FINTECH50 201450 THE FINTECH Introducing the 50 most innovative and Introducing the fifty most disruptive brands in disruptive, and game-changing financial brands in FinTech technology for 2014
THE FINTECH 50
Accelerator & Growth
T: +44 (0)207 367 7800 E: email@example.com
Private Equity Finance and Banking
41 Lothbury, London EC2R 7HF United Kingdom
Abundance Generation Karl Harder
Klarna Niklas Adalberth
AcceptEmail Peter Kwakernaak
Lemon Way Sébastien Burlet
BehavioSec Neil Costigan
Linedata Services SA Anvaraly Jiva
BlueSpeck Financial Toby Hughes
mBank Michal Panowicz
borro Paul Aitken
Meniga Georg Ludviksson
Bottomline Technologies Robert Eberle
Merit Software Kerril Burke
Brady Plc Gavin Lavelle
NagraID Cyril Lalo
CA Appstore Emmanuel Methivier
Nutmeg Nick Hungerford
Calastone Julien Hammerson
OpenGamma Kirk Wylie
Clear2Pay Michel Akkermans
OP3Nvoice Paul Murphy
Digital Shadows Alastair Paterson
PAYMILL Mark Henkel
Dovetail Systems Martin Coen
PensionsFirst Benjamin Reid
DueDil.com Damian Kimmelman
Perseus Telecom Jock Percy
eToro Yoni Assia
Pingit Ruchir Rodrigues
ETRONIKA Kęstutis Gardžiulis
Seedrs Jeff Lynn
ExpenseMagic Ed Drax
SmartStream Philippe Chambadal
Fidor Bank Matthias Kröner
Sush.io Thomas Guillaumin
Five Degrees Martijn Hohmann
SynerScope Jan-Kees Buenen
Fixnetix Hugh Hughes
Tbricks Jonas Hansbo
FreeAgent Ed Molyneux
The Currency Cloud Michael Laven
Funding Circle Samir Desai
Thunderhead Glen Manchester
GoCardless Grey Baker
TransferWise Taavet Hinrikus
HelpMyCash.com Laurent Amar
Wonga Errol Damelin
Holvi Kristoffer Lawson
Zopa Giles Andrews
iwoca Christoph Rieche Ixaris Alex Mifsud THREE
WHY DID WE LAUNCH THE FINTECH50?
Debu Purkayastha Google
For so many good reasons, but not least because the time was just right. The idea began with a conversation, and then very quickly took flight - thanks to the power of collaboration and four exceptionally insightful partners: ICON Corporate Finance, Silicon Valley Bank, Hotwire and Fox Williams. As business top 50s go, we all wanted to make this one different – which is why there is no outright winner, no call for submissions and why the list is not selected solely on the basis of turnover or recession-busting growth…however impressive the numbers. This 50 is all about the qualities that make FinTech a hot technology sector offering the most eye-watering investment opportunities available - anywhere. Every business featured has either the potential to become a game-changer or the competitive staying power to continue being one. It’s our small tribute to the pioneers who are redefining financial services globally. And to the movers, shakers and downright disruptive technologies across Europe who, in our panel’s
Gareth Lodge Celent
Conny Dorrestijn Shiraz Partners
Eddie Harding ICON Corporate Finance
Pierre Suhrcke Pascal Capital
Christian Erlandson Monitise
John Chaplin Ixaris Alex McCracken Silicon Valley Bank
Alex Macpherson Octopus Ventures
Baruk Pilo ICON Corporate Finance
Jon Bennet Silicon Valley Bank
Roy Vella V2 Ltd
Julie Lake FinTech50
Photo credits: TheRealMikeyBoy, Harshil.Shah.
Sole Chirco Hotwire
Nicky Cotter FinTech50
Dave Birch Consult Hyperion
view, will be the Ones to Watch in 2014. London may have the FinTech Factor right now. But the FinTech50 isn’t just about London. It’s about the FinTech Revolution taking place right across Europe. Very special thanks must go to The City of London, UKTI Financial Services Organization, Barclays Accelerator Powered by Techstars, Google, Monitise, Index Ventures, Octopus Investments, Eric van der Kleij, Level39, broadcaster and journalist Laura Kuenssberg – and, of course, to our FinTech50 panel. Their generous gift of time, expertise and resources on the FinTech50, and the first ever FinTechCity London, ensured that these were two ideas that didn’t just fly, but which also became a very tangible reality.
Julie Lake and Nicky Cotter Founders, The FinTech50 and FinTechCity www.fintechcity.com
DISRUPTION AND RENEWAL: THE BANKING LANDSCAPE By Chris Skinner, Financial Services Club
e all know that the internet has changed things. How much can be seen by just looking at how addicted we are to our smartphones and apps today. These are driven by the internet and, in 2014, we are starting to see the appearance of the internet of things where everything, everywhere is connected in real-time, all the time. This is emerging with the launch of smart watches and wifi glasses, but it goes far wider and deeper than these gadgets as cars, houses, streets and buildings are all becoming internet-enabled. What we realise with these developments however is that we are at the equivalent of the car industry in the last century. Automobiles were appearing at the end of the 19th century and, by the second decade of the 20th century, had moved mainstream thanks to the Model T Ford. Look at how the automotive industry has evolved a century later, and you get an idea of where the internet is today. It is at the stage of the Model T Ford. There’s a long way to go. Nevertheless, the introduction of mass market, cheap and affordable transportation led to the revolution of transport that created cities and urbanization a century ago. Today, we are laying the transport system for global communications for this century through the mobile internet of things, and this is as fundamental a revolution as the introduction of the automobile, telephone, electricity, railways and other innovations of the last century. For banks, this means that they are starting to see disruptions emerging that will change their own businesses. These began with simple ideas, such as peer-to-peer lending, and have started to snowball as we see crowdsourcing and crowdfunding becoming a viable alternative to traditional trade finance, credit and loans. The mobile internet is displacing the traditional forms of payment – cards and cash – and so we have seen Visa and MasterCard innovating hard to keep up. Even then, new players like Square and iZettle are making inroads into these traditional forms of payment. In investment markets, we bump into new investment models such as Stocktwits, eToro and Chi-X BATS, all of which leverage the digitisation developments of the new technology age. In insurance, AXA has launched Soon, a social insurance model in France, whilst Friendsurance in Germany has already reinvented the business model of
insurance by creating a peer-to-peer insurance model. In other words, all aspects of the financial markets are being disrupted by new business models and innovations based upon the internet of Web 2.0, or Web 2.4 as we should think of this today (four years into the second decade of internet renewal). Banks that are onboard with this renewal of technology are investing heavily to adapt and refresh their core infrastructures. Banks that have idly sat and waited are now starting to feel the impact of this change. Their legacy architectures and infrastructures are creaking and groaning and starting to fail. That is the big impact of both the disruption of technology with their customers and the need for renewal to keep up with customer needs and new competition. Meanwhile, the opportunity presented by these failings provides the upstarts, with their fresh systems and business models, with a moment to leverage change and win business. The march of the technology revolution will continue through this century, but the major developments of change and the significant new players to emerge from such change are happening today. The change will hand an opportunity for the new to replace the old, for the digital to replace the physical and for innovators to disrupt incumbents. This is the world you face right now and the FinTech50 are potentially the emergent dominant forces of this new world. Whether they achieve thier ambitious goals will be down to their ability to execute their vision and implement their plans, but the opportunity is certainly there. It is there because the world is being reinvented by the internet. That is the whole world, not just the banking world, so watch out, as thist disruption will only get faster and have more impact over the next decade. Nothing will stop it.
Chris Skinner is chairman of the Financial Services Club, CEO of Balatro and author of the best-selling book Digital Bank. He comments on the financial markets through his blog the Finanser and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABUNDANCE GENERATION KARL HARDER, MD
bundance Generation was the first, regulated, crowdfunding platform that allows people to invest directly from just £5, in renewable energy projects in the UK. We call it democratic finance and have created a revolutionary online experience that gives investors complete control and transparency over how their money is invested. We want to see a world where small investors replace the role of the big banks in financing infrastructure and businesses, keeping more of the return for themselves and having a real choice about how their money is invested. Abundance is the first of a new breed of financial services company that seeks to compete directly with traditional forms of investment and create meaningful disruption that improves both customer service and investor returns.
ACCEPTEMAIL PETER KWAKERNAAK, CEO
Abundance puts the investor in control. Its disruptive use of technology and FCA-regulated platform revolutionises the experience of investing, allowing anyone in the UK to invest from just £5 in the project of their choice - starting with renewable energy and branching out to allow the democratic finance of infrastructure and business in the UK and beyond. @Abundancegen @karlharder
ne in eight bill payments contains typing errors, resulting in unnecessary reminders, double payments or matching problems in the debtors’ administration. Paper bills are expensive, inefficient and environmentally unfriendly. This inspired us to develop the concept of AcceptEmail. We enable companies to send digital payment requests (bills, reminders, promises-to-pay), resulting in a safe and prompt payment by their customers. AcceptEmails can be sent via multiple communication channels: e-mail, mobile, text or online. The threshold for switching to digital billing is eliminated. Our smart billing solutions contain valuable and unique features such as the Dynamic Status Indicator for real-time status update, insights into customer payment behaviour, smooth integration tooling, correct representation in all e-mail clients (renderability) and spam-filter avoidance. AcceptEmail
is independent of payment institutes, banks, PSPs and BSPs. We do not collect money on behalf of customers; we just enable the payment initiation by means of all available online and mobile payment methods.
