A not-for-profit and non-equity business accelerator that pairs global fintechs with leading financial institutions has completed its 2022 programme just six month since the last cohort.
Eight companies selected from more than 150 applicants completed this year's FinTech Wales Foundry programme entitled, The Foundry: Validate Raise & Scale.
The eight companies were:
- TropoGo — Building Google Maps between 30ft to 3000Ft for Low Altitude Aerial Mobility and Insurance.
- QuoteOnSite – QuoteOnSite is a cloud-based platform that saves SME’s time and money by automating the process of creating, sending, tracking and analysing their quotes, proposals, contracts and other digital documents.
- Yacooba - Mixing blockchain ticketing protocol with a one-click-buy travel marketplace to generate more revenue for promoters and rewards for audiences.
- Finalrentals – Powering local car rental companies to unlock the power of internet with online bookings, insurance, e-payments, and an international voice (AdTech meets FinTech)
- BOMADU - Helping first-time buyers finance property deposits in an innovative way
- AGAM - AI powered credit-scoring platform connecting customers to banks for accessing instant credit.
- Cufflink - helping businesses limit the likelihood, impacts and costs of a personal data breach.
- EverKnock - A concierge to manage every aspect of your home-buying journey.
Sponsored by Principality Building Society, Admiral Money and supported by the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, this year's accelerator concluded on 4 May at a showcase event held at Techniquest in Cardiff Bay.
The 12-week programme completed with a pledge to create more than £70m in revenue and more than 100 jobs in Wales collectively between all eight companies over the next three years.
Four out of the eight businesses which were non-Welsh start ups - including businesses from Portugal and Poland - have now registered a presence in Wales with plans to create jobs in the country.
Last year’s group collectively raised more than £9m in investment and created over 20 jobs. Business alumni Sero, a Cardiff-based energy tech firm which was part of the 2021 programme, secured a £5.5m equity investment boost to support its growth plans from financial institutions Hodge and Legal & General.
The programme ran in person this year after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions came to an end, with master classes and support to help founders validate their early stage ideas, raise investment and create a plan to scale.
Programme director of the 2022 FinTech Wales Foundry, Neil Cocker said: "This year's cohort represents some of the most forward-thinking start-ups in areas such as data security, blockchain and insurance. It's been incredible to work with such innovative companies that are really making strides in new and developing areas of FinTech."
Mr Cocker added: "It’s imperative that, for Wales to become a leading global FinTech hub, that we are encouraging these innovative businesses to Scale in Wales and with even the international startups on the programme committed to relocating and growing their businesses in Wales, I feel like we’ve made real in-roads which can only lead to more success for this thriving sector in Wales.”
FinTech Wales chief executive Sarah Williams-Gardener said: "The work of the Foundry is fast-becoming a key part of our vision to establish Wales as a leading global hub for FinTech. From the applications we receive from all over the world, to the eventual eight companies who make up the cohort, we get a snapshot into the talent that’s out there, and the innovations taking place in FinTech."
She added: "As the organisation championing FinTech in Wales, we absolutely cannot let this talent go elsewhere and by encouraging these companies to not only stay in Wales, but also relocate, we are helping to create jobs, promoting innovation, showing that Wales is THE place to scale if you are a burgeoning business in FinTech. I could not be more proud of the work that the Foundry does and believe it represents a successful blueprint for any other Accelerator Programme, but we are leading the way in Wales.”
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I'm delighted to see the second successful cohort of Fintech startups graduating from the FinTech Wales Foundry. FinTech is a fast-growing innovative sector and one that has a prosperous future in Wales, creating economic value and high-quality, rewarding job opportunities."
Mr Gething added: “Earlier this year I was fortunate to meet some of this cohort on a trade mission to Dubai and I learnt first-hand the growth aspirations of these start-ups, including through export markets. I would like to thank FinTech Wales for providing expertise and support to this vibrant cluster, tirelessly promoting their members both in Wales, across the UK and on the global stage.”
Ammar Akhtar, founder and chief executive at Finalrentals Group said: "FinTech Wales accelerator has been an eye-opening programme for me, it is like you graduate as an entrepreneur from a program that is designed and delivered by the entrepreneurs for the entrepreneurs.
Mr Akhtar added: "It has also shown the potential of Wales' FinTech and Tech ecosystem, and I believe there is no better place than Wales to set up Finalrentals Global HQ. Entrepreneur and start-up friendly, buzzing with enthusiasm and technology innovation - Wales is the place to be."
Diogo Santos, co-founder at Yacooba, said: "The Wales FinTech Foundry has helped us decide on Wales when choosing to set up our global headquarters due to its positioning in supporting startups to scale, being part of the UK market, the largest in Europe in the event industry, and due to the UK having the most event travellers in Europe. The Cohort helped us polish certain aspects of how we present our company to investors and to consumers whilst giving us the chance to interact with great founders, mentors, and investors."
The FinTech Wales Foundry operates as the accelerator arm of FinTech Wales and is the only accelerator of its kind in Wales. A non-for-profit collaboration between financial institutions, big tech and a growing number of supporting organisations from various industries to promote deals, jobs, and investments in the country.
FinTech Wales is a global association for Welsh-based FinTech and the financial service industry. It aims to establish Wales as a rapidly emerging pillar of the global FinTech economy.
The association has an advisory board of 20 people including representation from Welsh companies such as Confused.com, Admiral, Principality Building Society and Capital Law.