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Inside Accenture’s London FinTech Innovation Lab

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Meet Accenture’s 2019 cohort ready to shape tomorrow’s technology.

Globally, Accenture’s FinTech Innovation lab has achieved some impressive results, incubating 184 startups, and raising $1,464m since it’s 2012 inception. The Lab connects ambitious Fintechs with the industry’s most senior banking and insurance executives, driving both scalability, and innovation.

Now in its 7th year, the London chapter of the annual accelerator is supported by 35 FS companies in addition to an active community of mentors, investors and alumni. Run over 12 weeks, the lab is an example of how Accenture is helping the European FS industry change through facilitating collaboration, idea generation, and strengthening London’s positioning as a leading fintech hub.

This year, the London lab will focus on tools designed to support European insurance firms and financial institutions, mainly with data analysis and customer support. Julian Skan, senior managing director for Banking & Capital Markets at Accenture Strategy and executive sponsor for London’s Lab, explains: “We can see fintechs are starting to bite at banking revenues, but banks and insurers are also capitalising on the opportunity to work with emerging technologies and new talent to compete. We’re looking forward to exploring how startups are using the changes to evolve the financial industry for the better.”

On 17 January, Accenture unveiled 20 finalist startups which run the gamut of sectors from investment banking, to preventing financial crime, and from customer service to healthy lifestyle-tracking. Some, like UK-based Fregnan, are just months old, whereas others already have client lists that stretch across continents and a large number of industry verticals.

The key mission for Accenture is that startups gain the commercial introductions and support needed for exponential growth. Over the course of the next three months, they will be given corporate coaching from enterprise executives and fast-tracked access to Accenture’s large network in order to drive sales revenue and kick-start collaboration.

London’s 2019 Partners are: AXA XL, AXIS Capital, BAML, BlackRock, CIBC, Citi, Credit Suisse, Direct Line, Goldman Sachs, Hiscox, HSBC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Irish Life, JPMC, Lloyds Banking Group, LV=, Marsh, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, Nordea, OP, Rabobank, RBS/NatWest, Royal London, Santander, Scottish Widows (LBG), Société Générale, State Street, TP ICAP, UBI, UBS, Wells Fargo, Willis and Zurich. Can we expect to see some of the following tech startups supporting them in the near future?

Learn more on their website & follow their journey on Twitter.

The 2019 Cohort

For Corporate & Investment Banking

What: A fast-streamed intelligent platform which connects SME lenders to SMEs via a global credit insights platform.

Background: Forged from a credit risk acumen and the ability to build a company from small scale to IPO, CreditEnable promises to improve the quality of loan books and via their cloud-based credit analytics solutions. The technology has been on the market for several years and has 20 active clients. The firm is taking the opportunity of Accenture’s banking client access to step away from mono-compatible product suite and create multi-compatible suites. This would allow for them to cater to more banks and – in the near future – a seamless marketplace between banks and SMEs.

Current Team: 20 staff with 100 years of collective expertise

What: An AI driven investment research tool designed to support fund managers with unbiased global research.

Background: Determined to help the investment market recuperate in a post MiFIID 2 world, Fregnan offers a cost-effective solution which can be tailored to support the biases of a  firm’s research team. Accenture’s FintechLab  provides them their perfect opportunity to product test and spearhead implementation plans.

Current Team: Under 5

What: An automated suitability assessment tool which solves issues in cross-border distribution, product & tax suitability within minutes.

Background: Founded in 2014, this modern RegTech aims to assist firms with effectively highlighting the risk and compliance requirements. Investment Navigator already works with 100 institutional clients in Switzerland, mainland Europe and Asia. Their incubation period will be an opportunity to observe and best understand how to enter the UK market.

Current Team: 18 employees across Switzerland and Asia

What: The latest insight tool for liquidity analysts.

Background: The Zeroflows’ digital network of common brokers enables asset managers and banks to improve liquidity search in emerging and frontier markets. Theoretically, this two-sided network with LinkedIn-stye mapping engine would allow clients to speak directly with local liquidity insight. The network currently holds 180 local institutions across 30 countries, and supports 75 funds.

Current Team: Under 5

For RegTech & CFO

What: A solution to enhance data privacy and security as data travels in and out of a business.

Background: Co-founded by Peter Lancos and FinTech ‘woman to watch’ Sonal Rattan, Exate is a multi-award winning firm specialising in data privacy. Using an anonymisation engine and a rules-based reconstruction engine, Exate enables businesses to control and manage sensitive data. Exate is currently working with Tier 1 Financial Instutitions internationally.

Current team: +15

What: Generate savings for buyers by automating the process of early settlement discount.

Background: Launched in 2017, Xelix technology scans invoice data to prevent financial losses due to error or fraud.. The SaaS tool received funding from the Simmons & Simmons Fintech fund in its early stage, and currently offers dynamic discounting, supplier analytics, ap auditing and loss prevention solutions to 12 customers.

Current Team: +5

What: An all-in-one spreadsheet governance for a disaster-proof future.

Background: Hailing from the London Business School incubator, this business intelligence software solution offers organizations complete control and transparency of their spreadsheet inventory, allowing them to see real-time actionable insights and make radical risk, cost, and efficiency improvements. The self-funded startup was part of  the cohort 4 of the FCA Regulatory Sandbox, and received the 2018 Founders Award from the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Their client list currently extends into Europe.

