London’s fintech startup scene has been blossoming for some time, drawing energy and expertise from the city’s legacy powerhouse role as a global financial services hub. Proximity to traditional financial services is one way to fuel a fintech cluster — given that established fs giants are realizing they need to get involved with startups or risk future disruption.
The most obvious signal of London’s fintech boom is the growing number of incubators with a fintech flavour setting up shop here. And today one of them, the Barclays Accelerator, is holding its inaugural demo day, with 11 startups presenting to potential investors after 15 weeks of mentoring and financial services hot-housing.
The incubator was announced last December and is a partnership between the banking giant and the TechStars mentoring brand — so is very much additional to TechStars’ main London bootcamp program, which itself only launched in the city last year.
Other dedicated fintech bootcamps recently setting up shop in London include the Accenture-backed FinTech Innovation Lab, and the MasterCard-backed Startupbootcamp — the latter based in Rainmaking Loft, a stone’s throw from London’s Square Mile historic financial district.
TechStars told TechCrunch the Barclays Accelerator received around 350 applications — ultimately whittled down to the 11 teams presenting today (detailed below). It also confirmed the program is planning another intake for next year, due to start in March.
A couple of themes emerge from this 2014 fintech cohort, including ideas targeting the real estate vertical — unsurprising given that housing, and house prices, is an ongoing preoccupation for anyone living in London. And a preoccupation with ways to widen access to financial services by building products for those on the margins of traditional services.
Again that’s not too surprising, given that such products aren’t aiming to cannibalize current lucrative mainstream financial services products — but rather widen the pie. Ero a win-win for an established giant like Barclays.
Hardware is another small theme here, with an RFID payment wearable and an iBeacon startup also in the cohort.
The eleven 2014 Barclays Accelerator startups are detailed below:
- Tryum — customer loyalty scheme software which integrates with existing PoS
- DoPay — payroll outsourcing targeting the unbanked via a payroll card and app
- Crowdestates — a p2p platform for borrowers to formally tap friends and family to help raise a deposit for a property, topped up with access to third party lending
- NoviCap — turning outstanding business invoices into a short-term investment opportunity for third party investors
- Vieweet — immersive and interactive tools for viewing/selling properties
- Aire — consumer profiling tech to establish an alternative credit score for those with no credit history
- ClauseMatch — cloud platform for streamlining the negotiation and management of contracts
- Gust — RFID wristband for cashless payments
- Glimr — using iBeacon tech to analyze and retarget online shoppers when they’re in your offline store, including support for mobile payments
- Squirrel — digital personal financial management tools, focusing on integrating with employers’ payroll to achieve scale
- MarketIQ — predictive analytics platform for financial investors which parses social media for “sentiment inflection points” to predict market moves