For some companies, the financial crisis of 2008 proved to be a boon
Jaya Smitha Menon
August 18, 2014: The financial crisis of 2008 caused much misery to the sector, but for the FinTech startup community, it proved to be quite fertile. The need for changing old business models and bringinginnovation has bridged the gap between the FinTech startup ecosystem and the financial community.
According to a report by Accenture, investment in FinTech sector globally has increased from under $930 million in 2008 to more than $2.97 billion in 2013.
Driven by the need to cut cost, comply with increasing regulations and understanding the new costumer behaviour, the finance sector now has a bewildering array of start-ups. So, which among them are creating a stir in the market?
Payments is a growing sector but involves high cost and hidden charges. However, Currency Cloud(http://www.thecurrencycloud.com/), started in 2012, aims to make payments more transparent, fast and affordable. Its payment engine allows its customers, like TransferWise, Azimo, Fidor Bank and MANGOPAY, to enable secure and transparent transfer of money around the world. The London-based company has invested heavily in compliance, research and development, and allows costumers to get up and running in as less as two weeks via their API. Cloud recently raised $10million in Series B funding round from its existing investors along with a new investor.
Reputation and trust
In the financial world, trust and reputation is an important factor whether it is to hold a credit card or getting a mortgage. In today’s world, making online transactions with unknown people also demands a level of trust and reputation.Traity(https://traity.com/), a Madrid-based start-up is taking reputation and trust to a new level. If you are a good seller on ecommerce portals and use other online services, Traity will import that information into your profile. This helps financial institutions to take informed decisions even if you are in a foreign country. The company recently got a $5 million funding for further development.
Who doesn’t hate filling up forms and entering details each time; whether it be your personal information or your card details. Ensygnia’sOnescan(http://www.ensygnia.com/thecompany/), a patent protected app, helps to make mobile payments less cumbersome and faster, whether you are shopping online or in-store. Waitrose, the retail giant recently showcased Onescan along with few other mobile technology innovations that can redefine a customer’s shopping experience. Onescan allowed customers to complete a payment in-store using a mobile phone app, directly from any iPad screen in the store, without having the need to go to the till point. The company got a $3.3 million funding from Telefonica start-up accelerator Wayra.
Core banking solutions
Banks spend millions on its core banking solutions. But with time, the complexity and cost of the application increases enormously. This also limits their desire to penetrate untapped markets. Mambu(http://www.mambu.com/en/mambu-story-35.html), founded in 2011 wants to redefine this paradigm by providing a unique cloud based platform, which will help banks and financial institutions roll out products and services in a jiffy. This is much more relevant in the case of microfinance institutions that need a low-cost banking platform to support underbanked users. Mambu offers a flexible and cost-effective solution. It received $2 million from Runa Capital, Point Nine Capital and Kizoo Technology Ventures in 2013. Today,Mambu has over 100 clients in over 20 countries.
With Bitcoin gaining momentum, the future of crypto currencies seems to be brightening. To cash in on this new wave comes Epiphyte(http://epiphyte.us/index.html), which promises to integrate banks and financial institutions with the crypto-finance industry. With a range of cloud based products and services, taking care of security, risk and compliance, Epiphyte hopes to help financial institutions deal with traditional and new forms of money in a single network. The company’s middleware suite CBridge enables banks to interface with cryptofinancial networks in a controlled and secure manner.