FinTech investments have grown by more than 200% between 2013-14, and the first half of 2015 also has seen increasing investments into FinTech. The number of accelerator programs has also been increasing with banks being major sponsors for many.
Apart from accelerator programs, there have been innovation labs, incubators and hackathon challenges to understand startups and their solutions. All these events generally have the big established players as their partners.
We have analyzed these programs and built a list of global accelerators that have attracted a large number of FinTech startups. Each of these accelerators provides the startups with a specific time frame, committed membership, development efforts and making the startup concept ready for the market.
Barclays - Barclays Accelerator Program:
The Barclays Accelerator Program is a 13-week program in partnership with Techstars. Barclays would provide tools, equipment and facilities for startups; in conjunction with Techstars, they would provide dedicated mentorship for select startups and entrepreneurs. The accelerator program was initially launched in London and is now being run at London & New York.
Citibank - Citi Accelerator program:
Citibank launched its first accelerator program in Tel Aviv in 2013. The four-month program was run three times and a total of 333 startups have participated in it till date. In December 2014, Citi Ventures partnered as the first Platinum-level Global Anchor Partner for Plug and Play to expand its FinTech Accelerator program to US, Germany, Singapore and Spain. Citi has also launched Citi Mobile Challenge, a virtual accelerator program that combines a virtual hackathon with an incubator and is focused on the APAC region. Participants of the Citi Mobile Challenge would be provided with a FinTech accelerator program that includes mentorship and a virtual & on-site boot camp curriculum.
Wells Fargo - Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator:
The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a six-month program which is run twice a year. The 2015 event witnessed over 300 applications out of which three startups were selected: Bracket Computing, Context360 and MotionSavvy. Previous startups who participated in the program include EyeVerify, Kasisto and Zumigo.
Dassault Systèmes - 3D FinTech Challenge:
Dassault Systèmes has launched its third 3D FinTech Challenge in 2015. The 2015 edition was run in partnership with Deutsche Börse and Invest Northern Ireland as a sponsor. 3D FinTech Challenge is a seven-week immersive accelerator aimed at providing mentorship to disruptive technology startups in the financial services space.
FinTech Innovation Lab:
FinTech Innovation Lab provides a 12-week mentorship program at New York, London, Dublin and Asia-Pacific (in Hong Kong). The global program is run in partnership with Accenture and Partnership Fund for New York City as a sponsor while they also have region-specific sponsors.
Regional financial firm partnerships are given below:
New York: Ally Financial, American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Guardian Life, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, New York Life, UBS and Wells Fargo.
London: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, RBS Group, UBS, Nationwide, Santander, Societe Generale and Intesa.
Dublin: Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Citi, Fexco, PayPal, RealEx, State Street, Ulster Bank.
Asia-Pacific: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, China Citic Bank International, China Construction Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Maybank, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and UBS.
QC FinTech Lab:
QC FinTech Lab provides a 12-week intensive accelerator program with mentors from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Experian, etc. in addition to 12 months of free office space. The lab is based out of Charlotte.
Techstars provides location-specific and function-specific accelerator programs. It also partners with other global accelerators to provide its expertise (Ex.: Barclays London Accelerator). While it is not a pure play FinTech accelerator, they do host a lot of FinTech companies as part of their larger portfolio. (Ex.: The Gone App, AppInside, Stagelink, Localytics, etc.). Some of its local sponsors are SAP, TaylorWessing, Lowe’s, Todd Walsh, TriNet, Baird, Kurtz Fargo LLP, Bryan Cave, Kendall Koenig & Oelsner PC, Foley & Ladner LLP, CBRE, Pritzker Group, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Lakewest Venture Partners, Fried Frank Technology, Google Cloud Platform, Orrick, Foley Hoag LLP, etc.
Startupbootcamp provides accelerators in multiple fields; the Startupbootcamp FinTech Accelerator is one of them. It is hosted in London and Singapore for a period of three months. They have global and local sponsors for their events. Here are the sponsors for the local FinTech event:
London: MasterCard, Lloyds Banking Group, Rabobank, PWC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Route 66 Ventures, Arvato Bertelsmann, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, MyOrder, Cognito, DLL Financial Solutions Partner and MJ Hudson
Singapore: MasterCard, Route 66 Ventures, Intesa Sanpaolo, Infocomm Investments, PWC, Jungle Ventures, Estellion, Pix Vine Capital and DBS
Level39 is one of Europe’s largest technology accelerators for finance, retail, cybersecurity and future cities technology companies. It was launched in 2012 with the aim to be the largest accelerator space for FinTech space. Recently, UBS had opened an innovation lab at Level39 to focus on blockchain and FinTech Innovations. It has 513 individual members, of which 52% are from the UK. The 122 company members in the FinTech space divided as: Data & Analytics: 42, Payments: 25, Crowdfunding: 25; Banking Solutions: 13; Trading: 9 and FX: 8.
Y Combinator is a seed funding organization which invests small amounts in selected startups. They run two cycles every year, once from January-March and once from June-August. The three-month event ends with the Demo Day where startups present to an audience of global startup investors. While this is not a pure play FinTech accelerator, among the more than 800 startups that it has funded since 2005, around 7-8% (~60 companies) are from the FinTech space.
While the names mentioned above could be considered as large players in the FinTech accelerators space, there are a growing number of firms who are providing accelerator programs as a part of their overall portfolio. These programs also concentrate in providing mentorship, funding and accelerate startups from multiple fields while FinTech constitutes a part of their overall program.
Some of the accelerators (FinTech-focused and general) that one needs to take note of are:
500 startups, AngelPad, Anthemis, AWI Ventures (reports suggest that the parent group AWI has stopped its support for the accelerator program. However, the founders have started H2 ventures to continue investing in FinTech accelerators), Bright Bridge Ventures, Chinaccelerator, FinTech Circle, Fusion (recently formed Swiss-focused FinTech accelerator), FinTech Sandbox, Holland FinTech, Matchi, PlugnPlay Accelerator, SeedCamp FinTech, Six Thirty, Visa Vision and Wayra.