AcceptEmail is an electronic bill presentment and payment service for B2C and B2SME utilised by a large number of blue chip companies in telecom (T-Mobile, Tele2, KPN, UPC), utility (Nuon, Essent, Electrabel), retail (Dell, IKEA), consumer finance (Santander, BMW, Atradius), insurance (Aegon, CZ, Achmea) and education (University of Amsterdam, Maastricht University). The service is available in The Netherlands and other European countries. AcceptEmail is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. @AcceptEmail @ PeterKwakernaak
BLUESPECK FINANCIAL TOBY HUGHES, FOUNDER & MD
BEHAVIOSEC NEIL COSTIGAN, CEO
or greater IT security without affecting customer experience. BehavioSec offers Behaviometric solutions in order to create a multi layered approach for authentication and verification purposes. The solution is designed to tackle the demands for greater security without impacting user experience or impeding e-commerce. The product monitors such behavior as keystroke dynamics and/or smart phone input such as gestures, touch pressure, swipe angle etc. User operation is mapped against that user’s known digital profile to verify that user’s indentity, therefore preventing fraudsters from obtaining access or hijacking a session. BehavioSec is gaining customer traction in the internet banking space, particularly mobile authentication. Our technology has been deployed to millions of mobile and internet banking customers in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. About BehavioSec adds multilayer security to online and mobile transactions, authentications, and identifications through user behavior, without impacting user experience.
he financial services industry should help people achieve their goals and dreams and protect them if things go wrong. Your Wealth was founded on this principle and we’ve built the technology necessary to put the needs of the consumer at the heart of financial services. Financial firms and institutions can use our technology as a low-cost platform for innovation within their own product or advice verticals. In this way we’re planning to disrupt the industry from within and change the way people can plan for the future, access financial products or interact with financial advice. We’re making the world of finance truly accessible for everyone whether they have as little as £5 or as much as £50 million.
About BlueSpeck’s Your Wealth provides free-to-access technology to help people make choices over their financial futures, whether they’ve got £5 or £50 million. Our technology, which can be accessed via mobile, tablet or desktop devices, helps people gain control over their finances while delivering complementary content, tools, products and financial advice. @BlueSpeckLtd
BORRO PAUL AITKEN, FOUNDER & CEO
hrough our innovative online platform, we have been providing an alternative source of finance to customers in the UK since 2008, and in the US since 2012 – servicing individuals and business owners who have been let down by traditional sources of finance. While multiple government schemes implemented over the past few years have had a dramatic effect on the mortgage and secured loan sector, banks and other traditional lenders are still in lending retrograde especially when it comes to SMEs. Invention is born out of necessity and while we have witnessed many “alternative” lenders enter (and leave) the market both in personal and business lending, we would argue that
borro has paved the way as the non-bank provider of liquidity for individuals and entrepreneurs. About borro is the UK’s leading online personal asset lender. Individuals and business owners can secure loans of up to £1,000,000 against assets including fine art and antiques, prestige cars, wine collections, jewellery and more. Assets are valued by borro’s expert in-house valuation team, ensuring clients are offered the best possible loan value – and therefore ultimately a quick and simple liquidity solution. @BorroLoans
BOTTOMLINE TECHNOLOGIES ROBERT EBERLE, PRESIDENT & CEO About Bottomline Technologies providets cloud-based payment, invoice and banking solutions to corporations, financial institutions and banks around the world. The company’s solutions are used to streamline, automate and manage processes involving payments, invoicing, global cash management, supply chain finance and transactional documents. Organizations trust Bottomline to meet their needs for cost reduction, competitive differentiation and optimization of working capital. @BottomLineTech
CA APPSTORE, EMMANUEL METHIVIER, CEO BRADY PLC§ GAVIN LAVELLE, PRESIDENT & CEO About Brady plc is the leading provider of software solutions for global commodity trading. They offer a choice of trading and risk management applications designed to enable producers, consumers, financial organizations and trading companies to manage all of their commodity transactions in an integrated solution - including pre-deal analysis, trade capture, risk management, foreign exchange, credit risk, logistics, cash management, physical operations, back office financials, and treasury settlement. Complementing its advanced ECTRM solutions, Brady also delivers unrivalled recycling management solutions to some of the world’s largest commercial recycling firms. Brady has more than 25 years of expertise in the commodity markets and over 300 customers worldwide depend on our software solutions to manage risk and deliver vital business transactions across their global operations. Brady customers include many of the world’s largest financial institutions, trading companies, miners, refiners, producers, mills, scrap processors, tier one banks, a large number of London Metal Exchange (LME) Category 1 and 2 clearing members and many leading European energy generators, traders, and consumers. Our expert market knowledge, professionalism and proven problem-solving capabilities enable us to understand the challenges our clients face and develop tailored solutions that consistently meet and exceed their needs. @BradyPlc
oday’s banks are living in a new era with the explosion of mobile apps and young tech-savvy customers who require personalized and innovative services. Crédit Agricole Store is a portal that allows any entrepreneur to develop mobile applications for our 21 million customers in a co-operative mode. CA Store is based on three unique concepts: •
Open Innovation: the store allows customers to download applications, but especially to participate in their co-creation via a dedicated platform, a first in France; Open Data: Digital partner companies design applications that customers think of Credit Agricole and use with their own bank data secure, a European first; Digital Cooperative: bringing
together digital partners in a cooperative, which pool their resources to provide applications, a world first. We believe Open data is the future of financial services and may expand sooner to other sectors and companies. About Credit Agricole Store is the first European Appstore proposed by a bank and where financial apps are co-created between clients and developers. CA is the only European player to combine open APIs to enable external developers to code apps for their clients, a co-creation platform for customers to invent the bank of the future and an appstore displaying multiple enriched services. @castore_projet @e_methivier
CALASTONE JULIEN HAMMERSON, CHAIRMAN & CEO
e are delighted to be part of the FinTech50, as technological innovation is at the core of our business. 2013 was an exciting year for us, celebrating as we did our five-year anniversary and cementing our global footprint with business expansion in Europe, Asia, Australia - we are now active in 17 domiciles. Calastone is very much a solutions company that is interactive, collaborative and client-focussed. As well as working to innovate in areas we think relevant, we know it is critical to develop electronic transaction network services which our clients ask us to provide. As an example of this, in partnership with Barclays we launched an exciting settlement solution and we will continue to provide innovative solutions like this in 2014. About Calastone is the global fund transaction network, offering electronic transaction solutions in and across 17 domiciles to more than 400 customers. Calastone’s technology works to increase efficiency through reducing cost and removing technical barriers to automation of fund transactions through our interoperability, network and service. @CalastoneLtd
CLEAR2PAY MICHEL AKKERMANS, CHAIRMAN & CEO
e are delighted to be on the FinTech50 list as a provider of groundbreaking financial services technology. At Clear2Pay we have one shared passion and mission: payments made easy. Twelve years ago, we were the first to offer banks technology built in this century for this century, with our OPF payment hub vision and platform, which has since been adopted by over 30% of the global top 50 banks. The fact that we are on the FinTech list today proves that we have been able to retain our innovative spirit, whilst having grown into an established FinTech player. We continue to innovate at the forefront with our recent launch of Vivas, offering banks the ability to transform customer’s
bank accounts into digital accounts, handling all types of digital and monetary value, whilst adding transaction value over and above the payment to customers, commerce and banks alike. About At Clear2Pay, with over 1,200 staff in 24 offices we enable customer centric payments – from conception and design, to production, deployment and testing. Our technology allows banks to acquire anything, process anyhow, clear & view anywhere - turning the banks into key custodians of all transactions of virtual (coupons, miles) and real (monetary) value across all channels. @Clear2Pay
DOVETAIL SYSTEMS MARTIN COEN, CEO
D DIGITAL SHADOWS ALASTAIR PATERSON, CEO
igital Shadows is a great example of a British start-up poised to take on the global financial services market. Our two-year-old London based company runs a cyber-monitoring service that helps some of the world’s largest banks to prevent cyber attacks and data leakage from their organizations. We’ve been recognised for innovation by SWIFT, Cisco and the Technology Strategy Board and were named a Gartner Cool Vendor for 2013. We won a place on Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab, and our successful VC round has accelerated our development. The future of the company is bright as we expand across top-tier banks in the UK and Europe and open offices in New York to support our growing American customer base in 2014. About Digital Shadows runs a cyber monitoring service that secures companies’ ever-expanding digital footprints. As organizations engage more with social media, cloud services and mobile devices our advanced analytics and big-data technology; keep their security and reputation intact. @digitalshadows @patersonae
ovetail has the strongest organic growth in the sector and an unrivalled delivery track record. We are leading the revolution in payment systems by providing a clean, modern solution proven in the most challenging operational environments. Through configuration of our standard payment services hub, four of the top six global transaction banks as well as many other large and smaller banks are gaining competitive advantage using Dovetail. Uniquely, Dovetail normalises all payments for processing in real-time – enabling banks to standardize their operations and drive innovation in areas such as mobile payments, FX, bulk cross border payments, intraday liquidity management - real-time and historical information services.
