During the London Tech Week in 2014 I attended fintech events for the first time. I remember the great atmosphere and entrepreneurial passion in the room combined with the excitement for an unknown but very promising future. There was something special. The future of FINTECH belongs to all of us both in developed countries and emerging markets.
I founded FINTECH Circle 2014 in London. After a long career in banking I decided to leave as I felt so passionate about this new emerging financial world order which we are all creating together. Banking colleagues often approached me wanting to invest in these new fintech startups and fintech founders asked me for advice in how to attract smart money, Angel investors who truly understand their fintech businesses and who can not only fund them but help them grow. I experienced how difficult it was for fintech firms to raise seed funding when Angel investors did not understand their sector well enough. Most of fintech is complex, thus deep domain expertise is very valuable and often hard to find among both private and institutional investors.
FINTECH Circle is Europe’s 1st Angel Network focused on fintech investments, our goal is to connect the best fintech startups with the best fintech Angels (private investors) and bring them together in person during regular Angel Network Evenings in London. During these evenings the top six fintech firms (which have passed our multi-stage selection process) are invited to present to our Angel investors, normally looking to raise up to £500,000 in equity capital.
In order to help create a fintech community for our entrepreneurs and investors we also set up the FINTECH Circle Linked In Group and Twitter account (@fintechcircle). Our group is growing rapidly since we launched in Oct 2014 and now has 5,000 members including many C-level executives across financial services, technology, telecoms and consulting firms who want to engage with and learn from fintech entrepreneurs globally.
”We advise established players and support their internal educational needs to enable their C-level executives, specialists and teams to truly understand fintech innovation…”
London FINTECH Tours
In addition we just launched London FINTECH Tours to invite international fintech firms to London’s fintech ecosystem. Here we introduce them to investors and business development opportunities and empower them with the knowledge and contacts to set up a business here. The next two day fintech tours are on the 14/15 Sept and the 19/20 November 2015.
The FINTECH Book
One of the first things I did when I left banking and wanted to learn more about the fintech sector, was to go to Amazon to buy a fintech book. I was surprised to find nothing, not a single book was available describing this new industry which in the UK generates more than £20 billion in annual revenues and which globally has seen an inflow of $12billion of investments in 2014. Therefore Janos Barberis, Founder of FINTECH Hong Kong and I decided to create our own book using the fintech principle of crowdsourcing. Our idea was to invite the best fintech thinkers globally, no matter if they come from a small fintech startup or a multi-billion pound bank or tech giant. Each contributor was invited to propose a teaser for a full article which would then be written if the fintech community voted for their content.
We did not know if we would attract 10 or 20 authors. A few months later we had almost 170 authors from 27 countries contributing about 190 articles on cutting edge fintech topics and disruptive technologies. Our fintech community helped us select the best abstracts from a diverse group of authors. Contributors range from established banks such as Citi and Lloyds to challenger banks such as Fidor and CheBanca. As well as from top consulting companies such as KPMG and PwC to specialist fintech research firms such as Banking Reports and Fintech Daily.
Thus The FINTECH Book, 1st crowd-sourced book on the global fintech sector will be published beginning of 2016. It contains the most holistic, cutting edge thinking globally to not only truly understand how the global fintech sector works today but to learn how it will revolutionise financial services in the next 10 years.
FINTECH Circle Innovate
To close our own “circle” we work closely with established financial services players who often are just realising the opportunities and challenges which fintech trends pose. The focus of FINTECH Circle Innovate is to accelerate innovation, connect ecosystems, and shape the new generation of financial services.
We also advise established players and support their internal educational needs to enable their C-level executives, specialists, and teams to truly understand fintech innovation, new business models and technologies, and decide on the best strategies for effective engagement.
FINTECH future belongs to all of us both in developed countries and emerging markets. Let’s together seize this enormous fintech opportunity – carpe diem, carpe fintech!
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Susanne Chishti CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe’s 1st Angel Network focused on fintech opportunities, Chairwoman of FINTECH Circle Innovate and Co-Founder of ”The FINTECH Book”. Selected as one of the 100 leading Women in FINTECH and top 15 FINTECH UK twitter influencers.