Dassault Systèmes announced the six finalists selected to participate in their 3D FinTech Challenge 2014, this week. Amongst the finalists are Heckyl, a big data processing company based in India and London, who transform unstructured data into actionable insights, identifying the most relevant information in real-time. Heckyl is just one of the companies that the UKTI's Financial Services Organisation (FSO) has supported in the overseas financial technology (fintech) sector. The FSO is a government body that offers practical assistance to overseas fintech companies setting up in the UK and was introduced to help attract high value foreign direct investment (FDI) into the UK and also help companies grow their business through international trade. The FSO believe that fintech companies should invest in the UK because it is the right place for them, due to the UK’s large and technologically sophisticated customer base, availability of business capital, supportive regulatory approach, international location and excellent financial services infrastructure. According to Eric Van der Kleij, Head of Level39, Canary Wharf Group plc, "The FSO is an example of UKTI becoming even more specialised and effective. One of the FSO's specialised teams, tasked with spotting high potential talent, introduced Heckyl to us at Level39. Heckyl are doing ground breaking things, in creating insight and action signals with data, and have deservedly won the recognition of both UKTI and FSO.”
Van der Kleij believes that Heckyl are part of a rich international mix of start-ups at Level39 which demonstrates the number of international fintech companies that are recognising the UK as a hub for financial innovation. “We are proud of our rich international mix at Level39. In addition to Heckyl, who fly the flag for India, we also have strong French, Italian, American and Israeli representation. This demonstrates that international finTech companies are flocking to the UK and Level39 at Canary Wharf has further developed its attractiveness due to its position as a globally-recognised hub for financial innovation and home to some of the world’s largest multinationals and financial service providers."
The other finalists in the 3D FinTech Challenge include:
- Closir, a London and New York based online investor relations platform for companies and investors to discover, connect and engage with each other.
- DATANEXT, a Zurich-based B2B platform that allows asset managers to analyse financial data in the cloud.
- London based PensionMandate, who provide an alternative service delivering real-time Information about institutional investor activity in Europe, Americas and Asia.
- Pontchartrain Advisors, a London-based software and consulting company with the overarching goal of helping companies extract more value and insights from their data, particularly highly connected financial data.
- U.S. based PrairieSmarts calculates, simplifies and explains financial risk at the individual security and portfolio levels, across assets and in real numbers.
The finalists in the 3D FinTech Challenge 2014 were chosen from a shortlist of high calibre applications from around the world by a panel of senior executives from leading global investment institutions. The Challenge will commence on 17th September for 7 weeks to 31st October, 2014. It will be run from Level39, Europe’s largest accelerator hub for FinTech. It aims to identify, nurture and accelerate high performance start-ups, focused on delivering solutions that have the potential to transform and shape the Investment Management Industry. Unlike other accelerator programmes, Dassault Systèmes does not take equity in the start-ups but may consider investing in them, should there be a good business fit.
Van der Kleij believes that investment professionals are now realising that innovation is the driving force behind saving costs and enhancing business performance, and that the 3D FinTech Challenge can accelerate this process. “Smart fund managers and investment professionals now realise that using technological innovation to conquer the sector's many challenges could result in both optimised trading performance and cost-saving benefits. These challenges include the increased demand for benchmark data customisation, the call for more intelligent risk management and increased operational efficiency. The 3DFintech Challenge will help drive the buy side forward, by facilitating the much needed dialogue between tech innovators and experienced financial institutions.”