About Dovetail builds and implements enterprise banking software, specifically, the Dovetail Payment Services Hub. Dovetail’s ability to execute and support mission critical projects is facilitating a new wave of competition in transaction banking by providing efficient, consolidated, and adaptable processing of payments, from bulk ACH clearing to global RTGS settlement. @DovetailSystems
DUEDIL.COM DAMIAN KIMMELMAN, CEO
e’re extremely proud to be among the new generation of FinTech companies helping to transform the financial services industry in the UK. At DueDil we turn data into insight to empower companies to make decisions with confidence. We’re opening up the market for this information and creating new opportunities for both data providers and those seeking information on private companies. The past year has been especially exciting for us. We closed our Series A funding round, opened up access to data from 20 European countries via our API, brought the product to feature parity with long-established incumbents and grew the team from 20 to 40. Over 150,000 companies are currently using our services and we’re on track to hit one million users in Q1 2014. About DueDil is a one-stop shop for business information, intelligence and analysis. We link vast amounts of data to make discovering information on private companies easy. By giving people easier access to information on companies and the people who run them, we can help them make better business decisions. @duedil @duediler
ETORO YONI ASSIA, FOUNDER & CEO
e started out when people found it hard to believe that investing can be turned into a social experience, and I think now it’s safe to say that 2013 was the year when our users proved to everybody that the world has changed. We are proud to lead this revolution, where investing meets the social web. With over three million users, and just closing over 100m trades executed on our platform, we have made it clear to the world that social investing is the future. 2013 has been a tremendous year for eToro, with amazing growth of our social network and dozens of features big and small that make our user experience better.
About eToro is a social investment network, driven by the community of over three million users from 200 countries. Our goal is to open the global markets to everyone, and enable a true democratization of the finance world. eToro users can follow and even copy each other’s investing activity, as well as share ideas, strategies and knowledge, thus creating the world’s largest social investment network which is powered by the wisdom of the crowd. @eToro @yoniassia
EXPENSEMAGIC ED DRAX, MD
FIDOR BANK MATTHIAS KRÖNER, CHAIRMAN
ach month there is the repetitive chore of collating receipts and invoices in wallets and desk drawers before that grim half day or full day of entering them in to an Excel doc for our accountant. It’s wasted time and tedious. ExpenseMagic is a web and mobile App that avoids all of this hassle. Anytime, anywhere you simply photograph a receipt with the iPhone App and click “upload”. The image is stored online, all the data is extracted by our bookkeepers and at the end of the month you receive PDF and Excel reports of all the previous month’s costs. No more lost receipts, no more data entry. Just peace of mind and time saved for more important business tasks. About For businesses drowning in fiddly receipts and for people who hate the data entry each month, ExpenseMagic is an App that captures, stores and processes all of a business’s costs and invoices with the snap of a photograph and turns them in to reports and spreadsheets. It’s Instagram meets Excel. @ExpenseMagic @eddrax
ETRONIKA KĘSTUTIS GARDŽIULIS, CEO
t is amazing how technology changes the way we interact, shapes the way we live and extends our abilities. We are a part of this process of change. Our e-banking solution BANKTRON simplifies the usage of e-banking services and attracts end-users with friendly interface and extended functionalities. We have been developing IT solutions for 13 years already and 2013 was a magical year for our company. Increased number of skilled team members, entry to new markets and awards for BANKTRON made us once again realize that our input in this industry is valid and that we are on the right track to provide
necessary solutions. I am proud to claim that we create experience, experience that is positive and valuable. About At ETRONIKA, we join emerging trends and innovative techniques to create unique opportunities for our clients’ businesses. Our full suite of e-banking solutions allows financial institutions to serve both retail and corporate customers, offering them highly personalized, attractively simple and enhanced e-banking experience via all channels and devices. @EtronikaTweets
idor Bank AG stands for a new way of banking, using web 2.0 functionalities to redefine the relationships of users and their bank. Fidor TecS account technology is an open eco-system integrating thirdparty applications offering more than just payment, e. g. saving certificates, loans, FX, precious metals but also crowd finance, peer-to-peer banking and virtual currencies within that account technology. About Fidor is a global peer-to-peer bank. The first bank in the world where you can help shape the interest of FidorPay. The rule is simple: The more Facebook Likes, the higher the interest rate. The minimum interest rate of your FidorPay account is 0.5% pa. By the 25th of each month, if the bank achieves a certain number of Likes, then a higher interest is paid and calculated, starting in the month at the rate achieved in each case. From 22,000 Likes FidorPay will offer 1.5% interest per annum for the remainder of the year. At the end of the year, the interest rate resets again to 0.5% pa. @FidorBank @Kroener_m
FIVE DEGREES MARTIJN HOHMANN, CEO
hen we founded our company three years ago, we set out to be a challenger in the core banking technology space with a radical new vision: building state-of-the-art technology that would support financial institutions with pure customer-centricity at the heart of our ‘engine’. This means for example providing channel access (from the customer perspective), rather than bank-driven cross-channel integration. With our new pure SOA technology this can be done and we have seen an adoption of our product in the front and mid office of banks enabling true customer dialogue. This year we launch an equally agile alternative for the product and admin functionality, commonly known as the ‘back office’. Being on the FinTech50 list is a massive compliment as it clearly positions us as an innovator and challenger with the aim to ‘invigorate banking’.
About Five Degress (NL|IS) offers the real alternative to banks and other financial institutions wishing to serve their customers differently. It is faster, it is lower cost and is more transparent. It connects from and to any device and through Matrix, its core BP engine and banking solution, it delivers more insight to all parties involved: bank staff, clients and regulators.
FREEAGENT ED MOLYNEUX, FOUNDER & CEO
FIXNETIX HUGH HUGHES, CHAIRMAN & CEO
ixnetix has become the leading financial technology provider because of the people we select to represent our business. It’s ironic to rank the number one success factor for a technology vendor as man rather than machine. When I started my career nearly 50 years ago, firms were built on the premise of making good relationships and always putting the customer first. I’ve been able to carry this mantra through to Fixnetix whilst choosing the right variety of team members and inspiring all of them with the freedom to innovate and win. Today, we are one of the last independent providers worldwide and the early adapter types consider us to be a veteran and somewhat of a legend. About Fixnetix is a 2013, 2012 and 2011 award-winning company providing outsourced managed services across multiple asset classes to leading global banks, hedge funds and proprietary trading groups seeking ultra-low latency trading, market data, hosting, infrastructure connectivity and risk management solutions. The company is in 33 co-location and proximity hosting centres across Europe, USA, Asia-Pac and Africa and offers trading access to over 89+ markets. @Fixnetix
t FreeAgent our vision is to ‘Democratize Accounting’. Back in 2007 when I started the company with my co-founders Olly and Roan, we were just trying to build something that would help us run our own businesses. Back then we were naïve enough to set out a bold scope for our product: to streamline everything from timeslip to tax return. But the software-as-a-service model allowed us to rapidly build out from our initial product and we’re now well on our way to delivering against our ambition. We’re currently launching our Self Assessment Filing tool, initially just for Sole Traders, that automatically fills in 90% of their income tax return - the bane of most business owners’ lives. We’re reinventing what accounting software means for very small businesses and also redefining their relationship with accountants. By providing real-time access to microbusinesses’ financial health data, we’re also poised to transform the small business financing landscape as well.
About FreeAgent are pioneers of cloud accounting for freelancers and micro-businesses, and are currently the UK market leader with over 34,000 paying subscribers. FreeAgent are ranked #8 in the Deloitte Fast50 2013 and are winners of the AccountingWeb 2013 Software Satisfaction Awards in both the Accounting Software and Expense Management categories. @FreeAgent @edmolyneux
FUNDING CIRCLE SAMIR DESAI, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
unding Circle is revolutionizing the world of finance by allowing businesses to sidestep the banks and borrow directly from investors in both the UK and US. Our technology is truly disruptive. We help businesses get fast, low-cost finance whilst investors earn a better return on their money. We have trebled in size in the last year, and since launching three years ago we have helped thousands of businesses to borrow approximately £200 million. We recently launched in the US, and will soon be moving into property and asset finance as part of our commitment to helping millions of businesses access finance to grow. We believe Funding Circle could account for 10-20% of the market within a decade, but it isn’t just about growth - we want to build a sustainable business, which means creating an atmosphere which is innovative and fun. About Funding Circle is a global online platform or marketplace that links investors – both individuals and organizations - with businesses that need loans to expand and grow. We help thousands of businesses access finance, typically within two weeks, whilst investors earn attractive returns on their money. @FundingCircle @samirdesai01
GOCARDLESS GREY BAKER, HEAD OF OPERATIONS
oCardless supercharges the UK’s Direct Debit network. In 2013 we became the UK’s largest Direct Debit provider, allowing thousands of merchants to bill their customers by Direct Debit for the first time. In 2014 we’ll be rolling out across Europe. Taking payments should be simple and cheap, but it’s not; suppliers are forced to invoice and wait unpaid for months. Subscription services pay high credit card fees and suffer churn due to card expiry. GoCardless has already started changing that in the UK. Starting from February we’ll be fixing it across Europe, and helping some of the UK’s largest companies collect from across the continent.
