On-demand insurance payments to blockchain invoicing: Meet the Barclays Winter startups

Earlier this month Barclays entered a commercial relationship with blockchain-based social payments service Circle, proving itself to be one of the more hands on traditional banks when it comes to supporting and working with the fintech startup space. That’s also exemplified by its Rise accelerator programme, which now operates in London, New York, Tel Aviv and Cape Town with Vilnius to follow. With the latest cohort of its London Rise accelerator graduating from the programme this week, here’s a run-down of the 10 companies in the batch.


AgentCASH – one stop shop for retailers

Founded by Sasa Sarunic and Ante Kotarac, this is a platform aimed at merchants to help them manage their retail business with seamless payments, inventory and accounting. The firm offers in-store point of sale hardware as well as digital selling options, aiming to straddle the increasingly blurred line between online and offline commerce.



Cuvva – insurance on demand

An investor on a panel during London Fintech Week last Autumn quipped that if you think the explosion around payment and financial technology startups has been big, “just wait” for insurance. It is therefore no surprise to see an insurance company in the cohort. Founded by James Billingham and Freddy Macnamara, Cuvva wants to make insurance more modular by letting customers insure a car by the hour. Listing use cases such as wanting borrow the family car or share a long drive with friends on a road trip highlights pain points where the traditional process of getting insured for a short space of time has been problematic, expensive and time-consuming.



Digiseq – make any wearable device a contactless payments device

Contactless payments is booming right now in markets like the UK. Driven by initiatives from stakeholders including the banks, retailers (and Transport for London in the capital) consumers are increasingly opting to tap their cards to pay for goods. Wearable devices are expected to play a central role in that future and Digiseq wants to make it possible to pick which device you pay with. The firm has developed MasterCard-approved technology that can enable things like watches, bracelets and key fobs make contactless payments. The startup is headed up by Terrie Smith, who previously worked at MasterCard, as CEO and CTO Colin Tanner.


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More to watch:

Forwardlane – personalised investment intelligence for wealth management.

The firm is tapping into the highly-buzzed investment analytics space, aiming its solution at financial advisors, fund managers and other accredited investors and using cognitive computing via IBM Watson plus risk analytics to deliver insights to its clients.

Helm Solutions – finding the holes in cybersecurity and compliance

Cyber security and compliance are two things companies cannot afford to ignore – especially in the finance world. The complexities, nuances and variation in regulation mean this is tough to stay on top of and that is where Helm comes in – giving companies instant visibility into the gaps in their defences.


Mark Labs – helping measure social impact

With pressure mounting on organisations, charities and corporates working in the social impact space to articulate where funding and investment is going, Mark Labs thinks it has the solution. The firm enables players in this space to capture and communicate the outcomes of their work.


Seldon – machine learning for enterprise

Machine learning and artificial intelligence promises to help companies get an edge on their competitors, but the practicalities of deploying , learning from and then implementing learnings remain challenging. Seldon aims to help big and small businesses use real time insights and predictions to win new customers and outstrip rivals.


Tallysticks – blockchain automated invoicing

Representing the blockchain space in the Rise cohort is Tallysticks. The firm is building a blockchain-based transaction network designed to automate invoicing and invoice financing.


Wala – community powered banking for emerging markets

Aiming to engage underbanked consumers in emerging markets through personal financial management and rewards, Wala is a community-powered digital banking platform.


Zighra – behavioural fraud analysis

Tapping into the hotly-buzzed behavioural analysis side of fraud analysis, Zighra wants to detect fraud by analysing a user’s biometric patterns and behaviour online.


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