Licuos, a global business-to-business (B2B) payment platform where firms can compensate and settle their commercial debts, is the winner of the first staging of the SWIFT Innotribe Start-up Disrupt competition, which was held during the Next Bank Madrid conference last week. The announcement of a winner for the most innovative fintech start-up in Spain will go on to compete at the Sibos 2013 trade show.
The aim of the Innotribe Start-up Disrupt competition is to encourage and recognise financial technology firms that have the capacity to transform the financial services (FS) industry. Licuos’ idea of reducing the dependency on banks could be a disruptor in this regard. It was chosen from the nine finalists that presented at the Next Bank Madrid conference, which had themselves won through from 40 entrants.
The nine start-ups pitched their business to an audience of 190 professionals at Next Bank Madrid, consisting of FS executives, entrepreneurs and investors. A panel of judges, including Andrés Fontao and Fermin Bueno from finnovista, Nektarios Liolios from SWIFT’s Innotribe, and Gary Stewart from Wayra chose Licuos as Spain’s most disruptive fintech start-up. The audience acted as the final contributing judge.
Fermin Bueno, co-founder of finnovista and the organiser of the Next Bank Madrid event, explained: “The decision was difficult as we saw pitches of the highest quality. Licuos can be proud of its achievement. It’s the first time that we’ve held this competition in Spain and given the success, we not only plan to repeat it next year in Madrid, but will also hold a series of events across Latin America including Mexico City (Mexico), Bogota (Colombia) and Santiago (Chile).”
According to Iker de los Rios, CEO of Licuos, "The Innotribe Start-up Disrupt is a great initiative, whereby we were finally able to pitch on our home turf. We've spent the greater part of the last 6 months travelling across the US and Europe pitching our business to potential partners and investors, and its satisfying to know there is as much, if not more interest in fintech here in Spain."
As the winner of the Innotribe Start-up Disrupt competition, Licuos will receive a demo slot at the SWIFT Innotribe stream at Sibos, taking place on 16-19 September 2013 in Dubai this year. The company will also receive global start-up assistance services from Wayra, Telefonica’s accelerator, and Area 31, IE Business School’s start-up incubator in Madrid.
According to Nektarios Liolios from SWIFT’s Innotribe it was not an easy decision to select the winner. “All nine finalists did a fantastic job presenting their businesses and could easily compete with the start-ups who won our regional challenges in New York, London and Singapore. We are looking forward to hosting Licuos at Sibos and I am sure they will do an excellent job at putting the Spanish fintech scene on the map."