On May 15, SixThirty opened the application for the Fall 2017 Seed Fund & Business Development Program. The Fall 2017 Portfolio will mark the ninth cycle of the program since it made its first investment in Fall 2013. SixThirty invests in companies with working products, B2B sales models, and early revenue and helps them accelerate their revenue growth through connections to industry experts and executives from incumbent financial services companies. At a recent presentation on the State of B2B FinTech to the Risk Management Association, Atul Kamra, Managing Partner of SixThirty remarked, “The commitment of our mentors and partners to work in the trenches with FinTech founders continues to be our sustainable competitive advantage.”
SixThirty’s mission is felt acutely by their portfolio companies, such as New York-based wealth management data aggregation and reporting platform, ClearServe. Hugh Nguyen, CEO of ClearServe, says that “SixThirty helped seed relationships with trusted business partners and market participants that [they] would not have been able to reach otherwise.” Regarding the mentorship that they received during the program, Nguyen said that “the mentors leverage their deep operational expertise to provide invaluable business advice.”
The Fall 2017 Portfolio looks to build on the momentum of the Spring 2017 Portfolio which was selected from the largest and most geographically diverse pool to date. There were over 170 applicants for the Spring 2017 Portfolio and half of them were companies based outside of the United States. With the global nature of FinTech and an increased awareness around the SixThirty brand, SixThirty expects to see this trend of international applications continue. Historically, these international applicants have found success in making key partnerships, such as PayKey and Assembly Payments being identified by Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks, as crucial components in their strategy to meet new customer demands.
For international companies such as CogniCor and BondIt, SixThirty serves as a launching pad into the US market. For Dr. Sindhu Joseph, CEO and Founder of CogniCor (a Spain-based enterprise AI chatbot that reduces costs and improves customer engagement for banks and insurance companies), working with mentors from SixThirty’s corporate partners has helped them boost their momentum. When Joseph reflects on the mission she set out to accomplish with the SixThirty Business Development Program, she says that “having established a strong presence in the Asian market…, CogniCor is focusing on expanding its market reach to the US with our recent partnership with Atos and [CogniCor’s] strategic partnership with SixThirty will help fuel this growth and accelerate the momentum.”
In the case of BondIT (an Israel-based fixed-income portfolio construction solution), Etai Ravid, BondIT’s Founder & CEO, found that “SixThirty was [an] eye-opener for the US market.” On the topic of the impact that the mentors had in BondIT’s experience, Ravid said, “SixThirty mentors helped [BondIT] gain access to the most strategic players in the US.” For BondIT, being a SixThirty portfolio company provided more than just access and exposure to the largest bond market in the world. Through SixThirty, BondIT gained the resources and guidance needed to pivot their sales model from Direct-To-Consumer to B2B.
SixThirty will continue to be the platform for collaboration between financial services incumbents and FinTech innovation with the Fall 2017 Portfolio. The business development program will begin in mid-September.