Innovate Finance to host FinTech Growth Forum to enable startups to scale

Innovate Finance, the not-for-profit membership association for the global FinTech sector, announced it will host the inaugural FinTech Growth Forum to assist FinTech startups on their scaling journeys on Tuesday 19th September in London.

Building on the success of its member-orientated scaling series, the growth forum will provide a platform for startups to engage and learn about the opportunities to grow their businesses.  The forum will be structured across three main tracks: Growth, Capital and Culture. It will aim to help startups answer some of the most pressing questions on their scaling journey, such as:

  • What is the most effective way to raise growth capital?
  • How do you foster a robust company culture and maintain it?
  • How do you develop fruitful partnerships and manage company growth?
  • How can we effectively pitch to the media?

Over 500 delegates are expected to attend the one-day event, which will bring together leading FinTech startups from across the sector, industry influencers and world renowned brands.

The Forum will also provide dedicated opportunities for investors and institutions to fast track their FinTech engagement.

Open primary to Innovate Finance members, members of the wider FinTech ecosystem will have the opportunity to bid for a limited amount of tickets to attend.

Tickets for the event are now on sale here.

About Innovate Finance

Innovate Finance is an independent membership association that represents the UK’s global FinTech community. Founded in 2014 with the support of the City of London and Canary Wharf Group, Innovate Finance is a not-for-profit that aims to accelerate the country’s leading position in the global financial services sector by directly supporting the next era of technology-led financial services innovators, whether they be a young start-up or an established industry player. The goal is to create a single point of access across the sectors to help foster enabling policies, regulation, talent development, business growth opportunities and investment in the UK — and, most importantly, to create a global finance sector that offers services that are more sustainable, more inclusive and better for everyone.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Warsaw – London Bridge launch at The Heart

Warsaw, 18th July 2017 Their Royal Highnesses met Poland’s rising tech scene at The Heart Warsaw, recently opened business hub with panoramic view of the capital. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in the inauguration of the ‘Warsaw–London Bridge’, an initiative aimed at strengthening mutual relations between the Polish and British entrepreneurs. Two Polish tech companies, Whisbear  and Migam, received special awards that will help them leverage London’s unique opportunities for scaling up to become global players.

“The Warsaw-London Bridge, organised jointly by The Heart and British Embassy, showcased the energy, creativity and future potential in UK-Polish business links. We were honoured to welcome as special guests, Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who met the young entrepreneurs, start-ups and scientists with links to both countries”, said Jonathan Knott, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Poland.

The meeting took place at The Heart, an international tech hub co-created with over 40 leading corporations. The creation of the space, located on the 38th floor of Warsaw Spire, was inspired by London’s Level39. “It is an important day for The Heart and our startup ecosystem. Poland is getting known not only for our great programmers, but also ambitious tech entrepreneurs. We are very happy that we can support them by building bridges between Warsaw and Europe’s most important business centres”, said Tomasz Rudolf, CEO of The Heart.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge explored solutions offered by Polish entrepreneurs expanding to UK. The attention of the Royal Couple was attracted by, among others, a smart bike JIVR, educational robot Photon, smart toy Whisbear and educational apps Dr. Omnibus and Neurodio. Companies presenting included also Smart AR and BIVROST, a sign language translator Migam and telemedicine solutions Sidly and Pregnabit. During the visit, the Royal Couple met also young scientists supported by the E(x)plory program, which recognizes and supports remarkable teenage talents in their future careers.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge presented awards to two startups that won the competition accompanying the Warsaw–London Bridge initiative. The jury recognized Whisbear as the best HealthTech Startup. Migam received an award for best Retail tech solution. The winners will get the opportunity to take part in meetings with corporations organized by The Heart in London, as well as monthly access to the shared space at Wayra – a corporate accelerator created by a Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica.

“The UK has a close relationship with Poland. Several of our start-ups, including the extremely promising Switchee, have founders with Polish roots, and I am sure that Polish entrepreneurs will continue to make an increasingly substantial impact on the European tech sector in the years to come”, said Gary Stewart, Director of Wayra UK.

