London is at the epicentre of a boom in technology firms that will create an additional 46,000 jobs over the next ten years. FinTech companies in Shoreditch’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ and Level 39 in Canary Wharf are fast becoming the places to work for financial technologists.
Techies who would have previously been happy to draw a salary from large investment banks are increasingly embracing entrepreneurialism, vying for the attention of firms by creating products that can remove some of the IT leg-work, or provide solutions to financial services organisations that they would have previously had to develop in-house. Here, in no particular order, are eight emerging fintech start-ups, which are worth keeping an eye on.
Cyber-security is a big concern for financial services organisations, which leave an ever-larger digital footprint as they embrace big data and utilise a greater array of technological devices. Digital Shadows, which has been hiring, attempts to detect potential security breaches as they occur, says CEO Alastair Paterson.
An amazing-sounding use of artificial intelligence aimed at allowing financial services organisations to field queries from employees or customers without actually using a person to answer them. Designed to avoid help desks or call centres, the technology can instead supposedly answer thousands of questions simultaneously, giving tailored responses. Targeted at investment banks, corporate banks and retail banks, FinGenius also joined up with Accenture earlier this year.
Apps built by third-party developers that are then deployed to traders across the world, the idea being that they then put it together to create their ideal trading platform. Tradable was up by former banking technologist Jannick Malling in 2012, and has been expanding over the past two years.
Set up by a trio of senior quants, technologists and equity strategists from Goldman Sachs, UBS and Schroders, the idea behind Derivatec is to provide easily consumable data for the derivatives industry using cloud-based technology via Microsoft Azure.
The perhaps unexciting concept of matching and negotiating master agreements for trading over-the-counter derivatives and commodities via a cloud-based platform is nonetheless generating a buzz and is attempting to attract banks and energy companies.
Seeking to provide some clarity through the fog of noise created by social media, news outlets and blogs to provide real-time data-points to help investment professionals with their trading decisions. Targeted at equity researchers, hedge funds and asset managers.
On an expansionary mission since receiving $15m in funding from ICAP’s investment vehicle Euclid Opportunities in 2012, OpenGamma offers an open source risk analytics programme to handle data management and other technical issues for both the front office and risk managers. Has been expanding in New York and London, hiring from investment banks, and even has the occasional Hawaiian shirt day…
Considering the fact that banks have been accused of irresponsible lending over the past few years, particularly in the build up to the financial crisis, Aire is aiming to change the way people are assessed on their credit score. An algorithm has been developed not just to assess people’s past financial obligations, but also softer aspects like their “character” and ability to handle credit. This means people with a ‘thin’ file aren’t immediately rejected. Sounds slightly odd, but intriguing.