Accelerator launched for fintech startups
Fund management firm Octopus Investments have announced Octopus Labs – an accelerator programme tailored for financial technology (fintch) startups.
The programme is being offered to early-stage fintech startups which are product-ready. Beneficiaries will enter a 12-week programme using Octopus’ existing channels of distribution to bring upcoming fintech products to a mainstream audience.
The investment firm will offer working space in central London and provide expert mentoring to successful applicants.
In an official statement, Richard Wazacz said that Octopus Labs intended to “take existing innovations and ready them for our mainstream audience of advisers and retail investors”.
The initiative will not see Octopus Investments accept a stake of participating startups’ equity, rather the labs will see the firm work directly with startup founders on their products.
Octopus Investments will be using the new initiative to develop its own in-house fintech products.
The UK fintech industry is currently thriving – the sector generated £6.6bn in 2015. With a workforce of over 60,000, the understanding across the financial sector is that new technologies are likely to disrupt traditional methods of accessing finance.
Recent figures from innovation agency Innovate Finance showed that investment into the UK fintech industry reached $901m in 2015, and the gold rush looks set to continue as startups are finding more investment opportunities.
The importance of fintech has been acknowledged by traditional financial bodies. In June this year, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said: “Fintech will change the nature of money, shake the foundations of central banking and deliver nothing less than a democratic revolution for all who use financial services.”
Applications for the scheme close on 16 September 2016, with the programme set to begin in early October.