The 20 innovative startups chosen from among more than 300 fintech entrepreneurs around the globe who applied for Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab London represent the largest class in the London Lab’s five-year history. This year’s programme also received the greatest number of applicants, with increased interest from startups in the Middle East, Turkey, Russia, the Nordics and North America.
As part of the 12-week programme, the startups are partnered with senior bank and insurance executives to help them fine-tune and develop their technologies and business models. Eight of the 20 shortlisted startups will be selected to present at the programme’s Graduation Day on March 30 to a group of venture capitalists and financial-industry executives.
Fintechs offering artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and gamification technology for banks and insurers are among the selected startups in this year’s programme, which for the first time includes a dedicated stream for insurtech entrepreneurs. Innovations by this year’s startups aim to address a number of societal issues, including:
- Financial literacy and money management challenges among UK consumers;
- The affordability crisis of the UK rental market; and
- The cost of insurance via improved identification of fraudulent claims.
“The transformation requirements that the financial services industry must undertake to remain relevant arguably pose a bigger challenge than the immediate geo-political uncertainty casting a shadow over the industry,” said Tom Graham, programme director of Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab London. “Innovation must continue. The FinTech Innovation Lab London is helping startups forge ties to thrive at home and abroad. This opportunity offers light-bulb moments to banks and insurers with exciting innovations that can help make financial services work better for consumers and the broader economy.”
Mentors in the programme come from 28 financial institutions: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, RBS, Intesa Sanpaolo, Santander, Société Générale, UBS, Rabobank, Standard Chartered, OP Financial Group, IF, MS Amlin, AIB, AXA, RSA, AIG, TowerGate, Ageas, Liverpool Victoria and XL Catlin.
Sigga Sigurdardottir Head of Customer and Innovation, Santander said: “We’re excited to be part of the FinTech Innovation Lab. It’s positive to see London take a leading role in shaping and defining the global fintech innovation agenda.”
“Being an active member of an ecosystem that is designing the future of banking is one way we will make good on our goal to help people and business prosper. Our innovation strategy is centred on openness and collaboration and we recognise that start-ups are the lifeblood of our economy. We are committed to supporting innovation in the UK, it is the foundation upon which the country will build a successful technology industry.”
Piyush Patel, MS Amlin’s chief operating officer, said, “Insurtech has risen through the ranks to become a growth area in its own right with the potential to fundamentally transform the industry. I am thrilled to see part of the programme dedicated to bringing insurers and entrepreneurs together to navigate the future of insurance.”
The FinTech Innovation Lab London, launched by Accenture in 2012, is a collaboration between Accenture and leading financial institutions. This year the Lab is being held in the Trampery Republic a new innovation facility at East India in London’s Docklands.
The 20 startups taking part this year — broken up across four streams, tailored to specific financial services sectors and business needs — are:
Corporate and Investment Banking
The FinTech Innovation Lab London is modelled on a similar programme that was co-founded in 2010 by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City, the US$150 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. Accenture launched two other Labs in 2014: the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong and the FinTech Innovation Lab Dublin in Ireland. Globally, the Labs’ alumni companies have raised more than US$386 million in venture financing after participating in the programme. Four participants from the New York FinTech Innovation Lab have been acquired, including Standard Treasury and BillGuard. Since passing through the London programme, the 36 companies that participated have increased revenues by 170 percent on average.