About GoCardless helps any UK company start collecting payment by Direct Debit in 60 seconds. In two years we’ve become the UK’s largest Direct Debit provider. In 2014 we’re launching across Europe to become the preferred way to take recurring payments in Europe. @GoCardless @greybaker
HELPMYCASH.COM LAURENT AMAR, FOUNDER
elpMyCash.com set itself the challenge to improve your experience when choosing financial products, accounts, deposits, cards and mortgages. HelpMyCash is an innovative web platform from which to calculate and verify the accuracy of information at the point of inquiry or purchase. HelpMyCash works with the conviction that this is the ideal moment for changing the financial sector and ensuring that the consumer finally has access to transparent and understandable choices, and the ability to take control of their personal finances and future. @infoHelpMyCash @laurent_amar
HOLVI KRISTOFFER LAWSON, CEO
IWOCA CHRISTOPH RIECHE, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
s a young child into computers, technology and programming, I never imagined I would be involved with setting up a banking service. It was not my dream job. Holvi was, however, born to serve a very real need: I was the founder of an event that grew into the largest digital art festival in the Nordics, and Tuomas Toivonen was the unfortunate treasurer. That, and a number of other activities and businesses, showed us that instead of being actually useful, banking was getting in the way of getting things done. Everybody had a different idea of how the budget had been developing, and tying our finances up with reality was tricky and error-prone. We tried solving this
in various ways but soon realized that to do it properly, to do it easily for the user, we had to do what nobody had before had the guts to try: to rethink how banking fits into our businesses, activities and lives. It was fundamentally broken. We created Holvi to solve that. About Holvi was founded in 2011 in Helsinki, Finland, with the goal of rethinking banking services and how they connect with our lives. It is regulated by the Finnish FSA and has been growing rapidly since silently opening to the Finnish market in Autumn 2012. A European launch is planned soon. @Holvi @Setok
icrobusiness is thriving with a 60% rise in the number of zero-employee companies since the turn of the millennium. Traditional business lenders struggle to deal with this category due to their high cost structures and outdated processes. We started iwoca to bring a data-driven approach to assessing business creditworthiness. This gives low-cost yet accurate lending decisions allowing us to invest in an entirely new type of entrepreneur. With greater access to capital, microbusinesses can take advantage of opportunities previously only available to larger competitors. The result? Increased innovation, high-quality job creation and sustainable economic growth. About iwoca offers fast, flexible business loans to online retailers. Integrations with eBay, Amazon and other ecommerce platforms allow iwoca to view a retailer’s real-time trading history and customer feedback. This data feeds into a proprietary risk algorithm to give fast, accurate lending decisions without the high costs associated with traditional lenders. @iwoca @christoph_iwoca
IXARIS ALEX MIFSUD, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
e are going through an explosion of competing and complementary innovations in the payments eco-system. How can FinTech vendors and financial institutions increase their chances of surviving through this Cambrian period in payments? This is a good thing, although too many moving parts may be deterring mass customer adoption. I personally believe in accommodating diversity rather than fighting it. Thankfully, the Internet has taught us how to do this, first by connecting existing networks and by making them accessible to those who build and deliver applications. The payments industry is ripe for this development.
About Ixaris enables businesses and consumers to move and use money worldwide quickly, affordably and easily – just as the Internet has enabled the movement and use of information. Ixaris technology connects global and local payment networks, financial institutions and customers, applications and devices to make this “Internet of Money” possible. @ixaris @alexmifsud
LEMON WAY SÉBASTIEN BURLET PRESIDENT
nnovating in the banking industry as a payment intermediary is like entering a boxing ring without knowing the rules, without protections, with many clever, trained and organized competitors. But if you stand-up, in the adversity, you can have the chance to challenge the dinosaurs and enter the small club of FinTech companies that will invent the future of payment. About Lemon Way is a B2B payment service provider for marketplaces. Lemon Way is the partner of a changing world: wedding gift on Internet, car sharing instead of hiring, prepaid wallets to replace my card, mobile remittance instead of cash to cash, bitcoins instead of Swift. @LemonWay
KLARNA NIKLAS ADALBERTH, CO-FOUNDER & DEPUTY CEO
ounded in 2005 Klarna offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions. At the core of Klarna’s services is the concept of post-delivery payment, which lets buyers receive ordered goods before any payment is due. Today, Klarna has 850 employees, over 12 million customers and its payment solutions are integrated by more than 15,000 online shops. Klarna has nine offices including development in Israel. We have raised capital from investors such as Sequoia Capital, DST, General Atlantic and Atomico.
About Klarna was founded in Stockholm, Sweden with the idea of creating ‘Online payments as they should be’, a hasslefree payment solution that would allow buyers and sellers to interact in the easiest and safest way. Klarna does this by letting the customer pay after they receive their order, and takes on the credit and fraud risk for merchants. In eight years, Klarna has grown to 850 employees, is active in seven countries in Europe and has over 12 million consumers. @Klarna @NiklasAdalberth
LINEDATA SERVICES SA ANVARALY JIVA, FOUNDER & CEO
he globalization and increasing complexity of the financial services industry are leading firms to seek an IT partner which is a specialist in their business and committed to long-term investment and support. With innovation at the very heart of its strategy, Linedata experts anticipate market trends and provide a comprehensive range of services from systems design, development and integration through to support and hosting. We work closely with a number of technology, business and financial services partners in order to offer cutting-edge, open and flexible platforms. Our employees are driven by the success of our clients. Not only are our solutions global and scalable, they also cover the entire investment and credit process value chain as a result of a proven and industry-recognized product strategy. About Linedata is a global solutions provider dedicated to the investment management and credit community, with 1000 employees in 16 offices across the globe. Headquartered in France, Linedata applies its market and client insight to provide innovative and flexible mission-critical software and services that help its clients grow in over 50 countries. @linedata
MBANK MICHAL PANOWICZ, SENIOR DIRECTOR
n 2013 mBank launched a project to change the retail banking status quo, as it did in 2000 by introducing the first Polish online bank. Inspired by our customers’ adoption of modern digital experiences across web and mobile platforms we launched our new online banking platform, delivering over 200 innovative features grouped across 10 major innovation areas, including fully authenticated video banking, real-time event-driven CRM, merchant-funded transactional marketing, P2P payments through Facebook & text messages. We noticed that the interactive capabilities of modern browsers, smartphones and social media had all become an important part of everyday life. Yet most banks lagged in their wholehearted adoption, vastly
using old-fashioned tables instead of more: approachable charts, interactive elements, video streaming, contextual data to present financial information. mBank decided to fill in that gap with its new online banking platform offering a fully digital experience. About mBank is the third-largest Polish retail bank serving over 4.2m customers and offering an award-winning next generation digital banking platform combining 10 major innovations smoothly co-ordinated within transactional banking experience. The bank fully leverages modern technologies to deliver a state-of-the-art end-to-end customer experience and unparalleled sales effectiveness. @mBankpl @michalpanowicz
MENIGA GEORG LUDVIKSSON, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
he traditional retail banking business model is under increasing pressure in a world of accelerating technology change, big data mining, deregulation, dwindling loyalty and high consumer expectations. The industry is ripe for disruption with many tech-savvy, VC-funded new entrants chipping away at different parts of a retail bank’s business. Banks must therefore learn how to quickly adapt and decide what role they want to play in a changing world. To thrive, they must embrace new ways and new business models, such as becoming a trusted guardian and adviser of consumers in a much broader sense than most banks are today. Meniga operates at the heart of these changes and is privileged to work with some of Europe’s leading financial institutions to help them map a course towards the bank of the future. Helping both banks and consumers in this way is an extremely rewarding ride. About Meniga helps retail banks dramatically improve their online and mobile banking through innovative Personal Finance Management (PFM) software solutions. Meniga uses social curiosity, humour and gamification to make money management fun and engaging (or less boring) and at the same time helps banks better engage, analyze and monetize their customers. @meniga @georgl
MERIT SOFTWARE KERRIL BURKE, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
NAGRAID CYRIL LALO, CEO
erit Software’s systems allow investment banks and financial institutions to manage their receivables and payables proactively across their global organizations, by automating the processing and settlement of over 80% of operational transactions. Claim Manager offers efficiency savings of 50-60%. Looking forward, we are particularly excited about the introduction of SetClaim, our new SaaS-based electronic matching service which is expected to set the new standard in centralised settlement systems in this sector. Our customer’ ‘success is our success and the benefits we deliver in helping them process billions of pounds worth of transactions will lead to additional referred sales, both within the same organization or in other peer organizations. The
long standing nature of our clients is testimony to this philosophy. About Merit software provides industry leading banking and broking settlement processing solutions to the global tier 1 investment banks and major financial institutions, offering efficiency savings of 50-60%. In the 2013 ISF Global Investor survey, clients using the company’s Claim Manager software won the top three places and were five of the top seven in the Dividend and Income collection category. @MeritSoftwareUK
stablished in 1976, NagraID joined the Kudelski Group in 2001. With headquarters located in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland), the cradle of the world’s watchmaking industry, NagraID has continued the tradition of constant development and miniaturisation of electronic components and grown to support the financial markets’ demand for higher security. NargaID’s patented production methods enable us to embed sophisticated electronic components into a wide variety of forms. For our customers, the variety of applications range from electronic identification cards (e-IDs) to bank cards, including electronic transport passes and tracking solutions for goods and persons. Our market segments include: financial, transportation, healthcare, logistics, industrial, access control, government and secure identification as well as loyalty and promotional cards for the broader markets. Thanks to a pioneering and innovative spirit, technological competence, excellent product quality and positive customer response, NagraID now enjoys a global presence. @nidsecurity
