In the 4th batch of its Startup Program, OTP Group is starting a 3-month collaboration with 15 later-stage startups and scaleups.
With the involvement of OTP Group’s Hungarian headquarter and foreign subsidiaries, the innovative teams selected from 469 applicants will have a chance to test their products and services with the support of dedicated mentors. Backed by the intensive support of OTP LAB and recognised professional experts, the selected startups will have an opportunity to prove their suitability for longer-term collaboration with the Banking Group.
Building on the successes of previous years, OTP Startup Partner Program kicked off its 2020-2021 batch with the across-the-board participation of the Banking Group; thus, group members covering 11 countries were seeking startup partners for almost 100 innovation needs during autumn 2020. In the application period between 15 September and 23 October 2020, the number of startup applications broke a new record with 469 submissions received from a total of 51 countries, 27% more than the applications received in the previous batch.
At the 2-day Selection Days event—the last milestone of the multi-round selection process—more than 200 participants from 25 countries including experts of the Group and startup representatives worked together on the pilot projects recommended for implementation. During the pilot phase happening between 1 March and 26 May, 15 startups are collaborating with OTP subsidiaries in Serbia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania and Montenegro, as well as with the Hungarian headquarters. The teams completing a successful pilot project will be invited to the 6-month rollout phase, which offers support for the live implementation of their tested, innovative solutions.
Interested companies once again were able to apply for the Program in 5+1 topics: advanced data analytics, customer experience and customer servicing, internal efficiency, product innovations in retail and corporate banking, as well as completely novel and disruptive solutions outside the above categories.
The activities of the selected startups fit well into one of the above topics:
• Two firms focus on supporting lending processes by game-changing analytical capabilities: Cantab PI’s credit rating solution relies on transaction data analytics, and Katabat’s digital-native collections software is designed to better support overdue customers. The sophisticated analytics methods of Orgnostic enable more flexibility in HR reporting processes while Amplyfi’s insights automation platform is used to automate customer due diligence.
• Personalised customer service is supported by the business intelligence solutions of three firms. While Xeerpa delivers actionable intelligence based on social media presence, Abaka and W.UP deploy artificial intelligence to provide personalised product offers for various product types.
• Feedier that ensures the integrated, digital management of customer journeys, Spitch that offers voice-based authentication and chatbot solutions for Contact Centers and Ubanquity that develops an easy-to-use, mobile optimized loyalty program application also contribute to enhancing customer experience.
• Two companies focus on innovative banking product development: PiggyBanx with its virtual piggybank combining the financial education of children with gamification elements, and Appraiser.ai with a solution assisting consumers in their home buying journey and the related loan application processes.
• Proworx contributes to the improvement of internal efficiency by providing a digital platform for POS marketing material booking & distribution platform to be used in the branch network. The Lumeer team designed a platform to boost group-level digital collaboration, and Mentessa developed a digital co-worker mentoring platform.
“For the fourth year in a row, the Program enables the Banking Group to access best-in-class startup solutions at a global scale, and their product development and validation are now supported by banking experts from 11 countries. Our goal is to maintain the high professional standards of the Program, and I believe that the growing participation of OTP business units and the increasing interest of startups are a testimony to the success of our initiative. We are proud to say that the number of firms continuing collaboration with the Banking Group beyond the pilot is growing year after year,” said András Fischer, Head of OTP Bank’s Retail Innovation Department.
The 15 startups joining the Program came from 10 countries (United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, United States, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Spain). During the special weeks of the three-month pilot phase, representatives of the cohort companies can participate in comprehensive online workshops with their mentoring OTP business units. In addition, trainings and individual mentoring sessions tailored to the maturity levels of the startups will assist the teams in business development. The pilot period ends on 26 May with the Demo Day event where the startups are going to present the lessons learned and the achievements of the pilot projects to the experts and the management of the Banking Group as well as to the leading international corporations supporting the Program as partners.