Barclays invests resources in Israel’s burgeoning FinTech scene

Tel Aviv beach

Barclays is launching a new physical and virtual space for the FinTech community in Tel Aviv next year that will also host the country’s first cohort of the Barclays Accelerator.

 

Rise

Rise is a network of physical spaces and a virtual global community designed to focus on the future of FinTech. The new site, which will open its doors in Tel Aviv in March 2016, has already had launches in London, Manchester and New York and the more recent announcement of Cape Town locations.

The Tel Aviv site will provide working space for innovative FinTech companies, which will include co-working environments, as well ass event and meeting rooms.

The new site, located on Ehad Ha’am Street, will also house Israel’s first Barclays Accelerator, a 13-week programme for FinTech and cyber security startups, run in partnership with Techstars.

“At Barclays we are actively embracing the opportunities and expertise of the startup ecosystem. With Rise and our Accelerator programme we are able to help translate emerging technologies into what could be the future of financial services. We’re excited about the prospect of tapping into Tel Aviv’s hot-bed of innovation, connecting some of the world’s most active innovators,” said Derek White, Barclays chief design and digital officer.

 

The Accelerator 

The accelerator will work with ten companies that specialise in FinTech and cyber security innovation and will provide them with the opportunity to network, as well as receive mentoring and development advice. There will also be a chance for the companies to spend part of the programme at other Barclays Accelerator global sites. wo prior cohorts have completed the programme in London, with a further one currently underway in New York.

Greg Rogers, Executive Director, Techstars said: “This Tel Aviv programme represents a milestone for us. Not only does it connect our partnership with Barclays across four continents, it is also the launch of Techstars in Israel. We are pleased to announce Liron Rose, a successful Israeli entrepreneur and investor, as Managing Director.”

Entrepreneurs and startup companies from around the world can apply for the Barclays Accelerator programme in Tel Aviv now at the Barclays accelerator website. Applications will close on 2 January 2016 with the programme beginning in March 2016. An external demo day, where the companies will be able to showcase their fintech and cyber security innovations, is scheduled for June 2016.

 

Israel’s FinTech scene

This year, serious attention has been shifted to Israel’s expanding financial technology scene. Visa Europe opened its innovation hub in Tel Aviv back in May and the country is reportedly home to 5000 startups, making it the region with the most startups per capita in the world.

Philippe Gelis, CEO of foreign exchange platform Kantox, believes Israel is on the right track. He told PaymentEye, “Israel has all the .ingredients needed to become a very relevant global fintech player. Knowledge, talent, network, regulation”.

He went on to say how the country has hundreds of startups and fast growing companies across all FinTech verticals, from payments to trading, from blockchain to anti-fraud technologies, which is why big players such as Visa and Barclays are drawn towards the region.

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