Nine teams selected for second “Wise Guys Fintech” accelerator in collaboration with Swedbank
On October 29, the leading B2B (business-to-business) accelerator Startup Wise Guys launched the second fintech startup accelerator program “Wise Guys Fintech” in collaboration with Swedbank. Compared to the first accelerator the interest in the program from the startups has doubled - around 200 applications were received. 9 strong teams have been selected in a tight competition, giving them the opportunity to develop their business idea in a three-month intensive program. Each team will receive an initial funding of up to 30,000 euros with the possibility of additional investment for further development of 200,000 euros.
The second accelerator brings together new entrepreneurs from 9 countries – Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ghana, USA and Italy. This time, with the selection of teams, the boundaries of fintech were expanded – enterprise ideas are no longer focused only on the area of payments, but cover a broader range of industries aimed at building financial platforms. The ideas of the participants of this acceleration are related to a wide range of industries - insurance, personnel management and labour, lending, regulation, investment, real estate and more. During the selection process of the strongest teams the focus was on the business idea and team potential.
The following teams will participate in the accelerator: 1) Partly (Latvia); 2) Lahdes (Latvia); 3) Iklim (Turkey); 4) Paylock (Ghana); 5) TradersAlloy (United Kingdom); 6) talent4gig (USA and Italy); 7) Ninja Lender (Ukraine); 8) Firstline.app (Russia); 9) Credit Click (Kazakhstan).
The acceleration program is comparable to a very intense business education. Within three months at Swedbank DoBe Innovation space with the help of international experts and mentors young entrepreneurs will review their business model, technology, product needs on the market, sales and marketing strategy and start attracting additional funding. In the fintech program, compared to the Startup Wise Guys B2B program, much more emphasis is put on specific industry regulations, legislation, and the selection of strong mentors in fintech and finance. In the last accelerator program, around 50 mentors from the Swedbank group were involved and international experts such as Johan Lorenzen, who led the Finnish fintech's sale of the startup “Holvi” to the BBVA International Banking Network.
"Riga continues to introduce itself as a fintech-friendly city where creative ideas grow. We are happy to host the second fintech accelerator in our capital, which will be held in cooperation with Swedbank. This will be a truly international program that gives participants the opportunity to learn from a global perspective, since participants will be from three different continents. In addition, the range of business ideas of these entrepreneurs is really wide – from escrow accounts to personnel management and real estate. Working with a new group entrepreneurs in the fintech area, Swedbank is expanding its boundaries, creating the opportunity to create new and exciting financial products and services that our customers can appreciate," emphasizes Reinis Rubenis, Head of Swedbank Latvia.
"As some of graduates of the first program were saying – this slightly extreme format of 3 month work has helped them move way faster and in a better direction of their business than they could on their own. So we are eager to welcome our newly selected fintech startups for the second round! Let's see, how fast and crazy their growth is going to be this time!” says Cristobal Alonso, CEO at Startup Wise Guys.
It should be noted that the accelerator program “Wise Guys Fintech” proved itself to be very successful in producing good results. Three startups from the previous accelerator program have already attracted investments for further development, including the Latvian HR technology company “Motivio” and video verification company "Fully Verified" from Poland, also many companies are currently in the negotiation process for future investments. Successful results are also seen in “PayQuin's” business, as their application for easier financial transactions, which started its operations already during the accelerator, has been used to make already more than 50,000 transactions.