NUTMEG NICK HUNGERFORD, CEO
e’ve had an explosive year, with impressive growth in client numbers, excellent investment performance and a constant stream of media attention. But more importantly, it’s heartening to see that we’re really making a difference to people’s lives, genuinely helping investors - whether they have £1,000 or £1m to invest - with their investment goals. Nutmeg is bringing investing into the modern day by making it accessible, transparent and straightforward. We’re shaking up the industry by combining the best principles of investment management with the latest innovations from the
world of technology and design. 2014 is set to be another great year for Nutmeg and we look forward to welcoming many more customers. About Nutmeg is an intelligent investment management service. We provide to savers with £1,000 the kind of expert portfolio management that was previously only available to those with £250,000-plus. We’re transparent, we keep costs low so our customers benefit from improved net returns and we speak in a language that makes sense. Nutmeg is how investing should be. @thenutmegteam @nickhungerford TWENTY-THREE
OP3NVOICE PAUL MURPHY, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
O OPENGAMMA KIRK WYLIE, CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
e’ve built a derivatives risk management system as powerful as anything the big investment banks have, and we give it away free under an Open Source licence. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it’s critical to ensuring our industry has the flexibility, transparency, efficiency and diversity necessary for the post-Lehman world. Adopters get the best of both worlds: the power and transparency they get from building from scratch, with the cost savings of buying a solution. Customers get access to the people who wrote the system and the commercial guarantees they need. Regulators have confidence that risk is being done using state of the art standard techniques. We think we’ll make the entire industry more stable, resilient, and efficient as a result. About OpenGamma was founded in 2009 to develop an open platform for analytics and risk management for the financial services industry. The OpenGamma Platform is provided under an open-source licence and brings a new standard of transparency to the industry, enabling users to gain more insight into their exposures and respond faster to changing market conditions. @OpenGamma @kirkwy
ur product, today, is an API to enable search of the spoken word. In the near future this will surface many more layers of information such as emotions, objects, volumes, colours and relationships. Underlying the API is a suite of complex technologies that transform raw data into output useful to developers. After all, capturing video and audio is easy. Easier every day, in fact, but processing it in order to use it, is very difficult. It requires a unique blend of skills and know-how. There’s nothing else on the market that enables this today, so most businesses don’t even consider doing anything with their audio and video recordings. Now they can.
About OP3Nvoice makes sense of the spoken word. Our API, SDKs and plugins enable anyone to extract more knowledge from video and voice recordings. The API is already being used by disruptors, innovators and some of the world’s largest institutions to find emotions, meaning, context and insights. @OP3Nvoice
PAYMILL MARK HENKEL, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
eople like to shop – anytime and anywhere – and merchants like to offer their products and services – anytime and anywhere. Providing simple and consistent payment methods are some of the biggest challenges merchants are faced with - that’s where PAYMILL works its magic. Our role is to help e-commerce businesses, start-ups and especially SaaS businesses in Europe to accept payments in an easy way. We clearly know the pain points of merchants with payments: onboarding, integration, support and we do everything to help them making money. This has made us quite successful for a young company and 2013 was an extremely outstanding year. The continuous expansion reinforces our leading position in the European online payment market advancing our goal to enable everyone to make fast and transparent payments. About PAYMILL is a payment service provider based in Munich. We support entrepreneurs and SMEs by allowing them to add the ability to take online payments very quickly and extremely easily. Further advantages in addition to the very simple API are the transparent price and the comprehensive customer support. @Paymill @mrkhnkl
PENSIONSFIRST ANALYTICS BENJAMIN REID, CEO
013 was another outstanding year for PensionsFirst. We continued to see rapid and broad adoption of PFaroe® our unique risk management software – highlighted by our expansion into the US market through a strategic alliance with Winklevoss Technologies. This year will continue to see geographic expansion in pensions and the launch of PFaroe for the insurance market. The increasing demand on managers of financial risk to demonstrate to their stakeholders that they understand their risks and are taking appropriate management actions is generating increasing opportunities for PensionsFirst. As risk managers demand more and more comprehensive and up to date infor-
mation, PFaroe’s multi-faceted, SaaS based risk analytics meet this demand head on. Following a highly successful 2013, we are forecasting another year of rapid growth in 2014. About PensionsFirst Analytics’ core product, PFaroe®, provides web-based, intuitive and user-friendly risk management analytics, delivering users a greater understanding of their risks and driving smarter decisions. Initially targeted towards pensions, it is currently used to analyze over £107bn of pension liabilities, PFaroe® is now expanding into other areas of financial risk. @PensionsFirst
PINGIT RUCHIR RODRIGUES, MD OF UKRPB DIGITAL
e hear a lot about companies being “innovative”. To most brands that means being the biggest, the shiniest, the most technologically intricate. To us it’s just great ideas that deliver on our promise. And that promise is to put the customer at the heart of everything we do.
PERSEUS TELECOM DR. JOCK PERCY, CEO
ompanies are always looking for ways to improve performance, be it in technology or in policy. This effort is all about getting to work on the research and developing an innovative yet strong plan of execution. Four years ago, Andrew Kusminsky and I heard a lot from financial firms about the challenges they faced in getting more efficient and lower-latency networks into distant markets such as New York to London across the Atlantic or New York to Brazil down the Atlantic. What we found is that it doesn’t take half a billion dollars to make trans-Atlantic connectivity faster, but rather better R&D backed by a commitment to bring innovation to market. By the beginning of 2011, Perseus Telecom was formed and had built ‘QuanTA,’ the fastest trans-Atlantic network connecting New York and London for financial markets. We then went on to improve the same type of connectivity from New York to Brazil, London to Frankfurt and on to 70+ markets around the world. Our business model, which is core to our operating philosophy, is how
Perseus has been successful in deploying winning networks for customers, why we stand proud of our mantra to: Simplify, Solve and Save. About Perseus Telecom is an award-winning global facilities-based licensed carrier of enterprise and telecommunications services with a focus on ultra-low latency global connectivity. Perseus provides many of the world’s fastest market-to-market routes between Chicago, New York, London, Frankfurt, Brazil and Mexico. The company was recently awarded for the fastest trans-Atlantic route between New York and London (QuanTA™) and Brazil and USA (LiquidPath®). Perseus has pioneered the fastest wireless microwave route between London and Frankfurt in operation since October 2012 and just recently launched a metro London wireless network between financial markets. @PerseusTelecom
About Barclays Pingit continues our proud history in payments innovation. We produced the UK’s first credit card, the world’s first ATM and the UK’s first debit card. We’re committed to producing world-class digital services that make our customer’s lives much easier. @BarclaysPingit
SEEDRS JEFF LYNN, CEO
e provide the architecture and infrastructure for private, early-stage investing throughout Europe. Crowdfunding has become a popular term, but underlying it is a fundamental change in the way people invest and businesses are born. For investors, be they high-networth or “mass affluent”, we provide the opportunity to allocate capital to businesses they choose. And for entrepreneurs, we are a tool to raise and aggregate capital from a wide group of investors, all while facing a single legal shareholder. After our launch in July 2012, we had an amazing year in 2013. We funded 43 deals to the tune of over £4.5 million, with over £2.6 million of that in Q4 alone. We’re looking to grow even faster in 2014. About Seedrs is one of the leading equity crowdfunding platforms in the world. We let anyone in Europe invest from £10 up in startups they choose— and we let startups from anywhere in Europe raise capital from friends, family, their communities, angels and independent investors—all through a simple online process. @Seedrs @jeffseedrs
SMARTSTREAM PHILIPPE CHAMBADAL, CEO
ince acquiring SmartStream in 2007 it has been a priority to develop products that will transform the middle and back office. One of the fundamental differentiating characteristics has been to ensure that everything we develop will operate cross-platform, across the enterprise. With market-leading solutions such as our TLM Reconciliations Premium, Data Management Services, Cash and Liquidity Management and Corporate Actions Processing, our products are constantly evolving to meet client, market and compliance requirements. SmartStream has continued to grow, outpacing its rivals and continually delivering innovative post-trade processing solutions. This has been achieved through our ongoing commitment to R&D which, despite challenging market conditions, has never dropped below a market-leading 20% of revenues. Over
the past six years, SmartStream has grown to be one of the largest posttrade solution providers globally with our software in over 70 of the top 100 banks in the world. About SmartStream delivers greater efficiency, automation and control to critical post-trade operations including: Reference Data Operations, Trade Process Management, Confirmations and Reconciliation Management, Corporate Actions Processing, Fees and Invoice Management, Cash & Liquidity Management and Compliance Solutions. Used independently or as a suite of solutions and services, clients gain a lower cost-per-transaction while reducing operational risk, aiding compliance and improving customer service levels. @SmartStream_STP TWENTY-SEVEN
SUSH.IO THOMAS GUILLAUMIN, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
believe that FinTech in Europe is by far the most interesting industry for startups today. SEPA is a great example of how fast environments change and we definitely feel that new great European innovators will appear in the next few years. We travel a lot and believe that situation is the same everywhere. We want mobile apps, one-click experiences, beautiful UIs but also fast payments and transfers. Europe is an amazing space to create an international business. Sush.io wants to help entrepreneurs and SMBs run their businesses better by focussing on key financial analytics instead of spending time on manual tasks and paperwork. TWENTY-EIGHT
About Sush.io is the smart dashboard for the SaaS Generation. Connect your online accounts & business apps in a single cloud. Automate tasks and get instant reports about your expenditure, sales & bank data. Sush.io works with Barclays, Citybank, Stripe, Freshbooks, Google Adwords, PayPal, Github, Amazon Web Services and more than 400 services. @sushio @tgparis
SYNERSCOPE JAN-KEES BUENEN, CEO
TBRICKS JONAS HANSBO, CEO
