We’re very proud to announce we’re a launch partner of the FinTech Alliance unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The FinTech Alliance is a new online portal for the global fintech community, bringing all the information, knowledge and resources together in one easily accessible location.
It’ll officially launch on June 10, during London Technology Week, giving the millions of people who work in the fintech industry a hub to access a range of services, advice and mentoring as well as allowing organisations to build their networks and hire the right talent.
Fintech is everywhere and isn’t just for those doing mega deals in the financial districts. You may not know it, but you most probably use fintech every single day through things like checking your balance on an app or paying for things with your phone. It encompasses everything using emerging technology to help consumers or organisations deliver services in newer, faster ways.
We love supporting the fintech community, helping innovative start-ups like Sustainably – a hassle-free fundraising app that rounds up your shopping to the nearest pound, giving the change to your chosen charity.
FinTech start-up Genuine Impact – a new financial terminal for DIY investors, helping people make informed trading decisions based on quality research and up-to-date news, have also been part of our recent cohort on CrowdBoost.
Recognising there was no market leader for consumer investments, Truman Du, 29 and his co-founders Yuchen Xia, 31, and Alister Sneddon, 27, launched their own.
“It all started when we met for lunch one day next to the Bloomberg building,” says Truman. “We thought ‘where do they get the money to build such an amazing building’. We started to do some analysis and saw a gap in the B2C market.
“At the end of the financial years, my friends used to come up to me and ask me what they should do with their money. If my friends who work in the sector are asking me that, the chances are that other people outside of financial services didn’t have anywhere to go either. Research is the most important part of any investment.”
The trio were recommended for our CrowdBoost accelerator programme, enabling them to better prepare their product for the marketplace. CrowdBoost is a 6-week accelerator programe for businesses looking to equity crowdfunding for scale.
Genuine Impact’s beta app was launched in February, and already has 1,100 users. Through crowdfunding, the team have raised more than £330,000 from almost 350 investors – which is allowing them to move Genuine Impact to the next stage.
Truman added: “The CrowdBoost programme was extremely helpful. It was a very streamlined process, allowing us to work through a structure. Each session is very well prepared – how to market the product, how to get exposure, how to model the business. It’s a very well-rounded, comprehensive programme.
“Crowdfunding is a very good place to get exposure and get our users to become investors. We’re progressing well and the next stage is to hire two more full-time people – one to help with the technology, and one to help with marketing – before we bring the product to market.”
And if Truman could give advice to would-be start-ups, what would it be?
“Be agile in your product design and do not sit in a dark room thinking you know what your users want,” he said. “Bring a product to market as quickly as possible. You will look back after two years and feel embarrassed at it but it’s important to get that user feedback as soon as possible.
“It’s also important to get to know the ecosystem players like Virgin and Crowdcube, especially in the fintech space. The FinTech Alliance will be a very useful place for people to communicate business ideas and hire the right talent, which is a critical point for companies in the sector.”