Mastercard will also support the awarded companies in scaling their business. “At Mastercard, we know that the best environments for the development of innovations are open cooperative ecosystems that involve startups and corporations. Therefore, as the strategic partner of The Heart, we help to combine these two worlds by, among others, sharing knowledge and best practices”, explained Bartosz Ciołkowski, general manager of the Polish branch of Mastercard Europe.

About The Heart Warsaw:

The Heart is a European center for corporate-startup collaboration. Located on the 38th floor of Warsaw Spire, the hub connects fast growing tech companies, investors and leading multinational corporations. The center runs programs related to FinTech, Omnichannel, HealthTech and Smart City. The Heart supports large organizations in the implementation of innovations created by selected startups from across Europe. As a result, the best young entrepreneurs from the whole region can scale their businesses faster and expand internationally. Find out more:

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Brickowner Disrupts Property Investment And Fund Management Industry!

Interviewed Company: Brickowner


Sector: Interview Thursday 13th July 2017

Interview with Fred Bristol

Subjects: property investment, fund management, Brexit, disruption,

Fred describes Brickowner as a “property crowdfunding platform” in the property investment and fund management industry. Brickowner provides its users with the ability to invest in properties, managed by experienced property asset managers, that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.

Brickowner also gives people who may otherwise not have conventional access to the UK property market, such as expats, a service that they can “access outside traditional property and asset management hours.”

This flexibility is further shown in Brickowner’s plan for a secondary market, which Fred hopes to fully implement after his current seed fundraise is completed. The secondary market will allow “property asset managers to aggregate smaller investors and offer a liquidity mechanism prior to the end of the property investment term, via the Brickowner platform.”

Fred explains that currently, “investors hold shares for 4-5 years.” However, with Brickowner, once the secondary market is launched, investors will be able to put their shares up for sale in the property prior to the sale of the property.” “The (secondary) Brickowner platform will allow them to sell shares within the property during this period.” Giving their clients “access to institutional grade property investments” with the added ability to exit early should they wish.

Fintnews: How has Brickowner viewed the impact of the Brexit decision?

Fred believes that in terms of the impact of Brexit on the UK property market, “London has had the biggest and most obvious impact due to the large amount of foreign investment it recieves” and outside of London it’s too early to tell whether it would have an impact.

But Brexit hasn’t changed the fact that “there is a UK housing shortage full stop.” Fred predicts that overall Brexit will have a negative impact on the high end residential property market in London”, but that it is too early to know what will happen with UK wide values generally, but the fundamentals of a UK housing shortage remain.

Infact, pre Brexit, Fred tells Fintnews that he read an interesting macro analysis of the impact of Brexit by Neil Woodford “arguably the best investor in the UK…who has also invested in Purple Bricks and RateSetter” and is “heavily invested in property tech.”

The Woodford Investment Management report from February 2016 on The Economic Impact of Brexit concludes that the “impacts on London property markets are more likely to be short-term and there are longer-term opportunities from Brexit even in these areas.” Echoing the “minimal Brexit impact” that Fred and his team at Brickowner have seen.

Fred points out the positives of the significant sterling devaluation post Brexit. Fred has seen a surge in “foreign investors” due to Sterling devaluation against the Euro and Dollar, claiming that now they’d “probably get a better deal than they used to.”

Fred “launched the (Brickowner) platform at the beginning of the year” and has noted “two interesting patterns.”

“What we’ve seen is for our product a lot of British expats are interested in it and also european people living in London which again makes sense…earn pounds…investing through a platform gives them flexibility that they wouldn’t have had if they were trying to buy a property or a buy to let property.”

Fintnews: Is there a formula for creating a disruptive business model?

Fred is certain that “by default you can only disrupt something that is…broken or inefficient“…The property fund management sector is very inefficient” and Fred had already had to deal with these issues “when managing a property fund in Eastern Europe…a long time ago.”

Fred listed some of the problems that he encountered as a Fund Manager. Smaller investments couldn’t be accepted “because of the high admin costs of onboarding new investors and on going admin.” In addition, as “property is not liquid … individuals don’t want to have their money locked (in) for five years.” Fred estimates that offline fund managers “are significantly less efficient and transparent “due to ongoing admin costs for individuals.”