o everyone speaks about data these days. We heard how it could become “the new oil”, how we need to master “Big Data” in our enterprises, or risk withering away against smarter competitors. True or not, data is everywhere and will further explode in the next decades. That’s why so many believe data scientists have the sexiest jobs of the century. However, keeping a technology accessible to super-specialists only is what we challenge. Technology needs to become simpler to use, just like anyone can drive a car today, or operate a computer. The SynerScope team answers to the call to drive complex analytics the same way. We build systems and tools so anyone can perform complex data analytics without demand for specialized math and data skills. We appeal to the powers of your visual brain, thus unlocking information from data 100-1000 times faster than classic analytic workflows. Mass Data exploration becomes economically viable. Our first mover industry is insurance, where through claim analysis we help improve margins by 3-4%. About SynerScope allows financial corporations to work with extremely fine grained categorization of their customers for analysis while maintaining a full overview. The system is both agile and flexible as there is minimum data modeling involved. Our technology supports individual pricing strategy and detailed behaviour monitoring while operating at scale. @synerscope @JKBuenen
he financial industry is undergoing massive changes and trading is no exception. Innovation and legal requirements have produced a complex and fragmented liquidity landscape where traders now need better technology to achieve high quality, low-cost execution. Speed is still critical, but flexibility and stability are equally important. Tbricks offers customers radically new ways to automate and adapt their trading to exploit new opportunities. For us, 2013 was a year of growth. We invested significantly in sales and marketing; we won strategically important customers in Europe and the US and we opened an office in Chicago. We also introduced a hosted version of our software, Tbricks OnDemand, as an alternative to deployed software. We expect continued growth going forward. About Tbricks provides the next-generation trading system that puts the power in the hands of the trader. Tbricks delivers an open, solid and very fast core platform complemented by a rich set of trading apps. Tbricks supports premier trading and market-making institutions in Europe and North America.
THE CURRENCY CLOUD MICHAEL LAVEN, CEO
013 was an incredible year. We now process an annual rate of $4bn payments through our network, serving 350 business customers, and 42,000+ active users. Working with our customers and partners we have been continuously improving our product and expanding our reach. But we are not pausing for breath; we are expecting 2014 to be even bigger and better. You will see announcements from us on our investment situation, new product enhancements, new markets and new partnerships. Watch this space to see how our innovation can reduce costs and improve transparency for thousands of more people.
About The Currency Cloud is transforming the international payments landscape by delivering currency conversion and international payments as a cloudbased web service. We provide the best pricing by connecting our clients to numerous currency and payment networks while maintaining the same level of security, reliability and compliance as mainstream banks. @currency_cloud @lavenmichael
TRANSFERWISE TAAVET HINRIKUS, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
I THUNDERHEAD.COM GLEN MANCHESTER, CEO
recognized technology pioneer, innovator and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of global experience, Glen is the founder and CEO of Thunderhead renamed since May 17th, 2012 as Thunderhead.com, a global provider of cloud-based customer experience and enterprise engagement solutions. Today, Thunderhead.com employs more than 300 people globally, has 180 enterprise customers predominantly in financial services, investment banking (including 14 of the G15 global investment banks) and insurance, with a growing footprint in public sector with US Federal Government and Australian Commonwealth. About Thunderhead.com is a global provider of customer experience and enterprise engagement solutions. Thunderhead. com provides a powerful suite of SaaS solutions that gives businesses the ability to communicate, collaborate and have real-time conversations with their customers and partners across all touchpoints throughout their journey. The result is that businesses have more power to drive revenue, brand strength, and differentiation by delivering far beyond isolated interactions and experiences but by creating the rich relationships that great businesses are built on.
f you have a better way of doing something, think about how it could be applied to help others. My friend Kristo Käärmann and I came up with the idea for TransferWise when we first became expats in London and were confronted by the high fees banks charge to transfer money abroad. I was paid in euros, but lived in London. Kristo worked in London, but had a mortgage to pay in Estonia. We devised a simple plan: every month Kristo put pounds in my bank account and I put euros in Kristo’s account, avoiding bank fees. Within a few months we’d saved thousands of pounds and realised there were probably millions of others that needed a system like ours.
WONGA ERROL DAMELIN, FOUNDER &CEO§
About TransferWise is a peer-to-peer international money transfer platform that uses technology developed by the people who built Skype and PayPal to remove all the fees the banking and FX broking industry have kept hidden for decades. Its new model is up to 10 times cheaper than using a bank. @TransferWise @taavet
About Wonga is the first British payday lender to offer short-term credit using fully automated risk processing technology. The initial product was launched in October 2007 and the firm was also the first to provide an instant lending application for unsecured personal loans online via tablet and mobile applications. Mainstream banks and other lenders were reportedly dismissive of Wonga’s plan saying they would not be totally satisfied with customer identity without physical documentation. But Wonga’s innovative business model of lending only to those who could pay back reliably - as opposed to the much wider practice of payday loans - required an algorithm that could fully determine risk in an automated manner and also get funds directly to customers’ bank accounts as quickly as possible. As a result Wonga has been disruptive in the short-term credit industry by providing transparency, exact control of amount and payment date, immediate access to funds, and no faxing or emailing documents.
ZOPA GILES ANDREWS, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
opa is all about rewarding people who are good with money and we do this by having a more efficient online marketplace where over 45,000 savers lend their money to over 50,000 sensible borrowers. Zopa provides an inflation-beating alternative to the poor savings rates offered by banks and a much lower rate on loans for borrowers. Zopa was the world’s first peer-to-peer (P2P) lender launching in 2005; it has since lent over £430m and been replicated by numerous companies globally. Zopa is seeing 200% year on year growth by disrupting the status quo of the UK financial services industry and will break into the mainstream during 2014, coinciding with being a regulated and future ISA-accredited activity. Our business
model is driven by efficiency and it is this that sets us apart from the banks by allowing us to deliver better rates and customer service directly to consumers. About Zopa is the world’s first and UK’s leading peer-to-peer lending company – allowing people to bypass the banks to get a better return on their savings or a low-cost loan. Zopa matches sensible borrowers with smart savers looking for higher interest. @Zopa @zopagiles
PREPARING FOR A NEW DATA SECURITY REGIME
UKTI & THE FINTECH SECTOR
Nigel Miller, Head of Technology, Fox Williams
Sue Langley, UKTI Financial Services Organization, Chief Executive
he EU’s proposed new General Data Protection Regulation – expected to be adopted in 2014 and to come into force two years later - will impact all sectors but especially FinTech, where data security and privacy are key issues. Data protection laws have remained largely unchanged since the EU Data Protection Directive in 1995. Not only does the current law pre-date relatively recent developments such as social media, mobile apps, cloud computing and big data, it does not even contemplate mainstream Internet technologies. The proposed new Regulation – described as one of the most lobbied pieces of European legislation in history – seeks to update data protection laws and to harmonise them within the EU. It will apply not only to organizations that are established in the EU, but also to those outside the EU that target EU citizens either by offering them goods and services, or by monitoring their behaviour. Under the proposed new Regulation, data controllers must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risks represented by the processing and the nature of the personal data to be protected, having regard to the state-ofthe-art and the costs of their implementation. This reflects the current requirement but is more wide-ranging in that it specifically requires a data controller to carry out a data security risk assessment in respect of every type of data he holds. It also makes it clear that data security must be treated as a dynamic concept and that security measures must be kept in line with the state of the art. Currently, save for certain communications service providers, there is no legal obligation in the UK formally to report a data security breach, although it is good practice in certain situations. In the absence of a requirement to notify a breach, fear of reputational damage means that data breaches usually go unreported, depriving consumers of the opportunity to protect their data and regulators of the ability to take enforcement action. One of the more controversial aspects of the proposed new Regulation is a mandatory notification requirement in the event of a data security breach. The new Regulation requires notification to the national data protection regulator (the Information Commissioner) “without undue delay”, which is presumed to
be not later than 72 hours. Where the data breach is likely to result in identity theft or fraud, significant humiliation or damage to reputation, it must also be notified to the data subject without undue delay, unless you can demonstrate that encryption or other technology rendered the data unintelligible to third parties. Data security is not just a technical issue, but is also an organizational issue. Many data security breaches are simply the result of human error or deliberate or innocent violation of corporate security policies. The Regulation introduces the concept of data protection “by design”. This requires data protection to be embedded within the entire life cycle of the technology, from early design stage through to its ultimate deployment. It includes ensuring that managers understand their privacy duties and communicate their privacy policies across the organization, and establishing rigorous compliance and enforcement mechanisms. While data security breaches may not be completely avoidable, regulatory enforcement action will typically follow where a firm failed to have in place the appropriate policies and procedures or to provide the staff training that may have prevented the breach occurring. Currently, the Information Commissioner can issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. In the financial services sector, the Financial Conduct Authority can issue more substantial fines. The proposed new Regulation seriously ramps this up and provides for substantial fines for non-compliance of up to 5% of annual worldwide turnover or €100m, whichever is greater. Leaving aside the increasing burden of regulation and the seriousness of the sanctions for non-compliance, it makes good business sense to build trust with your customers and stakeholders as a firm which takes privacy and data security issues seriously. FinTech businesses should not wait until the new data protection laws come into force and should start to implement data protection “by design” as well as new data protection and security breach policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new requirements. For more information on Privacy and Data Protection, contact Nigel Miller at email@example.com or on 020-7614 2504.
