreign transaction fees for Southeast Asian travellers". South China Morning Post. December 13, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  11. Harrison, Polly. "Women in Fintech: Caecilia Chu from Hong Kong". The Fintech Times. September 22, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  12. "Women in Fintech: Caecilia Chu from Hong Kong". MyFintech. September 22, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  13. Yong, Douglas. "Leading Gender Equality in Fintech Space". YouTrip. March 12, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  14. "Interview: Caecilia Chu, YouTrip". Money 20/20. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  15. "The Top 25 Financial Technology CEOs Of Asia For 2020". The Financial Technology Report. September 14, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  16. Cheok, Jacquelyn. "Pay for overseas, online shopping in more than 150 currencies with new, no-fee mobile wallet service". The Straits Times. August 7, 2018. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  17. Lim, Janice. "New e-wallet with pre-paid card lets users pay in 150 currencies with no conversion fees". TODAY Online. August 7, 2018. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  18. Wong, Lester. "S'pore fintech start-up YouTrip receives US$25.5 million in funding for regional expansion". The Straits Times. May 16, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  19. "Singapore Brands Going Overseas: Passport to Success". Singapore Global Network. February 5, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
  20. "Singapore e-wallet operator YouTrip expands to Thailand". The Straits Times. November 5, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020. Retrieved from SGSME.