17 Jun 2014
Beating off competition from more than 300 rivals from around the world, 11 fintech startups have scored spots on an accelerator programme run by banking giant Barclays.
The 11 startups will arrive at the Barclays Escalator, London's newest open innovation space, next week for the 15-week fintech accelerator programme, which is being run in conjunction with Techstars.
More than 300 companies from almost 50 countries worldwide applied for a place on the programme, with the winners pitching ideas ranging from an alternative to pay day loans, to a next generation credit scoring system, to a peer-to-peer funding platform for real estate. There was a three stage selection process, the first filter was done by TechStars' US & UK teams, the remainng companies were then scrutinised by VCs and the final 11 had to then get the thumbs up from the Barclays executive. Of the 11 companies, 6 are from the UK, the others are from Sweden, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Canada and South Africa.
Each team will get a seed investment of $20,000 - in return for a six percent equity stake in the finished product - from Techstars. They will also get support from a collection of mentors from Barclays and other industry players as well as access to Barclays resources, including Pingit APIs, and the bank's strategic investment team.
Techstars, Greg Rogers speaking to a packed audience stressed that being good at storytelling, being able to convey their vision, would help the incumbent FinTechs on the foundation to which so many things are set, if they can do it well, they can get the best employees, the best investors, the best board of directors. The common theme amongst all the selected companies was the belief by the judges, that they all had the ability to executive well on their vision. Rogers added: "the ability to execute is everything, market dynamics don't matter, the size of the opportunity doesn't matter, IP/Product doesn't matter - the only thing that we can really determine that dictates success is the ability of the team to execute".
Alex Scandurra, Head of Innovation at Barclays added that this programme was going to be a gamechanger, as they had secured the best teams, best innovators and top entrepreneurial talent in FinTech across the world. Importantly this is the first time that Barclays had opened up their APIs for these team to have access to and leverage off Barclays world class platform.
The programme will culminate in two investor demo days in September - including an internal presentation to Barclays executives and another to an invited audience of VCs and angel investors.
Derek White, chief design officer, Barclays, says: "Emerging technologies will transform our industry with many of the technologies surfacing from the start-up ecosystem. Recognising this, Barclays is partnering with start-ups to create and shape the fabric of the entrepreneur ecosystem and our Accelerator is a clear demonstration of that partnership in action."
The 11 teams are:
- Aire - Enabling financial access for consumers through a next generation credit scoring algorithm.
- ClauseMatch - Providing a cloud platform for matching and negotiating master agreements for trading over-the-counter derivatives and commodities.
- Crowdestates - Creating a peer-to-peer secured lending platform for residential mortgage deposits.
- DoPay - Providing financial access to people through their corporate payroll service.
- Gust Pay - Making music festivals more cashless using NFC wristbands and smartphone apps.
- Katalysator - Providing an in-store experience and payments platform, making it possible to send targeted messages to shoppers based on proximity to products.
- Market IQ - Providing actionable intelligence for investment professionals based on both structured and unstructured datasets.
- NoviCap - Enabling businesses in credit tight markets to quickly access growth financing by auctioning their outstanding invoices to investors.
- Tryum - Delivering the Oyster Card for the restaurant industry - a simple, central way to manage loyalty and payments across multiple retailers.
- Virtual View App - Providing augmented reality, together with interactive 360 degree images for social, retail, and commercial use.
- Wagevance - Providing an ethical and affordable alternative to payday loans, through wage-backed pay advances.