Fintech in booming in Ireland as the country shows itself to be a key industry hub in the wake of Brexit, with favourable government initiatives and strategies, and it will be the home of MoneyConf this 2018.
From the 11th to the 13th of June in Dublin will be held the world’s fastest-growing fintech event, MoneyConf. It was born from the creators of WebSummit and it’s the place where the world’s biggest banks and tech firms meet, as BBC says. I will be there and through CamiSiri‘s eyes, I will show you the best of this conference. But, first of all, let’s discover how is the fintech ecosystem right now in Ireland because it seems is on fire!
Fintech is booming in Ireland
In front of the fintech world leader (as we use to say) the UK, Ireland is showing itself to be a key industry hub in the wake of Brexit, with favourable government initiatives and strategies, a large network of powerful accelerators and the all-important convergence of banks and disruptors to aid its financial dominance.
The Deloitte’s Global Fintech Hub Report for 2017 suggests Dublin as one of Europe’s fintech hubs with the highest potential, citing the city’s large pool of fund managers, and its high concentration of startups working in regtech.
For some time, Dublin has been a hub for American financial firms to base themselves for their European operations. Following Brexit, Dublin is even better positioned to fulfil this status, and the fintech community will be looking to join this focus
Where incumbents meet disruptors
In this post, I’m not going deep into government initiatives (It needs a different focus and if you are interested, I am going to write down too), but concerning fintech accelerators, we have the main 3 ones: National Digital Research Centre, MasterCard StartPath programme and Accenture Innovation Labs.
During these years we have seen also the example of Ulster Bank, a traditional institution that has looked collaborate with the disruptor community, by basing its innovation solution team at the startup hub Dogpatch Labs. Moreover, Deloitte opened an EMEA Financial Services Blockchain Lab. So we can see an environment that seems really cooperative.
A growing fintech startup ecosystem
Focusing on the fintech startup scene, I would like to start with this map (updated at 16 March 2018) made by Fintech Ireland, that promote, support and facilitate of the Irish fintech scene. It was founded by Peter Oakes to help make Ireland a global hub for fintech. Since then Peter has been joined by Dave Anderson, Peter O’Halloran and Alex Lee.
According to Fintech Ireland, there are about 140 fintech companies in Ireland, but there are some names that you should know.
AID:Tech is a platform to tailor enterprise level solutions for aid and social welfare programmes. It uses a voucher system with unique IDs for refugees to receive aid using blockchain technology. It was founded in 2016 by Joseph Thompson and Niall Dennehy
AQMetrics is a compliance and risk management software for asset managers and investment managers. Data management, risk profiling and monitoring, compliance workflows and reports are all available in its cloud-based solutions, and the emerging directives of MAD II, MiFID II and AIFM Directives are supported with global regulatory reporting. It was founded in 2012 by Geraldine Gibson.
CheckVentory was established to give credit managers of capital asset floorplans the tools to quickly, accurately and easily conduct frequent audits of inventory located across multiple sites. The dashboard management enables managers to easily identify and verify the locations of all funded capital assets under their control. They can quickly react to missing or sold assets to take the necessary steps for cash collection of recovery. CheckVentory has raised €550,000 in funding so far.
Circle is A P2P payments app, backed by $136 million from large investors including Goldman Sachs, Accel and IDG China. It was founded in 2013 by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville.
Corlytics is a risk-focused financial intelligence technology company that works in partnership with regulators and financial institutions globally. It analyzes enforcement data and other important regulatory information. This helps all stakeholders achieve better regulatory planning and execution, by providing evidence-based intelligence.
Ding claims to be the world’s largest mobile top-up network, safely delivering a top-up every second of every day. The company is directly connected to over 400 operators in 130 countries with a reach of 4 billion phones. Top-up can be sent via the website, using the mobile app and in more than 600,000 retail locations globally.
Founded in 2009, Fenergo is a provider of client onboarding lifecycle management software for corporate, investment and private banks, serving 17 of the top 50 banks in the world. It is one of the most well-funded fintech companies in Ireland, raising a total of US$80.4 million in funding so far.
Flender is a peer-to-peer finance platform which helps people borrow and lend money via their social circles while allowing businesses to raise funds through their own customers. Flender leverages existing connections in order to increase trust between borrowers and lenders, lowering default rates.
Founded in 2013, Future finance allows undergraduate and postgraduate students to obtain loans in Europe, valued between £2,000 to £40,000 which can be repaid over a period of up to 5 years. Funds are released within 24 hours. The funding arrangement assists students in paying for tuition and living expenses. As Leveris and Plynk, Future finance is ones of the Irish fintechs figuring into Fintech 100 2017 edition by KPMG.
Gecko Governance is a regtech blockchain solution that allows fund manager and banks to easily monitor and manage their regulation and compliance requirements. The platform allows clients to schedule all their end-to-end compliance and regulatory tasks and provides a verifiable independent audit trail of compliance to satisfy global financial regulators.
Grid Finance provides an online platform of modern financial products for both individuals and businesses. The Grid family includes Grid Business, a small business capital platform where Irish SMEs can undertake a financial health-check of their business and access finance for their working capital, growth and expansion needs, and Grid Wealth, an investment platform for individuals.
ID-Pal is a KYC solution for client onboarding. Through ID-Pal, businesses can verify the identity of clients quickly and easily. The ID-Pal smartphone app provides a simple, secure and convenient alternative to manually processing your client’s ID information, saving companies time and providing an enhanced onboarding experience.
Leveris offer a completely modern, modular, non-legacy, SaaS banking platform that is specifically architected to address the key challenges facing financial institutions today. The platform contains a full service, end-to-end digital retail bank and a full-spectrum lending solution. It has been designed as a cost-effective, flexible and quick-to-market platform for traditional banks, challenger banks, or any consumer brand who wants to enter the banking and lending space. It figures between the Emerging stars in the KPMG Fintech 100 2017 report.
Linked Finance is one of Ireland’s leading peer-to-peer lending platforms. It connects local businesses who need loans with a vibrant online lending community. The platform counts over 18,000 registered lenders who have lent more than €53 million to 1,400+ Irish businesses. Linked Finance has raised €4.5 million in funding so far.
Founded in 2015, Plynk has developed a money messenger app that lets users make peer-to-peer payments to their friends and relatives instantly and for free. Like Fenergo, Plynk is also one of the most well-funded fintech startups in Ireland, raising last year €25 million in a Series A fundraising round – one of the largest Series A in Irish history. The fundraising brought Plynk’s total funding amount to date to €25.7 million. Plynk is one of the Emerging stars from the KPMG Fintech 100 2017.
TransferMate Global Payments
TransferMate Global Payments is an award-winning fintech startup specializing in global remittances and cross-border payments for businesses. It has raised €30 million in funding in November 2017.
This quite long list of 16 startups is not obviously exhaustive, considering all the companies that you can see on the map above. It’s made by consulting the Fintech 100 (2017 edition) report by KPMG, The FinTech20 Ireland (2017 edition) list; it also comes from FintechCH, and finally from my personal taste.
If I made some mistake or I have forgotten someone important, please let me know and I am going to correct. I do not pretend to be an evangelist of the Irish fintech scene but I am looking forward to discovering more, especially thanks to MoneConf, coming this June.
Bu don’t worry you will see more related posts, especially to MoneyConf, starting from the guide and tips & tricks for joining this amazing conference (As I always used to do for WebSummit)