Technology now means that “it’s much more efficient when onboarding new investors and dealing with the ongoing administration.” Brickowner’s “system is fully automated” making it “more efficient to accept smaller increments of money”.

Fred goes as far as saying that “we would not have a business if it wasn’t for changes in technology.”

“We see existing offline property management companies” wanting to invest in new technology investment companies. Infact, Fred says that “75% of our investors come from a property background” and believes that this is because “Property Fund Managers..see problems in their industry…and want to be involved in the company that is making those changes” and disrupting their industry.

Looking to the future, Fred sees opportunities for disruption in the three key markets which are being held back by heavy “legacy issues” Fred believes that “property, banking and insurance are the three last industries to be disrupted.”

Fintnews: Is there a formula for disruption?

Fred says that for disruption to occur within an industry, you must first seek out an “industry which has inefficiency or legacy issues” and then “in order to disrupt” this industry fully, “you need to provide a significantly better service or else a significantly cheaper service.” Fred states that if the change is not significant, it won’t work “as people are lazy…look at how often people change their bank accounts” for example.

Brickowner’s online presence means that they can cater for the needs of “people’s demanding lifestyles” in a way that traditional property managers and investors aren’t able to. Fred highlights the fact that client’s “travel more and want to invest or sell investment when it suits them” and not be restricted by “local market opening times.”

Fintnews: What are your predictions for the future disruption by technology of the property investment and fund management industry?

In the property investment and fund management industry…“a lot of people who are investing through a stock broker…or directly into buy to let properties…will end up in five to six years divesting out of that and into property through platforms” such as Brickowner.

Fred informs Fintnews that you “should never have everything in one single investment” “users very rarely use one platform…use a number of different platforms” and Brickowner has around, “five competitors.” and these will increase into the future, which is no bad thing from Brickowner’s perspective and increases customer choice, key to disruption.

In the future Fred predicts that, blockchain technology could reach the property industry to “enable security” features and clients could soon be able to “sell and buy shares in property using blockchain.”

Further reading:

Paylinko Disrupting And Redefining The Micro Business Payment Space!

SimpleFinance CEO Alexey Basenko talks with Fintnews about Russian Fintech disruption

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Brexit Disruption Opinion from Axelisys’ Director

Brexit Disruption…”This is single handedly the biggest, most disruptive thing to hit UK commerce in my lifetime. We’ve already seen the effects of simply thinking about leaving. The European Investment fund (EIF) which underpins Horizon 2020 and other UK innovation projects is set to finish. Regional Development Funding is also set to stop. So the areas with the greatest depravation and need now don’t have access to some €9 billion of investment funding every year all things included.
The drop in the pound, which has stayed at that low for over 12 months, had a limited, short-term beneficial effect on exports, which of course, is great for exporters. The ONS data consistently show that we export around £300 billion every year to the EU, yet import £500 billion, which is where our £200 billion trade deficit comes from and this money is to the net advantage of the EU.

The problem with Brexit is that now, export businesses are very likely to pay import duty on the goods and services imported into the UK and exported to the EU. Whilst this is paid by the company up to the border, the UK distributor purchases this at post-tariff prices and sells it on to UK consumers maintaining their margin. This ultimately means UK consumers pay that extra cost, especially since the selling company will also increase their prices to compensate for the tariff. There are of course, two outcomes:

Soft Brexit – Assumption of a symmetric fixed trade tariff. We don’t’ know yet what this would be, but let’s assume this is 10%. This means our £300 billion of exports are now costing the EU £330 billion and their £500 billion are costing us £550 billion. This makes the trade deficit £220 billion outwards. Which is an increase in outgoing money flow to the EU of £20 billion a year. More than dwarfing our membership fee.

In the case of no deal, WTO rules apply, and the tariffs range from 40% to 160% depending on the types of good, with foodstuffs incurring the highest tariff rates. Farmers in the UK are already going to suffer hugely with the loss of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which funds some 55% of UK farming. That has now gone. Most farming margins are some 10% when selling to the UK’s big supermarkets. So this cannot be absorbed by the profit margin. Farming has to cut costs. But in this arena, they also have a problem. “cheap” foreign labour has now left and won’t be returning longer term, which leaves them in the position of having to pay higher to attract local staff and this isn’t happening. Even in the ready supply of student like we had in my student days, as the debts the students themselves have to pay are simply too high. So UK farming is basically dead. Even financial investment in robotics and automation won’t likely see that level of value being generated, when payment for those capital items has been accounted for. It will take so long to repay that investment, most farms will fold in the interim.

