Political risk, SME and data tools to headline at FinTech Innovation Lab London 2015
Seven startup financial services companies have been chosen by the FinTech Innovation Lab London, which returns to the city for its third year running. Candidates include a web-based program for real-time geopolitical risk assessment, tools that help small business owners manage their finances and faster data exchange and reconciliation technologies.
Launched in 2013, the Lab is a collaboration between Accenture and London’s major banks, supported by the Mayor of London, the City of London Corporation and the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board. The finalists are as follows:
Atsora aims to provide financial institutions with tools for small business owners. The core product, Momentum, is an integrated online and mobile application used for business planning, monitoring cash-flow and growth forecasting.
Cytora uses web-based data to provide real-time geopolitical risk assessments to organisations that operate in volatile, emerging or complex markets. Users can customise their risk assessment to capture information relevant to them. It also includes alerts when conditions suddenly change.
Duco is a technology company that helps financial services firms control and manage complex data. Its web-based reconciliation service, Duco Cube, is designed to enable non-technical staff to identify discrepancies in trades, transactions or reference data across different data sets, within minutes.
Pontus Networks helps businesses increase the performance of their computer systems. Its flagship product, PontusVision Threat Manager, enables different types of business software to run more efficiently and nearly three times faster.
Ripjar’s platform provides real-time social media monitoring and data analysis. Using proprietary natural language processing, deep learning algorithms and visualisations, Ripjar’s platform aims to help organisations to make sense of the growing number of external data sources.
Torusware focuses on helping businesses to increase the processing speed of their IT systems, whether these systems are hosted on the cloud or implemented on premise. For instance, trading systems, which need to exchange information in nanoseconds, can experience unpredictable high-load at specific times, such as when exchanges open or close, and Torusware is designed to ensure low latency responsive times during these critical periods.
xWare42 is a software developer whose core product, xPay, allows banks to give customers additional information about their purchases. For instance, payment details on a bank statement can be enriched by adding information such as receipts, addresses, opening hours, service numbers and other details about the retailers. The aim is to give customers a more helpful picture of their purchases while allowing banks and partner retailers to offer personalised discounts and encourage further transactions.
Each of these projects will be mentored for 12 weeks by executives from financial services, venture capital and angel investment firms through panel discussions, workshops, leadership coaching and networking. At the end of the period, they must present their concepts to investors and participating industry executives.
Supporting banks include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, RBS, UBS and payments specialist firm VocaLink. Other participating organisations include Euclid Opportunities, the Greater London Authority and UK Business Angels Association.
The Lab is based on a similar event started by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City. The 18 alumni companies from that project have generated 50 proofs of concept at banks and raised $47 million in venture financing since they participated in the Lab.
Similar events will be held both in Asia and in the US, after which the winners in each year will compete head to head for the opportunity to demonstrate at Sibos 2015 in Singapore.
“Commercialising innovations is often the toughest challenge for entrepreneurs and that’s why it is so valuable to bring these early-stage companies together with their potential customers,” said Richard Lumb, group chief executive, financial services at Accenture. “The Innovation Lab program also gives banks new exposure to the technologies they need to stay ahead. Since we launched the London Lab three years ago, the 14 companies that have passed through the program have raised more than $25 million in new investment and signed nearly 50 contracts to do business with banks.”