Barclays sign eight FinTech start-ups and spinoff ‘intrapreneur’

Neil Ainger, Writer at
Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Barclays, Britain's second biggest bank, has given formal engagements to eight of the 11 financial technology (FinTech) start-up companies that pitched yesterday at its Rise event in London, U.K., after graduating from their 13-week business Accelerator program run jointly with Techstars.

The Demo Day was held at the new Rise London offices the lender has just opened, which it claims is the biggest FinTech center in Europe. It houses 40 FinTech start-ups and the lender's in-house banking technology teams.

One of the eight firms, Nivo, is an 'intrapreneur' internal team that is being spun out from the bank as a separate secure mobile messaging company. It will run a pilot scheme with Barclays' Premier banking unit in the forthcoming months and is focused on improving customer service.

The Accelerator graduates pitched to a collection of 250 investors, technologists and bankers at the Demo Day in London yesterday after winning their places on the program earlier in the year.

Other start-ups to secure deals with Barclays, included:

  • Simudyne: who will work with the bank's risk team on scenario planning and other strategic end uses.
  • Barac: will work with Barclays' UK and International divisions, using its real-time analytics on predictive anti-fraud and computer outage tasks.
  • Flux: will run a pilot of its technology with over 10,000 Barclays UK and Barclaycard customers, providing in-app digital receipts.
  • Alyne: the operational risk firm will help the bank improve its control functions and react to new regulations and compliance demands more effectively.

The other three FinTech start-ups that will work with the bank are Shieldpay, Courtsdesk and Homeppl.

Commenting on the Demo Day in a subsequent press release, Michael Harte, Barclays Group head of innovation, said: "Financial services is experiencing a period of major technological disruption. Rise, and specifically our Accelerator, has created a platform for experimentation, with new generation businesses and entrepreneurs, to build new products, services and platforms."

Applications are now open for the next accelerator event in New York and the Tel Aviv program is already underway. Companies in Israel are presently receiving business, marketing, technology and other forms of assistance to get them ready for the imminent Demo Day there and to make them viable businesses. Other programs in the global Accelerator series are based in Mumbai, Cape Town, Manchester, and Vilnius.

Barclays' Accelerator program is run by Techstars, a global network that exists to help entrepreneurs succeed across various different sectors. The bank sponsors its FinTech program and helps run it.

According to Chris Adelsbach, managing director of Techstars, this latest class in London joins 1,024 other companies in the Techstars Accelerator portfolio that together have a market cap of $8 billion. The Techstars network has 14,000 founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners in it and spans 168 countries.

"The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, once again showed why our program in London is the pre-eminent FinTech accelerator in the world," said Adelsbach in a press release on Wednesday.

"FinTech is an exciting vertical for us," he added. "These companies are using technology to solve large real-world problems that impact so many of us. I'm excited by their prospects and look forward to supporting them on their journey."

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