here are a number of compelling reasons why financial services investors historically choose the UK. Our business-friendly environment, highly skilled workforce, competitive tax regime, global links, excellent ICT infrastructure and supportive stance for innovation all combine to make the UK a world class business location. However we cannot be complacent. With well-established and emerging financial centres elsewhere in the world providing attractive support to their financial services sectors, the UK has to remain ever vigilant to maintain its competitive advantage and to stay one step ahead of the game if it is to become the number one choice for investors. As Chief Executive to the UK Government’s newly created UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Financial Services Organization my ambition is clear. To attract high value investment into the UK’s financial services sector; and to help companies already here to export their services and to grow their business overseas. It is Government’s responsibility to help create the right conditions for a thriving financial technology sector and, within that, the role of the UKTI Financial Services Organization to work closely with industry partners to ensure a co-ordinated and focussed approach to marketing the UK’s industries, thus playing a central role in attracting high quality foreign direct investment to grow the UK economy. And, once here, help support companies in expanding their UK operations and increasing their trade overseas. The industry is an emerging sector and has great potential as FinTech increases in size and importance. According to Frost and Sullivan, financial institutions in the UK spent €9bn on ICT in 2011 and the market is expected to grow to approximately €10bn by 2016. The role of technology is clear in the financial services sector. Technology is responsible for almost every integral function in the UK insurance sector from underwriting to risk management to customer relationship management. Technological change has revolutionised the way financial assets are traded and opportunities exist for technology providers who can reduce transaction times. The UK is one of Europe’s largest markets and leading innovators in e-payments. The UK is the second-largest data centre market in the world, with 2012 investment valued at £2.08bn. And, reductions in the cost of technology have lowered the barrier to entry for financial services start-ups, presenting opportunity for investment. The UK is in a strong position to become a leading player in the FinTech market, and at present is only second globally
to the US in terms of project investment. In the last half decade Europe has attracted 25% of global FinTech FDI projects, with the UK attracting the majority of these. Last year FinTech projects, capital expenditure and jobs into the UK rose significantly, suggesting that foreign investors have growing confidence in the UK for this type of investment. Tech City in East London is the fastest growing tech hub in Europe, hosting over 1,300 high tech companies. Its close proximity to the City gives the UK an enviable position in leading the way on financial technology. The UK Government is committed to strengthening the FinTech sector further through multiple investment programmes. This includes the newly developed office space at Level 39 which is aimed directly at the FinTech Industry. The Canary Wharf area is already home to global tech and media companies including Samsung, Ricoh UK, Thomson Reuters, China Unicomm and others. Further plans to develop Canary Wharf into a FinTech hub, to represent the sector, include the Wood Wharf development. This development will provide three million square feet of extra office space in close proximity to London’s financial centre. Companies carrying out R&D across the UK can also benefit from a range of support packages. These include R&D tax credits - the biggest single funding mechanism provided by Government for investment in business R&D. There is also SMART - a Technology Strategy Board scheme offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services emerge. Patents have a particularly strong link to on-going hightech R&D and manufacturing activity which the Government sees as a priority to encourage in the UK. The Government initiative, Patent Box, aims to encourage companies to locate the high-value jobs and activity associated with the development, manufacture and exploitation of patents in the UK. It also aims to enhance the competitiveness of the UK tax system for high-tech companies that obtain profits from patents. These are just some of the ways that the UK Government is working to create a business environment conducive to a strong FinTech sector. The UKTI Financial Services Organization will be doing all it can to support that, working in partnership with other associations and with a real focus in 2014 to help the UK’s FinTech sector go from strength to strength.
A BREAKTHROUGH YEAR FOR FINTECH Alan Bristow, CEO of international tech M&A business, ICON Corporate Finance, in conversation with award-winning journalist Brian Bollen
ALAN BRISTOW, CEO ICON CORPORATE FINANCE
firmly believe that 2014 will be a breakthrough year for the financial technology (FinTech) industry in the UK. I am also confident that by the end of the year many of the companies in the FinTech50 that are still relatively unknown
will have become major players in the market. Despite strong global competition, London is still the leading hub in the international financial services sector. Today it is home to some of the world’s leading Investment Banks and Financial Institutions; it is also home to many of the world’s leading software engineers, exceptionally talented individuals and teams intent on identifying problems in the industry, creating new solutions, seizing opportunities and generating profit. The fallout from the credit crisis, and the loss of confidence in banks, has seen a swathe of innovative new entrants arrive in the FinTech market; looking to disrupt traditional business models in financial services these companies are creating huge opportunities for growth at a time when the international M&A market is extremely vibrant. In the 15 years since the founding of ICON I have never known a more exciting time for companies to be competing in the FinTech space. In the last 12 months the FinTech Software & Services Index grew by 38% (compared to only 17% for the S&P 500) and M&A activity in the FinTech space continues to reach new heights with the total value of deals growing by 24% to $18.5bn.
The most successful FinTech companies continue to achieve “super premiums” from buyers, due to the significant market opportunity and strong recurring revenue models. FfastFill, for example, the leading SaaS Provider for trading and risk management serving the electronic trading community, was acquired by ION Trading. Digital Insight, which creates online
“The most successful FinTech companies continue to achieve ‘super premiums’ from buyers” banking and mobile banking innovations proven to help banks and credit unions connect with customers and grow, has been acquired by NCR for $1.6bn, which also recently acquired Alaric Systems for $84m. Having sold FinTech companies since 1999, ICON has seen at first hand why buyers are attracted to businesses in this space. The most sought-after share a number of characteristics. They operate in large and growing global markets. They are world class in their niche. They have attractive underlying business models with strong recurring revenues and have a demonstrable opportunity to drive top line growth with world class management teams. Overall, they have strategic relevance to the buyer. A classic example of the “London FinTech” effect is the business my-Channels; originally founded by a team of developers who came out of Deutsche Bank, today its messaging platform Nirvana is used by the world’s leading Investment Banks and runs over 40% of the world’s foreign exchange trades. It’s no surprise that this FinTech business was acquired by the German IT giant, Software AG. It is this ability - as demonstrated by the my-Channels team - to identify a disruptive market opportunity and develop the best product or market-leading solution that makes today’s FinTech players so attractive to a cross-section of potential investors and big acquirers. We expect a new wave of pioneers to follow the trail blazed also by the likes of Monitise plc. Now a world leader in mobile money - banking, paying and buying with a mobile device - Monitise was founded only in 2003 by Alastair Lukies. It provides services to more than 350 financial institutions and other leading brands globally, and has 24m users. It boasts strategic partnerships with Visa Inc, Visa Europe, RBS Group,
Telefónica Digital and FIS and already processes three billion mobile transactions annually to the value of $50bn. The climate for FinTech exits has been improving consistently and we expect that trend to continue in 2014 as the economic outlook brightens. We expect Trade Sales to account for the vast majority of future exits rather than stock market Flotations. Venture Capitalists and Private Equity firms are other likely buyers. Although new buyout activity in 2013 was below that seen in 2012, the private equity industry ended 2013 with a record $1.074tn of “dry powder” (capital committed but not yet invested). In 2013, more venture capital was invested in European companies than in any other year since 2007. The €6.3bn ($8.3bn) is a significant increase on the €4.6bn ($5.9bn) invested throughout 2012, and is a clear indicator that significant growth and confidence is returning to the continent. The unstoppable explosion of digital data is creating a new future. A new era of wealth creation lies in wait for those with disruptive know-how, acute vision, focussed determination and tailored funding. Those FinTech companies who time and manage their exit well will undoubtedly secure excellent valuations for their business and add to the success stories of the world’s greatest financial centre. Alan Bristow can be contacted at ICON Corporate Finance via email: firstname.lastname@example.org @iconcorpfin www.iconcorpfin.co.uk
Many of the FinTech 50 companies demonstrate the qualities that convince global FinTech acquirers to pay a “super premium”
1. Large and growing international markets 2. Disruptive and best in class 3. Attractive business model with strong recurring revenues
4. Demonstrable line growth
opportunity to drive top
5. World class management teams 6. Unquantified strategic relevance buyer
WHY LONDON IS A CENTRE FOR FINTECH INNOVATION
SHOW AND TELL: BUILDING REPUTATION THROUGH THE POWER OF STORYTELLING Claudia Bate, Associate Director and head of Hotwire’s Financial Services and Corporate Communications practice
Alex McCrakcen, Silicon Valley Bank, Director, Venture Services and Origination
