PwC unveils scale-up scheme for fintech firms

Big Four auditor teams up with strategic advisory firm and US investment house to give UK fintech trailblazers a boost

PwC has formally launched its initiative to help UK fintech start-ups drive up their scale, encouraging them to blossom into serious industry contenders.

In a 2 November statement, the auditor revealed that its partners on the Scale FinTech scheme will be strategic advisory firm CO:CUBED – which helps corporates to collaborate with start-ups – along with US-based investment house Pine Brook.

As The Treasurer reported in August, the fintech-focused scheme is part of a wide-ranging PwC effort to promote start-up growth across the UK in a number of domains and regions.

Scale FinTech has already selected an initial cohort of beneficiary start-ups, with many of their business models likely to appeal to professionals working in the overlap between corporates and financial institutions.

Such examples include:

  • Akoni A digital treasury manager that ensures maximum returns through a suite of cash management and cash portability tools;
  • Funding Options A platform that enables SMEs to rapidly find sources of finance by matching client requirements with more than 50 different lenders;
  • HighSide A service that slashes risks associated with cybercrime, data breaches, customer attrition, shadow IT, reputational damage and financial loss by securing file-sharing systems and internal communications;
  • Neotas Sets new standards for due diligence with its military-grade intelligence tools, designed to probe the full range of an organisation’s digital activities, such as social media and deep- or dark-web usage – along with legal records and international media coverage; and
  • Neuroprofiler Addresses a host of KYC challenges by helping financial institutions improve assessments of their clients’ risk profiles.

PwC digital private business leader Nigel Howlett said: “We’re bringing together fast-growing and ambitious scale-ups with some of the world’s biggest brands in a dynamic environment, which allows both sides to learn from each other to build commercial opportunities.

“With our huge network and specialist skills, PwC is ideally placed to do this and we’re helping break down the barriers that can prevent collaboration even getting off the ground, whether that’s because of the inexperience of start-ups or the complexity of big financial institutions.”

CO:CUBED CEO Jeremy Basset noted: “With more than 14,000 fintechs around the world, it's start-ups that are inventing the future of the financial services industry.

“We're passionate about helping start-ups to scale up through connecting them to global banks, industry experts and leading venture funds.”

He added: “We’re excited to be partnering with PwC and Pine Brook on Scale FinTech, providing opportunities for many of our corporate partners to gain exposure to leading start-ups from across the UK and Europe.”

Nick Krenteras – MD of Pine Brook’s financial services team – commented: “Through a decade of investing in both established and start-up financial services businesses, we at Pine Brook have a deep understanding of the industry’s technology needs as well as the business model and operational acumen that are critical for commercial success.

“Fintech is intensely competitive, and it is very rewarding for us to leverage our experience to help the next great technology come to market.”

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