Feedback to BCR Ltd's announcement on Capability & Innovation Fund Pool D winners

Feedback to BCR Ltd's announcement on Capability & Innovation Fund Pool D winners

Daniel Meere

UK managing director at Axis Corporate

Views 691

Feedback to BCR Ltd's announcement on Capability & Innovation Fund Pool D winners

14.06.2019 12:30 pm

Pool D, which has been awarded ahead of Pool C, has been designed to promote fintechs relevant to small and medium sized businesses.  Those who missed out of the funding will be disappointed, but it is extremely encouraging to hear BCR Ltd chairman Godfrey Cromwell stating, 'There is a vibrant and varied fintech community across the UK and Europe and BCR received a diverse range of strong, ambitious and innovative applications. It was very difficult to get down to just five awardees – we could easily have awarded to many more.'

"This is a clear message for all fintechs which applied to continue with their expansion plans, building capabilities and development of their product roadmaps.  The commercialisation of fintech is not going away and Pool A and B winners are already scanning the market for fintech partnerships to help them serve the SME market through their funding awards or future expansion plans.

"All the winners will help businesses with their most pressing challenges and the funding has definitely served its purpose of injecting much needed competition into the market, with the incumbents looking to partner with fintechs or create their own solutions to serve their SME customers. We would also expect to see in the near future further commitments from the Government in boosting fintech funding, with alternative sources of financing and UK business exporting being high on their agenda in stimulating the economy.

"Turning to those securing funding from Pool D, they continue the ‘ecosystem’ approach set out by ClearBank in the Pool A announcements, aimed at connecting providers and providing elements of utility banking offering.  Fluidly, for example, aims to unlock financial data for SMEs and transform how businesses manage their finances, while bringing together the wider banking and fintech ecosystems.  This is welcome to the sector overall and is a positive step in enabling and commercialising innovative technology for use by banks in the delivery of their services to SMEs

"Funding Options is a complementary offering to the pending Pool C announcements, being an ‘alternative lender’ able to support SMEs even after traditional banks have said no. It has also made a commitment to support getting Open Banking on track for SMEs – something that has been a criticism of the CMA9 to date which, other than AIB, have yet to fully capitalise on this opportunity through use of APIs and making services and data available more widely.

"Codat capitalises on the need for integration and the challenges faced by banks in linking the new applications that they need with the legacy technology that they are saddled with. Specifically targeting the accounting packages, and the need for SMEs to connect these to their banking applications to enable more accurate credit scoring, better flow of information and more seamless business management, its solution has been welcomed by many banks as a core offering already.

"It will be interesting to see how the Pool A and B winners use the Pool D winners and bidders as part of their solutions. Every winner to date has committed to using solution partners to deliver their public commitments.  With five of the solution providers securing funding, as well as a large contingent of innovative solution providers who were not selected, we should see more partnerships being announced and more coordinated responses to addressing the SMEs’ key problem areas."

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