Monday, 1 September 2014

Amoo proud to co-host a FinTech Pitching event at the BVI London Office

Introduction

Amoo is proud to have organised and co-hosted an exclusive FinTech focused Pitching Session at the British Virgin Islands London Office last Wednesday 27th of August. The day's programme was centred around three exceptional FinTech growth companies (FollowThatFund, Liquity & M-Changa) and a panel of credible investors and FinTech experts.

Our keynote speaker was Udayan Goyal, a keen proponent of technology driven reformation in banking and financial services, having completed over 200 deals in the financial technology space. The panel consisted of six industry experts, mostly investors, dedicated to startups and growth stage businesses:

Simon Taylor (@sytaylor), Barclays employee and FinTech enthusiast representing Barclays interest in the Barclays Techstars FinTech Accelerator

Jonathan Snade (@jonathansnade), a Partner at a leading city law firm Thomas Eggar LLP (@theTEchLawyer), specialising in M&A, disposals, venture capital and private equity investments

Linus Dahg (@LDahg), an Associate at Wellington Partners, an active investor, focusing on Technology and Life Sciences

Lisa Lambie, Managing Partner at Satatt Holdings International, a private Emerging Market investment holding firm with a strategic focus on Africa and the Caribbean

James Wallington (@jim_wallington), a Director of Private Equity at Babson Capital, responsible for investing in lower- to mid-market businesses in Europe and raising capital for private equity co-investments on a global basis

Simon Vandi (@SimonVandi), Director of Business Development at Amoo Venture Capital Advisory, with background in investment banking and a special interest in entrepreneurship in creative

Overall, the feedback on the event was very positive as the pitching companies received a thorough assessment of their business model.

FinTech Landscape

London has proven to be a fertile ground for the emergence and incubation of disruptive FinTech Startups. Access to new technology and talent and with dramatic changes in financial services has propelled the City of London to the forefront of the global FinTech arena. As the financial landscape is quickly moving from physical to digital disrupting the fundamental structures of finance, mainstream banks are also seeing the benefits of the prospering FinTech scene in London. Due to new regulation and capital constrains, banks are unable to handle full financial services together with the growing and evolving set of customer needs. The City is more innovation oriented than ever before. Good examples of this are mentoring programmes such as Barclays TechStars Accelerator, Level39 and Startupbootcamp. Backed initiatives such as these bring the power back to the consumer.

As Udayan Goyal, Founder and Managing Partner of Anthemis Group says: It is clear that the financial services market is being disrupted by a new wave of early stage companies forcing the incumbents to take notice of rapidly evolving business models and fostering a new age of coopertition between the early stage companies and the incumbents.


As a sector, FinTech is still in its early stages, leading to more first round investments than the global average. The risk profile of young FinTech companies is such that attracts only a fraction of the investors. Investors are usually faced with poorly articulated value proposition lacking proper market validation. The key to a prospering FinTech ecosystem is continuous education and building experience for both the entrepreneur and the investor.


The Pitching Session

The pithing session was conducted in front the panel members with each FinTech company presenting their business case followed by brief yet intense feedback and Q&A session. The three exceptional FinTech companies that were pitching:

1) Liquity – Presented by Barry Shrier (@Barry_LIQUITY). Liquity is an online marketplace, boosting liquidity in the £300 billion private company equity sector

2) FollowThatFund – Presented by Mehul Patel. FollowThatFund is an investment fund which leverages crowd sourcing

3) M-Changa – Presented by Kyai Mullei and David Mark. M-Changa is online mobile platform that facilitates family fundraising and transfer of money between people

The companies were being evaluated by the panel based on their presentation and the Q&A session. After concluding the pitching session the winning was announced: M-Changa. Although all FinTech companies were exceptional, M-Changa rose above the other due to quality of overall presentation and being the company to present the most novel and disruptive idea. Through Amoo’s partnerships, the prize for the winner, M-Changa is a free entry to the Financial Technology Trailblazers Awards (@techtrailblaze), and for Liquity and FollowThatFund a $50 discount on the entry fee.
The objective of the pitching session was to focus on quality over quantity and to stimulate constructive and value-adding discussions between the panel, entrepreneurs and the audience. The engagement levels were high, leaving the entrepreneurs with new ideas how grow their businesses.

Conclusion

At Amoo, we would like to thank the investors, the panel and the entrepreneurs for attending and making the event a success. A special thanks belongs to British Virgin Islands London Office for co-hosting the event and providing an exclusive venue for the special event.

Sources: Accenture, CB Insights, FinTech Pithing Event 27.08.2014 Panel Members and Audience

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