Artificial Intelligence Big Data systems and a much easier way of paying bills by smartphone are among the new innovations from seven financial technology entrepreneurs selected to participate in this year's FinTech Innovation Lab London.
The Lab, which was launched by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) in 2012, is a collaboration between Accenture and leading financial institutions in London, supported by the Mayor of London, the City of London Corporation and the Technology Strategy Board. It is designed to nurture early-stage companies from the UK, Europe and elsewhere that are developing new technologies for the financial services sector. Annual venture investment in such technologies nearly tripled globally between 2008 and 2012, according to CB Insights.
The seven startups were chosen by leading industry executives from a wide range of applicants and will receive senior level mentoring to help them develop and commercialize their innovations and connect with potential customers at top institutions. Those taking part in the program include: Erudine, FinGenius, Logical Glue, PhotoPay, PixelPin, Squirro and uTrade. Their innovations include advanced analytics systems, collaborative, open source trading systems, and financial control systems.
Richard Lumb, Group Chief Executive -- Financial Services at Accenture said: "In the past nine months, the startups involved in the 2013 FinTech Innovation Lab London have collectively raised over $10 million in investment and have increased employees by 41 percent. More than half of the class have doubled their revenues since graduating from the program. After last year's success, we have seen a major increase in applications from outstanding fintech companies and are extremely excited to be working with this year's seven entrepreneurs.
"The FinTech program reflects our ongoing commitment to our local communities. It is these innovative technology startups that are essential to promoting economic development and help to keep London as a global financial center. It is these innovative technology startups that are essential to promoting economic development and help to keep London as a global financial center."
Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor Deputy Mayor >Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise said: "Start-ups are critical to driving growth in our economy and it is absolutely vital that we foster their entrepreneurial talent. These types of companies can struggle to get their products in front of large organisations and accelerator programmes like the FinTech Innovation Lab provide a gateway to success while helping to ensure that London maintains its status as the global centre for finance."
The chosen entrepreneurs will be mentored for 12 weeks by leading executives from financial services, venture capital and angel investment firms through a series of panel discussions, workshops, leadership coaching and networking opportunities. At the end of the program, the entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to present their concepts to potential investors and participating industry executives.
Supporting financial institutions include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, RBS, UBS and VocaLink, the UK and international payments systems provider. Other participating organizations include Euclid Opportunities, the Greater London Authority and UK Business Angels Association.
The FinTech Innovation Lab London is modeled on a similar program that was co-founded by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City, which has already proved highly successful in helping 18 young financial technology startups. The 18 alumni companies have generated over 50 proofs of concept at banks, raised $47 million in venture financing, and created approximately 150 jobs since they participated in the Lab. In 2013 True Office, which provides compliance training based on a mobile game platform, received a $3 million Series A Preferred round from Contour Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, and Partnership Fund for New York City. Narrative Science, whose patented artificial intelligence engine mines data to automatically produce reports and communications in easy-to-understand narrative form, raised $11.5 million in equity funding.
The 2014 FinTech Innovation Lab London participants:
• Erudine provides systems to the finance industry that look at operational processes and behaviours and suggests improvements in line with regulation and compliance. The system uses a case-based reasoning approach to build and maintain systems that manage complex changing regulations. Changes to the rule sets and classification of underlying data structures can be made with minimal downtime.
• FinGenius (a London Brand Management Company) uses Artificial Intelligence and real-time big data analysis to make it easier for non-technical users to find information through the use of natural language processing.
• Logical Glue is a new approach to predicting business outcomes in real-time using a platform that has been built from the ground up, incorporating patented, next generation predictive analytics. Designed for ease of use and deployment, the models also provide insights at the same time as predictions
• PhotoPay simplifies payments by allowing you to take a photo of a bill, scan a payment slip or open a PDF file with your mobile banking app and make a payment with one tap.
• PixelPin provides a personalised user-friendly single sign on using pictures instead of passwords. PixelPin's technology reduces fraud, increases activity, and reduces the risk and cost of forgotten passwords.
• Squirro is the leader in Context Intelligence, combining structured and unstructured data to provide the 'Why' behind the data. The "Why" turns disparate data points into a coherent story for better, more effective decision-making.
• uTrade Solutions provides Open Source Trading Technologies creating a more efficient, innovative & collaborative ecosystem for financial markets.