Published in ProfitMag
FinTech Hive at DIFC, the first-of-its-kind accelerator in the region, concluded its inaugural cycle today with the much-anticipated Investor Day that saw the 11 programme start-ups present their products to a host of investors and industry experts. Regarded as the premier accelerator in the region, Fintech Hive at DIFC presents an important local platform that gives budding talent the tools needed to grow and succeed.
The event featured a keynote address by Maria G. Gotsch, President and CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City, where she spoke about the increasing relevance of technology to the development of the global financial sector. She said: “World-class accelerator programmes, like the FinTech Innovation Lab and FinTech Hive at DIFC, are narrowing the gap between innovative start-ups and leading financial institutions, and are in turn shifting the way we see and understand finance. A series of pitch presentations and fireside conversations followed through the day, concluding with a panel discussion on investment trends in FinTech and technology in the region. Launched in partnership with Accenture in January 2017, FinTech Hive at DIFC brought together 11 start-ups from around the world who have demonstrated a proof of concept in various FinTech fields, such as artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, the blockchain, payments, P2P and crowdfunding, and roboadvisors.
Smart Crowd, the winner of the Fintech category for Accenture Innovation Awards that took place at GITEX Technology Week was also given the chance to present at the Fintech Hive Investor Day along with the 11 start-ups. The 12-week curriculum allowed the programme SMEs to meet with executives from the accelerator’s financial institution partners – including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Network International, RAKBANK, Standard Chartered and Visa with the support of the strategic partners Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), International Finance Corporation and UAE Exchange in addition to the support of the partners covering the areas of Data & Technology, Digital, Legal Services, Talent, Brand Story and Lifestyle. Over the course of the day, the 11 finalists of FinTech Hive at DIFC, the region’s first accelerator, had the chance to promote the solutions and ideas they worked on during the 12 week programme to representatives from the accelerator’s financial institution partners and the wider investor community.
Bridg is a ground-breaking mobile payments platform that enables smartphones to process a transaction regardless of the financial instrument or the connectivity of the device. This technology gives the financial sector and large corporates access to the physical world with Bridg’s Software as a Service offering. Delio is a complete solution for private assets, helping financial institutions and their advisors enhance their offering through connecting private deal flow with high net worth and ultra-high net worth capital. Providing flexibility and control, Delio’s configurable technology platforms can connect together multiple institutions so deal flow can be shared both internally and externally, increasing scalability in a structured and compliant manner.
Maliyya aims to disrupt the financial and investment services industry by bringing together regional and global financiers and borrowers. Maliyya plans to use big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies to provide investors and borrowers with optimal solutions for investing or mobilising financing. Delivering the welcome remarks, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Office of DIFC Authority, said: “Building on our success as one of the world’s top ten financial centres, we began this year with the launch of a first-of-its-kind accelerator to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, as a key part of building a comprehensive FinTech ecosystem.
Share CreditCard is a mobile application that allows customers to share access to the money on their cards instead of making a money transfer. Semantify helps business users and data analysts interact with critical business data in ways that are natural to them using semantic and conversational interactions whilst leveraging the full power of sophisticated data analytics. Starling is an applied behavioural sciences start-up helping financial services firms to manage culture- and conduct-related risks and to optimize performance. Starling’s Predictive Behavioural Analytics technology combines machine learning, organizational network analytics, and behavioural science to uncover invisible systemic risk; identify opportunities for proactive risk mitigation; and to unlock avenues for improved sales and team performance dynamics.
ThemeChain is a Blockchain framework that provides a rapid adoption path to all participants in the supply chain & trade finance value chains including importers, exporters, banks, regulators, shipping agents and insurance companies. ThemeChain gives them instant visibility across the value chain in a trusted, immutable network dramatically reducing time and cost of transaction completion. ThemeChain is a start-up spun off in 2016 by Encore Theme Technologies, a leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) for trade finance and supply chain finance to leverage Blockchain technology based on their extensive domain expertise and system implementation experience.
In addition to Fintech Hive at DIFC, we will be running two new programmes, with a focus on RegTech and InsurTech, reinforcing our role in shaping the future of financial services for the MEASA region.” Smart Crowd envisions leveraging blockchain to revolutionize real estate investing by streamlining the process, enhancing the user experience, creating efficiencies in our cost model and more importantly increasing transparency and security for all stakeholders involved. Sushil Saluja, Senior Managing Director of Financial Services in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America at Accenture said: “Around the world, we have witnessed the exponential benefits that technology and innovation can bring to businesses and to society in general.