Barclays reveals fintech start-ups in its 2021 New York Techstars accelerator
Barclays has unveiled the nine start-ups joining its accelerator based out of New York, powered by the much sought-after seed-stage accelerator, Techstars.
The 13-week programme, which began on 25 January, will finish on a demo day at the end of April.
The bank says it picked start-ups which meet “the urgent needs of consumers and banks facing a rapidly evolving economic recovery”.
FinTech Futures counted four women out of 16 co-founders. The bank has, however, set up a separate “Female Founders First” programme.
Four co-founders in Barclays’ New York-based accelerator are Asian, and just one co-founder – PJ Harris – is Black. Though again, the bank has set up a Black founder-specific programme in the UK, focusing on some 25 start-ups.
Barclays’ 2021 cohort includes four data-focused fintechs, suggesting this is predominantly where the bank’s interest lie when it comes to investments.
One is Floodlight, co-founded by ex-Wells Fargo and Silicon Valley Bank employees Erin Angerer and Nate Wyne.
The fintech – which claims to “provide truly unbiased information to the world” – allows investors to understand exactly how their portfolios stack up against the political climate, by analysing donation data.
Nossa Data, another cohort member, was founded by former Google software engineer, Irina Dumitrescu, and ex-growth head of bill splitting fintech acasa, Julianne Sloane.
The start-up helps financial institutions to report their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) progress.
Fellow data-driven fintech and cohort member, Julius Tech, was founded by ex-Barclays and Lehman Brothers executives, James Lee and Yadong Li. It claims to “build entire Big Data and analytics systems on demand”, according to its website.
And finally, Migrations.ml – a start-up which generates credit risk analytics for corporate bonds. Its founders include former IBM veteran, Jeff Lloyd, and former RBC director, Duncan Rowland.
The other five
The other five start-ups on the accelerator all serve notably different spaces. Avenify, a Virginia-founded fintech, claims to be one of the first peer-to-peer lending platforms for Income Share Agreements (ISAs).
It currently focuses on student financing for nurses. Its young founders, who are just two years out of university, are Timo Sheridan and Justin Potts.
Humanitru, a customer relationship manager and fundraising platform for charities, also nabbed a spot on the accelerator. Its co-founders include, Alan Wei and EY employee, PJ Harris.
Fellow cohort member, gravityAI, is a marketplace which allows firms to explore, test, procure, and integrate artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. Its sole founder is Daniel Huss, former head of product at State Street.
The final two cohort members – LittleNewt and Smash – automate tax returns and help reduce credit card debt, respectively.
LittleNewt’s three co-founders are Christopher Mundon, a former employee of now-closed ScaleFactor, former Tableau manager, Yumin Chung, and entrepreneur, Benjamin George.
Whilst Smash’s creators include former Boston Consulting Group project manager, Christopher Storaker, and serial co-founder Nicolas Jaramillo.
Outcome of the accelerator
Whilst Barclays does boast an impressive 180-company strong portfolio, just five of them – as of July last year – had landed official commercial contracts with the bank since 2015.
That’s a rather disappointing 2.78% success rate for the wide-eyed start-ups coming through Barclays’ doors.
Magdalena Kron, who leads Rise London’s team, told FinTech Futures last year that though this may not seem like a lot, these contracts take time.
She also pointed out that the accelerator is not just designed for start-ups to win deals with Barclays. Instead, she says it pushes for the wider aim of connecting start-ups to any of the world’s large financial institutions (FI).