The accelerator programme has been a success as all of the 10 teams have managed to conclude it in full strength. Five out of 10 participants launched their products on the market during the accelerator, and some of them already have first paying customers. It is a considerable achievement given the specific nature of fintech companies, such as licences, regulatory framework in various markets, payment service providers, etc. 3 teams pivoted, including the accelerator’s only start-up from Latvia – Motivio that not only rebranded, but radically changed their offering to custoemrs. One of the most experienced teams, JetBeep, which already had paying customers on the Ukrainian market when it enrolled the programme, managed to attract first international clients. Whereas the PayTipTop start-up demonstrated the fastest growth – they grew from idea to a technical product and first customers just in 3 months time, currently they have a cooperation project with the Tallinn Zoo and demand on their product exceeds supply.
“We’re pleased with results of the first Baltic fintech accelerator – it was a learning time not only for the start-ups in polishing their business ideas to perfection but also for us at the bank – in changing and expanding our boundaries to open up new opportunities for cooperation with fintech companies. I’m glad we managed to pull it off thanks to collective effort, as evident in the accelerator team results and the plans of the bank to cooperate with several of the participants whose business ideas ideally complement the financial service offering to our customers. The current home of the accelerator participants – the innovation space called DoBe located at the 5th floor of the Swedbank Headquarters – will continue to be available to start-ups in Latvia, offering free premises for businesses,” says Reinis Rubenis, CEO of Swedbank Latvia.
“Cooperation between large corporations and start-ups is often like a ticking bomb – the differences in mindset and culture are quite radical. We were well aware of this when we started cooperation with Swedbank, therefore we highly appreciate people from Swedbank being so forthcoming and engaged,, as well as being ready to significantly speed up internal processes. Even the beautiful DoBe office was created in a record-speed, demonstrating that the bank is capable of operating nearly in start-up mode. Of course, it will take time to see the accelerator’s business results, however, already now we can tell that the work of mentors has helped startups to fine-tune and validated their offer to customers, as well as achieve results in an extremely short timespan which normally would take at least a year or more.
The Wise Guys Fintech programme participants spent three months in a dynamic, learning-oriented environment growing their business, establishing contacts with banking experts from the Baltics and Sweden, as well as other world-class mentors. All in all, a total of 130 mentors worked with the new companies within the programme – 50 of them from Swedbank Group, 70 local and foreign experts, and 12 business coaches specializing in sales, presentation skills, pricing and other key business development areas. Also networking with investors and potential cooperation partners was an essential part of the acceleration. The start-ups also participated important technology events in the region, such as The Next Web in Amsterdam, Lattitude59 in Tallinn, Arctic 15 in Helsinki, and also presented their companies in Swedbank’s headquarters in Sweden.
About Wise Guys Fintech accelerator
The accelerator programme was active from 5 March to 7 June. The accelerator participant teams: CoinyPay(Ukraine), Currencii (Armenia), Fully Verified (Poland), JetBeep (Ukraine), Motivio (Latvia), PayQin (Sweden, France), PayTipTop (Estonia), Piggymind (Singapore), Trisbee (Czech Republic) and Sureberry (Ukraine).
Among the participants were also innovative start-ups willing to make use of the opportunities available through the Opening Banking platform. The accelerator participant ideas are focused on innovative financial solutions, such as for offering payment services through the Messenger, promoting money saving culture, streamlining currency exchange for businesses, providing video-based identification of customers, etc.
About signing up for DoBe Residence
DoBe is an innovation space in Swedbank Headquarters, created with the aim to support innovative projects and ideas. It is planned to provide active support for start-up teams in early stage of development, sharing valuable contacts, knowledge and office space, that way promoting development of innovative ideas and new players joining the start-up ecosystem.
Already from June, DoBe will offer free co-working premises for start-ups striving to develop their product or service. All interested parties who match the profile of a start-up are kindly invited to fill out the sign-up form by 22 June 2018 at ej.uz/swedbankdobe.