FinovateEurope, now in its fifth year, is a demo-focused conference held in London over two days which brings the financial technology (fintech) community together to foster innovation. On day one of FinovateEurope 2015, 40 innovative companies were featured and had just seven minutes to pitch their solution to over 1250 industry delegates.
The fintech sector saw a huge amount of investment last year, including the European-based Finovate alumni which raised nearly $400m in 2014 and due to funding of $58m to Transferwise and $200m in credit to Kreditech in January 2015.
The companies featured at Finovate this year pitched solutions to current industry issues such as omni-channel banking, peer-to-peer lending, IT security and authentication, alongside interesting innovative ideas for developing expert business relationships and saving money for your child’s university tuition via a video game application.
Although it wasn’t an awards event, the companies pitching received a ‘presenter’ award, delegates were given a sticker at each vendor stand they visited and were asked to fill out a ‘best of show’ form to vote for their top three innovative companies of the day. Deciding on only three stand-out innovations was difficult, so here is a list of the best innovative companies and solutions according to bobsguide:
Best peer-to-peer lending platform
StreetShares were the first to pitch at Finovate and they didn’t disappoint. Offering a marketplace that connects small business owners with retail and institutional investors, CEO and co-founder, Mark Rockerfella said he wants to “bring the peer back into peer-to-peer lending” by applying “human trust to lending” and by combining social affinities with online auction technology they can offer small business borrowers with loans at lower rates, and provide investors with higher returns. During their demo StreetShares showcased their new auto-invest option, which makes investment choices for investors according to previously set requirements.
Best omni-channel banking solution provider
“In today’s reality banks have to be omni-channel,” said João Pinto, Board of Directors, ebankIT. eEbankIT provide omni-channel solutions to banks such as mobile banking apps, banking kiosks, contact centre solutions, Facebook banking and banking solutions for wearable tech. In a world where according to Pinto, “customers are more demanding” ebankIT aim to maximise the integration of financial institutions and clients by extending the concept of social and omni-channel banking. ebankIT showcased two new innovative products – voice banking with omnichannel integration which uses a voice assistant to answer questions about your bank account and also their smart watch banking app which allows you to access your bank account through your smart watch.
Best customer-centric banking solution
Telenor banka powered by Asseco SEE
“This is what real customer-centric banking looks like,” said Telenor banka. Telenor banka is the first direct bank in South East Europe where banking is fully mobile. They offer a mobile device loan based on Telco and Bank big data analytics which is achieved with the help of Asseco SEE’s ASEBA Multichannel Hub. Piotr Jelenski, President of the Board Group CEO, Asseco SEE said: “Today we are showing the integration of traditional banking with digital banking and the ability to integrate these systems with legacy systems from both a vendor and client point of view.” Alongside this solution, Jelenski also said that he is ready to work with other solution providers to offer better services. “We are ready to integrate different solution providers into the financial world, in this case we have connected a telecom with the bank to offer headsets and provide loans for these headsets. In the future we would hope to provide disintegration with other solution providers in electronics etc.”
Best authentication model
“When it comes to financial authentication, one size fits no-one,” said Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen, CEO, Encap. Encap Security is the first authentication company in the world to integrate Apple Touch ID and at Finovate they demonstrated how financial institutions can use Touch ID and other device specific authentication to authenticate and give access to high-value financial services transactions. By choosing a different authentication for each device such as pin, voice or fingerprint, Encap showed how each authentication method could be used to access mobile or online banking, using a system which not only authenticates your choice but also calculates the risk of your transaction.
Best new idea
eRipple leverages LinkedIn application program interface (API) to help corporates, start-ups and individuals find and connect with the talent they seek. “The future of your company is right underneath you, but how do you find them?” said Duncan Peters, Founder, eRipple. eRipple provides a mobile mentor matching tool that uses smart algorithms, diary management, and messaging to completely revolutionise internal communication and talent relationships. Developed to provide extensive research and connect time-poor experts with information-hungry ambitious workers, eRipple have provided a completely new way to connect.
Best social investing platform
“It’s not what your portfolio can do for you, but what it can do for others,” said Yoni Assia CEO and Founder, eToro. As a leader in the social investing space, eToro is introducing a whole new way to trade for the Generation Y population. Back in 2007, eToro was developed as a platform to empower people to trade and invest in a simple, transparent and social way. Showcasing the new eToro at Finnovate, the social investment network allows users to connect with other traders and investors and copy their trades.
Best crowdfunding marketplace
As one of the final ten chosen to be accelerated by Startupbootcamp FinTech last year, investUP launched their self-titled ‘crowdfunding supermarket’ at Finovate. Their platform allows investors to use one account to invest across their favourite peer-to-peer, debt and equity websites, enabling them to create one centralised portfolio. James Tuckett, CEO, investUP said: “We want to help investors save time.” The platform features businesses and pitches to choose from and according to Tuckett the company are already in talks with major banks to bring some of their loans and lending to the crowdfunding market.
Finally, the winner of youngest entrepreneur should go to 17 year old Ryan Zhou, Co-Founder of Bitcoin payments app CoinJar, who at his young age, already developed and sold his first Bitcoin company before helping to develop CoinJar.