inancial technologies are big news in London. Of the $11bn invested in FinTech worldwide in 2012, around $3bn was invested in the UK. Two thirds of this ($1.8bn) was earmarked for London-based FinTech businesses. Despite having a population that is one fifth the size of the US, investment in UK FinTech is half that of the US, which means that the UK, and London in particular, is really punching above its weight in the global FinTech innovation arena. In the global FinTech market, electronic and mobile cash sees most of the investment activity, driven by the rapid growth in smartphones, tablets and mobile commerce transactions. According to reports by Forrester Research Ltd, global purchases over mobile will reach $1tn by 2017, leading to the rise of hundreds of mobile money payments and transfer solutions and technologies. Over 30m people in Europe are expected to move to mobile banking over the next few years, leading to the rise of new authentication and security solutions, and the gradual disappearance of banks’ high street branches. FinTech is of course a broad eco-system, and other subsectors benefiting from increased funding activity include E-Money, Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P), FX, Payments, and Challenger Banks (of which Silicon Valley Bank is one) which are being set up as an alternative to the traditional high street incumbents. We only have to look at the range of sectors represented by the 50 hot FinTech businesses featured in this booklet to see that the UK and Europe are producing FinTech businesses of global significance across the board. With payments and FX transactions worth billions of
dollars flowing through banks and Financial Services businesses worldwide on a daily basis, we expect the majority of disruption and innovation to come within the payments sector. Finech businesses should be mindful of the challenges of globalization - especially security, with the rise of global cyber-hacking, and the demands of stringent rregulatory requirements. Keeping pace with regulatory changes across global markets is essential for any FinTech business wishing to grow while remaining compliant. The transition towards ever faster, cross-border micropayments driven by m-commerce will push financial services businesses to adapt and transform their technology systems. It is pleasing to see FinTech businesses developing solutions to help existing banks adapt to meet modern demand. Financial Services businesses must remain agile in adopting new technologies if they wish to survive. The days of large financial services businesses having a “one size fits all” policy and developing in-house systems are over. Instead, to avoid going out of business, banks must be able to make changes rapidly by partnering with or acquiring new FinTech businesses. At Silicon Valley Bank, we fully recognise the importance of this and are proud to work with a wide range of innovative businesses within the FinTech space, by providing funding and banking services, and also adopting their new technologies. We are delighted to support the FinTech community in the UK, and look forward to being part of the “FinTech City” innovation happening here in London. Alex McCracken is Director, Venture Services and Origination at Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Branch. email@example.com
ew can deny that the wave of FinTech innovation that recently rolled across the financial services landscape has fundamentally reshaped the industry. With the democratization of peer-to-peer lending and funding, new payment and financial engineering solutions, and the rollout of every financial app you can think of, new behaviours and expectations have been generated amongst business and consumer clients. Financial institutions and banks have found their seemingly safe market share under threat, yet surprisingly, have not always been quick to react. Perhaps this is because, as well as driving innovation in the industry, the disruptive new companies that joined the financial community have also significantly altered the incumbent model for stakeholder communications. Moving away from a tightly prescriptive focus on telling customers and prospects about services available, these firms have reintroduced the venerable concept of storytelling, and have used narrative to communicate their values and the benefits their technologies can provide. As they have taken on the challenge of encouraging businesses (not always an audience open to change) to think differently about their financial tools and move away from the familiar, disruptive FinTech firms have used sophisticated storytelling techniques to build audience engagement to their advantage. A focus on emotions, benefits and transparency, supported by personal testimony from company founders, has fostered a new wave of openness and inclusiveness in the industry. Today, the gauntlet has been thrown down whether you are an industry institution with decades of experience or a young startup targeting strong growth - you need a compelling narrative to compete and win. This new way of communicating is a major break with the past for the financial sectors. Many banks and financial institutions have viewed bland press releases and pre-approved executive interviews with traditional media as the best communication tools, ensuring full control of messaging and impact. As many companies have struggled with the public perception of their businesses, due to regulatory and financial scandals, this may be
understandable. However, in today’s dynamic FinTech environment, it feels hopelessly out of date. In comparison, technology firms have proved quick to reform their communications, following the tech bust in 2000 and a wave of cynicism from investors and the general public. For years, these companies focused the communications on touting new innovative features, insisting that technology could do it harder, better, faster, stronger. As such, they tended to overpromise on the impact of technology and in the end underdeliver in real benefits to the end user. Investors pulled out and the general public began to see technology as Frankenstein’s creature, all features and improvements, but no soul within. In recent years, however, communications have been wrested away from features-fixated engineers, and have incorporated new narratives of business benefits and industry change. Given this brave new world of communications, FinTech innovators are in a unique position to build and communicate a story, influencing how the market perceives them and their technology. By explaining where an idea or service has come from, showing the genesis and the person behind a concept, and by demonstrating how new technologies and innovations can change the way businesses work and succeed, a FinTech firm can engage with their audience on an emotional level. Whether the target is an investor they wish to bring on board, or businesses they want to download the latest app or gadget, by showing them the journey, an innovator can gain buy-in and build excitement in their offering. In addition, FinTech firms can also take advantage of multiple communication channels to spread the word, increasing audience reach and amplifying the power of their narrative. From blogs and forums, through to social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, a firm can provide its audience with access to multiple viewpoints of the company and its technology. As an audience is engaged and better understands the power of a company’s ideas, they may even join in for the ride, becoming a powerful echo chamber for the company’s story. THIRTY-SEVEN
SYMBIOTIC FINTECH Greg Rogers, Techstars, Managing Director
spent the last 10 years as an advertising technology entrepreneur in New York City. During that decade, I witnessed two things happen. New York became the Silicon Valley of the east coast, and AdTech radically transformed the marketing and advertising industry. It made sense that the two would be catalysts for their transformations. New York is home to the major media companies and agencies of the United States. The sheer concentration of talent and experience there converged with the opportunity of digital and data. In other words, the right people were in the right place at the right time. I now run the Barclays Accelerator here in London. Why would an AdTech guy from New York run a financial technology accelerator in London? Investors talk about pattern recognition when judging startup opportunities. What they mean is that history often repeats itself, just in a different guise. My investment thesis is that London is going to become the Silicon Valley of Europe and that FinTech will be its catalyst. While this transformation may take 10 years, for those of us who will be in the midst of it, the rate of technological change will be nothing short of breathtaking. According to Business Insider, by the end of 2013, global smartphone penetration will have exploded from 5% of the global population in 2009, to 22%. That’s an increase of nearly 1.3bn smartphones in just four years. When you combine the convenience of a computer in everyone’s pocket with the sheer quantity of data being collected digitally, every aspect of financial services can and likely will be disrupted – from payments to currency to loans and credit. Nothing will be left unscathed. However, financial services are regulated and as such, the
relationship between the finance startup (the “disruptor”) and finance stalwart (the “disrupted”) is very different from other industries. As Houston Frost in Pando Daily noted in his excellent article Too Small to Fail, often it is an established financial institution that enables a startup to provide its new, cutting-edge services. He writes, even large “payment startups like Square, ISIS, and Google Wallet, require not only financial institution partnerships but also partnerships with big processors like Fiserv.” This symbiotic relationship between FinTech startups and established banks is what makes the new Barclays Accelerator so relevant. Ten startups will be given unprecedented access to APIs, senior management, and global exposure to help them build their businesses. Rather than fighting disruption, Barclays is going to accelerate it. Big banks cannot possibly take the same level of risk as startups. So the idea is to fuel an eco-system of innovation to which Barclays can be a partner on multiple levels. As the finance capital of Europe, if not the world, London is poised to take advantage of not just the rise in accelerators but also structural changes. From investor tax incentives to strong governmental support to growth in the venture capital base, I believe we are witnessing a city and economy that is bringing together the right people at the right time. I look forward to being a part of the transformation. Applications for the Barclays Accelerator are now open till March 31, 2014. You can read more and apply through the website www.barclaysaccelerator.com. Greg Rogers is a Managing Director at Techstars that powers the Barclays Accelerator.
Hotwire is an integrated PR and communications agency working with the world’s most ambitious high growth tech businesses. Our global team is dedicated to finding new ways to improve the impact and efficiency of our clients’ communications with influencers and stakeholders. Since launching in 2000, we’ve emerged as one of the fastest growing international communications consultancies in the world. We are the global alternative – an agile and innovative challenger to the established order.
To get involved in FinTech50 2015 www.FinTechCity.com
Fifty innovative technology businesses across Europe who are transforming the future of finance.