Tech Nation reveals 20 FinTech firms 'to watch'
Twenty FinTech companies have been named by Tech Nation as 'ones to watch' and will be joining the organisation's first dedicated programme for the sector.
The government-backed network for digital tech entrepreneurs unveiled the FinTech programme earlier this summer and called on early-stage start-ups to submit their applications.
Tech Nation said the variety and excellence of the 20 companies selected is "testimony of the strength and vigorous growth of the UK’s FinTech sector".
Seven of the 20 chosen firms are based outside London, with their offices in Norwich, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Canterbury, Manchester and Bristol.
The cohort includes Manchester-based mobile technology business Airtime Rewards; CoInvestor in Canterbury; Cardiff’s Delio; Edinburgh-based Float; LOQBOX Savings in Bristol; Norwich-based Thyngs; and Sustainably in Edinburgh.
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The London-based companies chosen for the five-month programme are Akoni, AltFi Data, Coinfirm, CreditLadder, Enforcd, Fiskl, Funding Options, Maxatta, MishiPay, SteelEye, Tail Offers, TAINA Technology and TransFICC.
Over five months, the businesses will get the chance to work with and learn from some of the UK's most talented FinTech entrepreneurs on key topics such as scaling challenges, partnerships with incumbents, regulations and international expansion.
These sessions will take place in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds to encourage cross-country networking.
Tech Nation chair Eileen Burbidge, who was one of the judges for the programme, hailed the calibre of applications as "incredibly impressive".
Burbidge, who is also HM Treasury's special envoy for FinTech, chair of the FinTech Delivery Panel and partner at Passion Capital, added: "The companies chosen have already demonstrated that they are winners and will certainly have many more successes to come."
Gregoire Michel, Tech Nation's FinTech programme lead, said: "When we devised Tech Nation's first FinTech programme we anticipated that entrepreneurs were increasingly building great companies in the regions.
"The number of applications we received from the regions bore out this hypothesis and while London remains the most important FinTech cluster in the UK we are delighted that more than a third of the first cohort will come from outside London."
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Richard Theo, chief executive of Wealthify, was also on the judging panel for the programme.
He said the six million dollar question is "whether there's a future unicorn lurking within the 20 companies".
"Given the great range of ideas, the strengths of the teams and the support they can now get – there's a really good chance that there’s one in there," he added.
The programme for founding teams will include a 24-hour induction, a series of eight in-depth learning sessions, five networking dinners and will culminate in a three-day showcase trip in mid-January 2019 to the USA.
To qualify for Tech Nation's programme, start-ups would have needed to be between seed and Series A stage and be able to demonstrate market success for their product.