FinTech Wales Foundry, the flagship accelerator program created by FinTech Wales, has completed its 2022 programme with a pledge to create, between them, more than £70million in revenue, and create more than 100 jobs in Wales, over the next three years.
Sponsored by Principality Building Society, Admiral Money, and supported by Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, the accelerator programme offered places to eight start-up businesses from across the UK and Europe. The Foundry is a 12-week no equity programme backed by FinTech Wales and is the only accelerator of its kind in the country.
Thanks to the lifting of covid restrictions the program ran its second season in person, with engaging fireside chats with world-renowned entrepreneurs, and support to help founders validate their early-stage ideas, raise investment and create a plan to scale. This occurred only six months after the previous programme
Over 150 companies from across the UK and Europe applied to take part in 2022, of which eight companies were invited to take part in the programme, entitled The Foundry: Validate Raise & Scale.
Those companies are:
- TropoGo — Building Google Maps between 30ft to 3000Ft for Low Altitude Aerial Mobility and Insurance.
- QuoteOnSite – QuoteOnSite is a cloud-based platform that saves SME’s time and money by automating the process of creating, sending, tracking and analysing their quotes, proposals, contracts and other digital documents.
- Yacooba – Mixing blockchain ticketing protocol with a one-click-buy travel marketplace to generate more revenue for promoters and rewards for audiences.
- Finalrentals – Powering local car rental companies to unlock the power of internet with online bookings, insurance, ePayments, and an international voice (adtech meets fintech).
- BOMADU – Helping first-time buyers finance property deposits in an innovative way.
- AGAM – AI powered credit-scoring platform connecting customers to banks for accessing instant credit.
- Cufflink – helping businesses limit the likelihood, impacts and costs of a personal data breach.
- EverKnock – A concierge to manage every aspect of your home-buying journey.
This year’s programme officially concluded on May 4 at a showcase event held at Techniquest in Cardiff Bay. All four of the non-Welsh start-ups, including businesses from Portugal and Poland, have now registered a presence in Wales and will be creating jobs here.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said, “I’m delighted to see the second successful cohort of fintech startups graduating from the FinTech Wales Foundry.
“Fintech is a fast-growing innovative sector and one that has a prosperous future in Wales, creating economic value and high-quality, rewarding job opportunities.
“Earlier this year I was fortunate to meet some of this cohort on a trade mission to Dubai and I learnt first-hand the growth aspirations of these start-ups, including through export markets.
“I would like to thank FinTech Wales for providing expertise and support to this vibrant cluster, tirelessly promoting their members both in Wales, across the UK and on the global stage.”
Neil Cocker, programme director of the 2022 FinTech Wales Foundry, commented, “This year’s cohort represents some of the most forward-thinking start-ups in areas such as data security, blockchain and insurance.
“It’s been incredible to work with such innovative companies that are really making strides in new and developing areas of fintech. It’s imperative that, for Wales to become a leading global fintech hub, that we are encouraging these innovative businesses to Scale in Wales and with even the international startups on the programme committed to relocating and growing their businesses in Wales, I feel like we’ve made real in-roads which can only lead to more success for this thriving sector in Wales.”
Last year’s cohort collectively raised more than £9million in investment and created over 20 jobs. Part of the 2021 cohort was Sero, a Cardiff-based energy technology and services company that has recently secured £5.5million investment from Hodge and Legal & General.
FinTech Wales, CEO, Sarah Williams-Gardener commented: “The work of the Foundry is fast-becoming a key part of our vision to establish Wales as a leading global hub for fintech. From the applications we receive from all over the world, to the eventual eight companies who make up the cohort, we get a snapshot into the talent that’s out there, and the innovations taking place in fintech.
“As the organisation championing fintech in Wales, we absolutely cannot let this talent go elsewhere and by encouraging these companies to not only stay in Wales, but also relocate, we are helping to create jobs, promoting innovation, showing that Wales is the place to scale if you are a burgeoning business in fintech. I could not be more proud of the work that the Foundry does and believe it represents a successful blueprint for any other Accelerator Programme, but we are leading the way in Wales.”
Department for International Trade’s Dealmaker for Wales and FinTech Wales Board Member, Eamon Tuhami comments, “The Foundry program has put Wales on the map with a globally recognised accelerator program which attracts international talent, boosts the ecosystem, and delivers real value. The keyword here is connection. Connection to investors, mentors, partners, talent, government, and other startups allows us to help create momentum allowing the cohort to validate, raise and scale their venture’s. Importantly we also support and connect those who do not make it on the programme with advice and mentorship.
“Personally, I am immensely proud to see new global startups come and establish their HQ here in Wales. It validates both the potential of Wales and the UK. I believe this is the start of something very special.”
Ammar Akhtar, founder and CEO at Finalrentals Group, one of the 2022 Foundry Cohort, said, “FinTech Wales Accelerator has been an eye-opening program for me, it is like you graduate as an entrepreneur from a program that is designed and delivered by the entrepreneurs for the entrepreneurs. It has also shown the potential of Wales’ fintech and tech ecosystem, and I believe there is no better place than Wales to set up Finalrentals Global HQ. Entrepreneur and startup friendly, buzzing with enthusiasm and technology innovation – Wales is the place to be. Thank you FinTech Wales for this amazing experience.”
Diogo Santos, co-founder and COO at Yacooba, said, “The Wales FinTech Foundry has helped us in deciding Wales as our global headquarters due to its positioning in supporting startups to scale, being part of the UK market, the largest in Europe in the event industry, and due to the UK having the most event travellers in Europe. The Cohort helped us polish certain aspects of how we present our company to investors and to consumers whilst giving us the chance to interact with great founders, mentors, and investors.”