22
Apr
2015
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6 Things Fintech Investors are Looking For

This post was already published with StartupBootCamp blog on Friday, 28 November 2014.

As we, the investor/partners, were brainstorming on the relative merits of our current crop of 10 startups at a day-long Startupbootcamp Fintech event in London, I kept thinking about how far these companies have come in such a short period of time.

As a VC, much of the enjoyment from my work comes from seeing great ideas and visions sprout into great companies. This is happening here in London, and Route 66 is proud to be a part of it. And now, I have yet another thing to be excited about, the coming launch of the Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore program (launching on Nov. 28th), which we are proudly investing in too for the next three years.

Time will tell what will we find in Singapore — a mobile app that will allow me to order cheaply, a new use case for crypto protocols, or maybe a novel approach to enabling banks to improve their operating model. Well, I will have to wait to find out, but in the meantime, I can share with you what we at Route 66 Ventures are looking for. My hope is that entrepreneurs and startups will pick up on my thoughts and either submit their applications to the Startupbootcamp London or Singapore programs or contact me directly.

So here it goes, a non-exhaustive stream of consciousness of what we at Route 66 are looking for presently in the fintech space:

  • Crypto business models that link a blockchain or a use case on a blockchain to the real world of banks, investors and the legal profession.
  • Crypto business models that enable smart contracts and smart property
  • Asset management business models that enable more efficient investing, buying or selling. On the retail side this means online wealth management platforms that have figured out a way to educate mass market consumers. On the institutional side this means alternative platforms that reduce the spread between buyers and sellers of certain asset classes (fixed income, private equity)
  • Insurance business models that either help carriers reach out to younger consumers or help carriers with claims management or help with certain policy classes (car insurance, home insurance, life insurance), either of which makes efficient use of big data.
  • Alternative lending business models with a novel credit or underwriting engine applied to consumers or SMEs in emerging markets
  • Technology platforms that enable banks to stay relevant – API banking, transaction connectivity with and for banks’ corporate clients, mobile payments, digital channels

A few characteristics we would want to see in any of these business models would be a mobile play, an Asian starting point as a go to market strategy with global applicability at a later stage. Let it also be known we are agnostic when it comes to horizontal innovation (incremental) vs vertical innovation (wholesale) as it all boils down to how big the opportunity is and how good the management team is at grabbing said opportunity. Finally, I would personally like to see a fine balance of startups that compete with financial institutions and ones that sell and enable financial institutions to stay relevant.

I certainly am looking forward to the next twelve months, the second cohort of the Startupbootcamp Fintech London program and the first cohort of the Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore program.

Have a look at the aftermovie of Startupbootcamp FinTech London Demo Day 2014!

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