With news that the UK and Ireland is now the fastest-growing region for Financial Technology (FinTech) investment, and considering the FinTech hub that London has become, it must be difficult for venture capitalists, angel investors and financial institutions to decide which start-ups to invest in. Startupbootcamp FinTech is one of the accelerator programmes in the capital that focus primarily on the FinTech sector and since their journey ten months ago to discover the next big thing in financial services, and after 436 applications, three months ago they chose the final ten start-ups.
These ten start-ups were then put through a three month intense acceleration guided by mentors, partners and entrepreneurs. Under the guidance of these mentors, the start-ups worked to finalise their products and received the opportunity to showcase them to investors at the Startupbootcamp FinTech Demo Day earlier this week. After the introduction to the ten teams by Nektarios Liolios (Co-founder Startupbootcamp Fintech & Managing Director Startupbootcamp FinTech London) at the demo day, investors and partners were invited to choose five start-ups to ‘speed date’ for 10 minutes, before moving on to the next one. These quick-fire introductions gave participants insights into what the start-up’s products are, how they work and what they intend to do in the future.
bobsguide chose the following five start-ups to ‘date’ and predicts that these could be ones to watch in the FinTech space:
Epiphyte’s product, cBridge, is the first crypto product targeted at international banking and financial institutions. Epiphyte’s core technology provides a low risk way for banks to enter the cryptocurrency market and stood out during the presentation not only because of their red hard hats and catchy slogan “Building Infrastructure for Finance” but also because they bring something completely new to the market and enable banks to integrate with merchants using digital currency. According to Edan Yago, CEO, Epiphyte already has banks in America and South-East Asia on board and is also working with FIS. Their solution provides banks with greater visibility and means that by having the ability to select their own banks account, customers do not have to touch the cryptocurrency and can see the currency that they are familiar with. This team also won the Innotribe Startup Challenge 2014 and promise universal value exchange capabilities, effortless transparency and technology-enabled governance.
FriendlyScore enables young people with no or limited credit history to get a loan from banks using social media. They use social media data through Facebook to create a credit score, which is processed through the analysis of 824 hard data points, searches for positive and negative behaviour patterns and text mining (natural language processing). FriendlyScore has double the acceptance rate of normal credit scoring and once the user has their score, they are provided with customised loan offers from participating banks. FriendlyScore already have BNP Paribas on board and have scored over 6000 people so far. The company have generated €14k in revenue and already have paying customers.
Dutch provide a revolutionary Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment app aimed at millennials. The app allows users to pay together instantly and automatically split the total amount on a single credit card. Already integrated with Facebook and Mastercard, the app allows users to simply and easily invite friends to join a transaction and share the experience in real-time. Dutch are currently supporting six major banks and expect to support more soon. With 86 million millennials in the world Dutch provide a way for them to share more than just their photos, tweets and videos.
M-Changa is founded by a duo from Kenya that wanted to help Kenyan people to raise money for life events and medical emergencies. People in Kenya rely on their famillies to help them pay for major events and it is often a challenge to receive money from family members all over the country. M-Chenga is a mobile fundraising platform that can be deployed over SMS and creates an instant event on Facebook, it also allows funds to be sent via mobile wallet or credit card. M-Chenga is already partnered with Mastercard and is also working with Equity Bank. M-Chenga is hoping to expand into different currencies and next year through their partnership with Braintree hope to enable funds to paid in 142 different currencies.
Calling themselves “The Match.com for private company equity”, Liquity is a confidential online hub for buyers and sellers of private SME shares. The platform provides a curated matching service to increase the accuracy and speed of the finding the right deals for their clients. Liquity has no competitors in the UK and only two known in the US. They currently have 70 investors registered on the platform and have confirmation from two companies with revenues of £3-4M to register as sellers. They are also partnered with IBM and PayPal.
The other five companies featured were: Creditable, Insly, InvestUP, InvoiceSharing and MilliPay.
By Nicole Miskelly, bobsguide Lead Journalist