Then there is the financial services industry. Personally, I’m not convinced there will be as big an impact on the trading aspects of the FS industry. Mainly because we already trade globally and all currency fluctuations are securitised. Given the number of people working in London’s FS industry, 70,000 people expected to leave or be made redundant as passporting and other functions move to Europe, is still quite small. That said, it won’t survive unscathed. Startup funding from European sources is already being pulled. Many organisations initially expecting to grow in the UK are now growing European operations significantly more, halting UK recruitment and growth until they see what happens overall. We ourselves have chosen to go one better. As a digital business, we can work anywhere in the world. Our own aim is to move most operations out of the UK and EU altogether.

We are now seriously investing in Canadian operations. Company boards have a duty to safeguard the company and its operations. It is the board’s remit. We made the decision that we don’t have to present ourselves to that level of risk and as such, we won’t. Our team has included EU workers, simply on the skill levels and value for money they present with that, since they are a very highly educated staff base. We need analytical staff and the UK market simply isn’t producing them in high enough numbers to cover the shortfall. Include in that the loss of innovation funding, we simply have to go elsewhere.”

Ethar Alali, Director at Axelisys 

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The world’s first crypto communicator BitVault was introduced at London Fintech Week

The world’s first crypto communicator BitVault was introduced to the FinTech community at London Fintech Week. The BitVault is developed by Embedded Downloads limited, an Anglo-Irish company with development offices in Limerick Ireland and production facilities in Dehli India. 

According to Hein Marais, CEO of Embedded Downloads, the company has identified the integration of blockchain technology, cryptography and physical devices as a niche area of development creating a safe and secure digital environment of the future, thus the development of the BitVault, the world’s first crypto communicator.  According to the company, the crypto communicator is not only a smartphone but a secure banking device, secure media storage device, and identification system.

The company’s secure private key generation using a concept called dynamic key generation with the aid of biometrics and cryptography ensures that the product can only be used by the person associated with the private keys.  This creates a unique identification check verified by a blockchain and thus perfect for secure messaging to a financial institution, insurance company, medical practitioner or any other parties relying on secure communication, for example a bank can identify a client with absolute certainty without the need of the client to visit the physical location of the bank.
The company has developed an app store for the BitVault, creating an environment where software developers can develop applications specific to the blockchain and the BitVault’s unique environment, examples such as a secure digital banking, secure calling, secure messaging, media vault and secure browsing.
The company expects the BitVault to be used by individuals increasingly concerned with privacy and security as well as institutions who require privacy and security in their communication.  The BitVault is currently in beta production and some of the capabilities were demonstrated by the company during the London FinTech Week.  Commercial production of the BitVault will commence in September 2017 with the first orders being shipped by November.

The company sees the BitVault as the first in a series of “Encryption of Things” technologies with analysists expecting more than 20 Billion devices linked to the internet by 2020, the future looks bright.

Introducing the World’s First Blockchain Phone

  • Biometric technology security enabled by fingerprint recognition, and iris scan.
  • Third Party Independent Multilayer Security(3IMS)
  • Secure Encrypted Messaging through a Private Blockchain
  • Documents, Photos and videos transferred securely over Private Blockchain
  • Secure Encrypted Voice and Video calling
  • Bitcoin Vault and 5 Bitcoin wallets, safe and secure
  • Removable security key for enabling your device
  • 5.5 Inch Touch Screen
  • 64 bit 2.0GHz Octa Core Processor
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB Flash Storage
  • 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 13MP Back camera and 8MP front camera
  • BitVault application store for new Blockchain and cryptocurrency apps
For more information go to

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Crunch Report | QVC Acquires HSN for $2.1 Billion

QVC acquires HSN for 2.1 billion, RED is working on a smartphone, SoundCloud loses its San Francisco and London offices and Microsoft is laying off thousands of people. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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