A few weeks back I have mentioned about a small FinTech dinner I’m hosting. We have an impressive group of people who have expressed interest in joining. I have one more slot left, let me know if you want to join. The dinner will be in London, at some point in April (we’ll agree on the best date with the group).
I’m planning to host this every month so even if you can’t make April let me know and I will add you to the list.
Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!
By Anna Bennett
It’s no secret that fintech companies can easily get caught between a rock and a hard place when trying to grow their businesses. They know that getting their proposition into a bank is likely to be the only realistic way to achieve mass market scale and, crucially, deliver their backers the returns they expect on their investments. But they also won’t have to go far to find a fellow fintech with grisly war stories to tell about the bitter and brutal experience of trying to navigate a bank’s due diligence process, and demonstrate that they are fully compliant with all relevant regulations. Some fintechs have been broken entirely by the process, and plenty of others brought close to the brink. But why is the process such a nightmare and what practical steps can fintechs take in order to minimise the risks, maximising their chances of securing a business-defining deal with a bank?
The banker and the sour grapes
By Duena Blomstrom
Fintech these days has become like an immensely fast-paced game with absurd levels of difficulty thrown in for ever-diminishing (or at least largely unclear) pots of gold. No one has to bear the stress more than those working in large incumbent banks. I’ve said this many times before: no other industry behaves quite like ours, or has been affected by the sharp advent of technology and its effects on customer experience in quite the same fashion, so we’re experiencing unprecedented levels of discomfort in many ways irrespective what part of the industry we’re in. All of us – bankers new and old, technology makers and commentators – we are all impacted by this spectacular time in the growth of digital and the money retail business. There’s no time to complacently relax into anything – deep conceptual thinking is nearly banned if we wanted to keep up, there is definite uncertainty to accompany ever growing demands, and it feels like the more we learn and the more we try, the harder it is.
War of the words: who’s said what about a bitcoin fork?
By Alyssa Hertig, Stan Higgins & Garrett Keirns
Bitcoin is abuzz with chatter about the prospects of a possible network split, a development that could drive the emergence of two separate blockchains. It’s an eventuality that has businesses in the industry weighing in again on a long-standing impasse over the digital currency’s future direction. What’s more, the nature and tone of the scaling debate appears to have sharpened, driven by animosity between those who support one vision over another. As such, a range of bitcoin startups (exchanges, wallet providers, miners and hardware makers) have weighed in on where they stand on the issue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the preparation seen comes from companies that would find themselves in possession of handling two separate bitcoin assets on behalf of customers should the network split.
InsurTech industry has grown by 25%
By Igor Pesin
InsurTech is a relatively new industry. However, it’s developing quite fast and becoming one of the most booming verticals in the FinTech space. First of all, don’t pay too much attention to the 34% drop in the InsurTech market in 2016; it actually grew up by 25% considering the number of deals. The year 2015 showed an abnormal rise in the InsurTech market, which was mainly driven by Chinese large and extra-large deals, including $1B USD invested into the world’s largest InsurTech startup Zhong An. More and more investors are being attracted to InsurTech/HealthTech segment. It turns out that insurance companies are more active in InsurTech than banks used to be in FinTech; it seems that they have learned from the unsuccessful experience of the latter to not to resist changes or ignore them.
Also published on Medium.