Meet the future stars of UK fintech
The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, welcomed a new generation of fintech gamechangers to its London programme last week.
The accelerator, which also operates programmes in New York, Cape Town and Tel Aviv, lasts for 13 weeks. The current cohort is London’s fourth.
With help from Barclays, Techstars and a team of high-level mentors, the participants aim to evolve their business propositions and solve problems at the cutting edge of fintech: from artificial intelligence to cybersecurity, from blockchain to identity.
The intensive programme is designed to fast-track the next generation of fintech businesses, while also bringing innovation and application opportunities to Barclays.
Michael Harte, Barclays’ Head of Group Innovation, said: “Our partnerships and experiments uniquely allow us to foster entrepreneurship inside and outside Barclays, and across our customers and clients.”
This programme has become, arguably, the most selective fintech accelerator in the world, with a growing list of alumni that are changing the face of financial services.
Managing Director, Techstars
Emphasising the collaborative nature of the accelerator “to enable growth and value creation together”, Harte said the programme would “bring fresh insights, new technologies, and vibrant talent. We expect new customer services and real commercial value for our business.”
Chris Adelsbach, Managing Director, Techstars, said: “This programme has become, arguably, the most selective fintech accelerator in the world, with a growing list of alumni that are changing the face of financial services.”
Magdalena Krön, Head of Rise London (where the programme is based) and Vice President of Open Innovation at Barclays, said: "The new cohort is settling in very well. The first week is an introductory week, where they’re familiarising themselves with the programme, getting to know each other and getting to know the key stakeholders. This week they started 'mentor madness', which is a month of intense mentoring where they try to identify valuable connections that can help them accelerate the growth in the programme. It’s like speed dating with mentors.”
This year’s cohort includes founders and entrepreneurs from the UK, France, Sweden, Ireland, Tunisia, Israel and the USA. They comprise 11 independent companies and one internal Barclays team:
ShieldPay – Enabling anyone to create an instant digital escrow facility with no set-up costs that enables secure transactions between consumers all over the world
Alyne – Enabling organisations to painlessly comply with standards, laws and regulations and measure compliance and cyber security risk
Courtsdesk – Ultimate legal reporting, extracting new information from the legal system for up-to-the-minute news, legal and financial risk research, and business insight
Citizen – Identity-as-a-service, using encryption and tokenisation for the frictionless and secure exchange of identity, ownership and reputation
Bokio – Automating accounting and serving as a decision-making platform for small businesses
HaloTrade – Driving sustainable and transparent global supply chains, combining blockchain technology, mobile apps and supplier financing
Bean – The simple way to find, track and manage all your bills and subscriptions
Barac – Helping financial institutions, telecoms and retailers detect and predict fraud in real-time across their network
Homeppl – Intelligent risk assessment for landlords about tenants
Project Nevis – Creating the future of open banking through secure and trusted instant messaging (Barclays internal team)
Flux – Solving the problem of keeping track of receipts by automatically linking them to payment cards while making use of key receipt data
Simudyne – Artificially intelligent simulations for financial institutions