Plug and Play is launching a new accelerator based in Paris. This time, the company is partnering with French bank BNP Paribas and focusing on fintech startups. The first batch of startups has just been picked.
Plug and Play has launched multiple accelerators with a different business model than most accelerators. Instead of taking some equity in exchange of what you get from the acceleration program, Plug and Play matches big companies with startups focusing on a specific vertical.
In this case, BNP Paribas is the main partner. Startups are going to meet and work with various BNP Paribas business units in order to see if those startups can solve a problem and work with the big bank at the end of the program. I’m sure BNP Paribas is already thinking about approaching some of them for a potential acquisition or investment. They’ll have 12 weeks to work on those projects.
Here’s a quick description of these 10 startups:
Birdycent (France): Birdycent is a savings solution that allows its users to save money intelligently and painlessly. It’s a bit like Acorns, but Acorns only works in the U.S. 7,000 people signed up to Birdycent and are automatically saving a few cents here and there.
DreamQuark (France): DreamQuark is working on various solutions to manage large sets of structured and unstructured data. The company is using artificial intelligence to help companies figure out what’s really happening behind all this data. It is working with big companies in a handful of industries — finance, insurance and healthcare. And, yes, BNP Paribas fits the bill.
Dunforce (Spain): Dunforce helps companies manage their invoice workflow by providing a smart and virtual assistant. Dunforce has an API to integrate with various kinds of ERP solutions so that you can interact with you clients without changing your workflow. Dunforce then ensures that you pay your invoices on time and could also help you get paid faster.
Miracl (U.K.): Miracl is a security startup for sensitive industries. If you’re a bank like BNP Paribas, you need to make sure that your information remains secure as you’re dealing with a ton of sensitive data about your clients, your investments and more. It’s supposed to be more secure than using passwords, certificates, etc.
Savedo (Germany): Savedo is a European online marketplace for retail investment products. The service finds the best interest rates across the European Union while making sure that your investment remains safe. If a bank at the other end of the continent files for bankruptcy, your money should be safe.
SBDA Group (Ireland): The SBDA platform is making banking customer support better. I don’t know about you, but my worst customer support experiences have always been with financial institutions. As always, it’s all about leveraging artifical intelligence to increase response rate, cross-sell and more.
SizeUp (U.S.A.): SizeUp helps banks better serve their small business customers. SizeUp provides business intelligence and market research to small companies so they can make smarter decisions through data. Some banks already license SizeUp for their business customers.
OneUp (France): OneUp wants to automate accounting tasks. Many entrepreneurs waste too much time filling out forms or paying accountants. OneUp syncs with your bank account then learns from your transactions to automate accounting as much as possible.
Sonect (Switzerland): Sonect turns retail stores into ATMs. Let’s say you’re launching a bank in a new country. Instead of building out a full-fledged network of ATMs to let your customers withdraw and deposit money, you can partner with Sonect to take advantage of existing retail stores. You can go to the cashier, show a QR code and get cash while you’re buying some groceries.
Vizru (U.S.A.): Vizru lets you create smart apps with very little engineering knowledge. This way, you can automate some processes and make your organization more efficient.