Octopus Labs has selected five businesses to join its new Fintech accelerator, which kicks off in October.
Over 80 applications were received to join the accelerator programme – with a shortlist invited to live pitch last week.
The panel of judges – which included ex-head of Google UK Dan Cobley, CEO of Dunelm John Browett and joint COO of St James’s Place Iain Rob Rayner – were looking for product-ready start-ups developing solutions specifically geared for financial advisers and their clients.
The successful teams will take part in a 12-week programme, which will see them given workspace in Octopus’s central London headquarters, and supported with top level mentoring from financial industry experts and successful entrepreneurs such as Nicole Anderson, CEO at FinTech Circle Innovate, Alan Chang, head of operations at Revolut, and Adam Price, founder of VouchedFor.
The start-ups, which Octopus may later invest in or ‘spin-in’ if successful, could also gain access to the company’s extensive distribution channel of over 3,500 financial advisers and 60,000 retail customers.
The selected businesses will be showcased publicly at a Demo Day in January. They are:
CityFALCON – a personalised financial news feed for non-institutional traders and investors, powered by machine learning and crowd-curation.
MOOLA – a low cost, high quality investing platform that allows anyone to save simply and invest wisely.
Squirrel – a financial wellbeing company that works in partnership with employers to empower employees to regain control of their financial lives.
Freetrade – a mobile app that lets people invest in the stock market commission-free and connects them with a network of professional independent advisers.
Advicefront – a support platform for IFAs, designed to give them a competitive edge while allowing average investors to access high quality advice.
Octopus Labs is a new part of the Octopus group. It is designed to create tech-enabled financial solutions fit for the mainstream market. While Octopus Ventures and Octopus Labs are separate teams, the five start-ups will have opportunities to harness insight and expertise from the Ventures team during their three-month stay at Octopus HQ.
Aggelos Mouzakitis, the accelerator’s programme director, says: “We launched the search for our start-ups just a few weeks ago, and have been truly overwhelmed by the number and standard of the applications we received in such a short time. Whittling the hopefuls down to our final five was no easy task, but I’m thrilled with the cohort that we’ll be welcoming to Octopus over the next few weeks. The quality of their ideas, and the potential they hold, is truly impressive.”
Dan Cobley, managing partner, FinTech at Blenheim Chalcot and former MD of Google UK, says: “The chosen start-ups stood out for their experienced, talented and ambitious teams, and for their simple yet powerful products, which hold the potential to add huge value in the marketplace. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for them as they begin their journey with Octopus.”