From time travel to big data, the WIRED Money startup stage welcomed some of the fastest growing fintech companies in the industry who are changing the way businesses and consumers interact with their money.
Eight companies pitched to a panel of three judges, EY’s head of fintech, Imran Gulamhuseinwala, LocalGlobe Partner Tara Reeves, and WIRED senior editor Rowland Manthorpe. The winner, mobile wallet platform CURVE, revealed they had incorporated time travel into their product. “I’ve seen a quite a lot of innovative products and I’ve not seen anything quite like that before,” Gulamhuseinwala said.
Meet the companies who pitched on the day.
Winner of the startup stage Curve, started out in 2015 to cut out the noise and disconnection in the banking landscape. The digital wallet platform is designed to connect all of a person’s financial services into a single go-to place online, which is accessed with a Mastercard. It allows you to spend, see, and save money all in the one place without opening a bank account. CEO Shachar Bialick impressed judges by revealing a new service to be rolled out in the next few weeks. “We’ve identified that users sometimes don’t have the right card with them or sometimes not the right amount of money in their account so they’re using very expensive cards,” Bialick said. “But with Curve you can basically go back in time.” Pay with the Curve card anywhere in the world and within 14 days, if you change your mind, you can change the card which was charged, even after the purchase has been made.
Finimize has grown an online community of 100,000 people. Each day, members receive a newsletter that digests the biggest finance stories of the day and why they should matter to them. Now, the founder Max Rofagha is helping millennials get their financial lives on track my creating a Finimize MyLife platform that creates comprehensive, personalised financial plans in three minutes, free of charge. “We feel there’s a big demand in people wanting to enhance their financial literacy,” Rofagha told the startup stage. “There’s 86 percent of millennials who save each month but keep 50 percent assets in cash no way to get financial advice.” Finimize was chosen among the top three startups of the day by the panel.
AgentCASH is an enterprise grade omnichannel platform that enables SMEs to sell and manage their products on multiple channels in real time. It works with brick and mortar stores using the mobile app, on their website using their payment form, and through marketplaces such as Amazon. Co-founder Ante Kotarac told the startup stage “We are not an e-commerce platform like Shopify, we are not a payment solution like PayPal, we are a platform that ties all of your payments, all of your inventories together so you can manage all of them from a single backend interface. So far we have 500 merchants using our platform and they’ve processed over two million payments.” AgentCASH was within the top three startups chosen by the panel.
Crowdsurfer brings big-data engineering expertise to crowd and peer finance to help the world understand where funds are flowing to. Already, it has unified more than a billion data points from hundreds of platforms worldwide to create the world’s first crowd finance-analytics. CEO Emily Mackay told the startup stage that socialised finance, the sharing economy, the API economy, big data and big revenue, and artificial intelligence underpinned the company’s visions. “Going through incredibly messy data and popping out something useful, we’re already the biggest data provider in this space,” she said. “It’s about a different way for people to connect around the world.”
Reposit was developed by its CEO Curran McKay as a faster, more affordable alternative to the £3.5 billion tenancy deposit system. The company’s mission is to ensure the rental market is more affordable for tenants while also providing enhanced security to landlords and letting agents. The platform allows the process to be done online, landlords can filter tenants as they apply and if they default, the landlord’s money is safe. “In the long term we’ll use the data we collect to build a rich insight of the tenants behaviour throughout their life,” McKay told the startup stage.
Lendr uses artificial intelligence to act as a reverse auction platform for mortgages. It replaces the lengthy and expensive process for borrowers and lenders, providing advice, digital identity and information services to streamline onboarding and a way for applicants to receive the best offer. “A third of home buyers can’t get a mortgage offer to go to because of issues applying to finance,” CEO Linda Wang told the startup stage. “It’s not fun for lenders either, it’s slow and it’s really hard to give your best price if you can’t understand the risk.” She said over 35 percent of the UK lending market is working with them to pilot the program, which is launching this summer.
Co-founder of Capitalise Paul Surtees has built technology that enables SMEs and their advisors to find, compare and select the best lenders available to them – allowing them to access the funding available. The platform matches SMEs with lenders, who are ranked based on their past successes. Surtees told the startup stage that “SMEs will typically limit their access to finance, they’ll leave only seven days to get the funds they need, spend less than one hour researching,and they’ll apply to one lender.” Capitalise is a technology solution going into these practices that is helping them and enabling them to transition their businesses through to the right lenders. The startup is already working with one percent of accounting businesses in the United Kingdom.
London-based Paybase rolls an end-to-end solution for payments, compliance and risk into one unified API. The platform is designed for marketplaces such as the sharing economy or crowdfunding sites, as well as fintech apps and products that have complex payment processes. CEO Anna Tsyupko says e-money lends itself to support peer to peer transactions so her company’s mission is to democratise access to payments infrastructure by removing preventative cost and knowledge barriers so customers can focus on the core of their business. “You don’t need to be a payments expert to run a fintech,” Tsyupko said.