Current Team: under 10

What: The AI-powered reputational and regulatory monitoring, and discovery platform

Background: Signal’s proprietary AI combines its global monitoring software with reputation management analysis tools to convert the world’s information into accessible and actionable insight.  The technology currently pulls information from global online and premium news and regulatory sources, but intends to blend in alternative datasets for added texture. Prior to Accenture, Signal attended the FUSE Accelerator. Signal already supports hundreds of global businesses in legal, capital management, finance, and not-for-profit.

Current Team: +100 staff.

Tech 4 Tech

What: The next generation Customer Engagement Hub technology that enables brands to proactively engage customers in AI-driven conversations to fulfil business objectives.

Background:  Founded in 2009, ContactEngine automates outbound customer engagement across all communication channels and generates unique insights into the changing patterns of communication by applying artificial intelligence principles to mass volumes of raw customer data. ContactEngine clients include multimillion-dollar and multimillion-pound corporations such as Verizon, Whirlpool, Virgin Media, Sky and British Gas.

Current Team:+ 60

What: Crystal clear visibility of fund movement within the global financial economy.

Background: Founded in 2016, FutureFlow is a first to market tool which helps firms capture and analyze the nature and history of money. Originally designed for macro consumer analysis, FutureFlow additionally allows banks share information with one other, thereby acting as a support against financial crime, terrorist financing and international crime networks. Prior to Accenture’s London Lab, the startup attended their Hong Kong session in 2017.

Current Team:+10

What: A life planning platform that helps consumers gain control of their financial lives.

Background: Lifetise manages a platform which allows customers to simulate major life events (kids, marriage, retirement, etc), understand the financial implications, and accurately forecast saving plans. Despite being young, the app’s strong customer engagement and backend analytics has seen it already align with one major challenger and a mortgage broker here in the UK.

Current Team: 3 to 5

What: Neotas is an enhanced due diligence company that goes beyond traditional database to provide deeper insights into people. By interrogating social media, the deep and the dark web, Neotas help organisation to reduce fraud, avoid bad hires and evidence regulatory compliance.

Background: 95% of what’s online is not picked up by search engines. Neotas’ analyst-driven intelligence platform is designed to work alongside traditional due diligence processes. It provides enriched insights into people risk by harvesting publicly available information from hard to find places. Within two years, Neotas has raised $1.1 million and supports over 40 clients across the financial services and insurance industry with enhanced employee, customer and investment due diligence.

Current Team: +15

For Insurtech

What: Gamification of healthy habits for lower health insurance premiums and claims payments

Background: LVLFi’s is the market leading gamification firm which simultaneously assists with customer attraction whilst solving problems of low customer engagement by engineering opportunities that combine entertainment and added value. Having secured 2x PoCs, including with a Fortune 100 Health insurer in the US, LVLFi is looking to collaborate with insurers and banks on new projects to increase customer engagement and lower claims rates/costs.

Current Team: Under 5

What: The neo independent insurance adviser

Background: Anorak, which gives a much-needed update to the insurance advisory sector, has also disrupted it with its decision to offer advice tailored honestly to customer profiles. Their regulated product was launched earlier this year with Starling Bank and Yolt, and has already raised $12 million. Anorak targets the 8.5 million currently uninsured population in the UK, and is an easy-to-assimilate customer engagement tool for banks and insurance companies alike.

Current Team: +15

What: A digital workspace which allows for employee workflow simplification, consolidation, and automations.

Background: Designed to optimize workforces, this layover technology drastically simplifies any firm’s internal applications. Though not the only product on the market, Berlin-based Matterway distinguishes itself by working without altering or touching existing systems. The firm has been in business for five years and is looking increase their client list.

Current Team:+ 25 employees and hiring

What: The next generation app for workplace pension schemes

Background: Penfold has created an app that uses tailored projections to help young people understand why pensions are important, and steers them towards signing up to suitable schemes. The app, has been applauded for its tangible customer value and ability to target new market.

Current Team: Under 5

For Open Banking

What: A toolkit that makes it easy for people to securely share financial information with the businesses they trust, so those businesses can deliver more personalised products & services.

Background: Rooted in Open Banking, OpenWrks provides a dual-way toolkit which supports both customers and businesses through the provision of a secure data sharing service and a personalised comparison of products.  OpenWrks currently works with 15 clients in the financial, lending and property sectors, and was a 2018 winner of the Open Up Challenge.

Current Team: +15

What: Smart verification of a child’s age and parent/guardian and child relationship.

Background: Trust Elevate automates the process of verifying the identity and relationship of an adult who asserts parental responsibility for a specific child when trying to open a child or teen bank account. In addition to problem-solving a challenging pressure point, Trust enables banks, retailers and other PISPs or AISPs to comply with the PSD2 requirements. Since its launch, the firm has completed several pilots and is open to further collaboration.

Current Team: Under 5

What: Hassle-free tax return service underpinned by Open Banking APIs and automation.

Background: In one seamless motion, Untied pulls transaction information from across different accounts, analyses data for potential tax impact, then categorises accordingly. Designed to tackle the number of late tax-payers, Untied additionally provides support for the growing sector of hybrid employed/self-employed UK citizens. The startup’s app will launch over the course of their Accenture incubation period.

Current Team: Under 5

What: The fintech which enables businesses to create and launch their digital finance application in a matter of weeks.

Background: By combining all the core infrastructure, regulatory permissions and services needed to build financial architecture through RESTful APIs, WealthKernel brings banking and insurance firms to market in a fraction of time. From KYC and AML to Sales and Marketing, WealthKernel offers infrastructure for an increasingly long list of services. The firm was the 2018 winner of TiE’s Start Up Competition.

 Current Team: +15