2 Irish start-ups win funding at European fintech accelerator

Two Irish start-ups Finclude and Pipit have won up to $65,000 in funding between them after being peer-selected at a major European fintech accelerator.

Dublin-based Finclude and Galway-based Pipit have won $45,000 and $20,000 respectively after taking part in Finance Forward Europe 2020.

Finance Forward Europe 2020 is an investment-readiness program that is a part of Finance Forward, a multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation and PayPal to support entrepreneurs on four continents who are building tech-enabled solutions to place-based challenges around financial health.

“European governments understand that digital products are a necessary and timely solution to many of Europe’s most intractable problems, including financial health”

The five-week long virtual venture development programme is managed by Village Capital in collaboration with Metlife and PayPal.

The 10 entrepreneurs in the programme evaluated each other through an investor lens, using eight specific investment criteria that leverage Village Capital’s Abaca Pathway.

Most investment-ready

Credit Stretcher and Finclude were ranked “most investment-ready.” The two companies are focused on the following:

  • CreditStretcher (Copenhagen, Denmark) is building a solution that will enable SMEs to grow by providing fair access to credit through upfront financing on invoices to the small and medium businesses, and extending interest-free credit for up to 90 days to the buyer.
  • Finclude (Dublin, Ireland) provides a pan-European creditworthiness and affordability score, enabling financial institutions and individuals to universally assess the financial standing of a user by utilizing transactional behavior analysis and machine learning, on top of open banking APIs.

Three further companies, Vested Impact, Libeen Smart Housing and Pipit, who ranked 3-5 in the peer review process, will receive $20,000 in funding from the MetLife Foundation. These three companies are focused on the following:

  • Vested (London, England) is an impact investing platform that employs a proprietary algorithm to assess and track the impact of an investment to enable people to invest their money in companies and assets that have the biggest positive impact on society.
  • Libeen #SmartHousing (Madrid, Spain) enables individuals, regardless of income level or savings, to access affordable homeownership through a simple, smart and flexible rent-to-buy lease format.
  • Pipit (Galway, Ireland) enables migrants living in Europe to send cross-border payments in cash to pay family members’ bills more affordably, while controlling how the money is being spent. 

The remaining companies in the Finance Forward Europe 2020 cohort were:

  • Elifinity (London, England)  is solving the problem of financial vulnerability in the UK and abroad through an AI-driven platform that connects with an individual’s data in a secure way to predict current and future financial challenges. 
  • FinMarie (Berlin, Germany) empowers women to achieve financial independence by offering one-stop financial advice and a cost-effective investment solution. The solution provides an online investment platform that uses robo advisor tools, and offers education about money and investing through one on one mentor sessions and social media workshops.
  • Portabl (London, England) provides flexible insurance, benefits and financial packages to address systemic issues that freelancers and gig-economy workers face globally. 
  • TellJO (Brighton, England) TellJO’s customer wellbeing assessment empowers social landlords,  utilities and financial institutions to better understand and serve vulnerable customers.
  • Worig (Zagreb, Croatia) is building a solution for tenants to simplify access to the housing market by removing the high costs and risks associated with renting a new home.

“The Next Generation EU (NGEU) coronavirus recovery plan shows that European governments understand that digital products are a necessary and timely solution to many of Europe’s most intractable problems, including financial health,” said Marta Zaccagnini, Program Manager for Village Capital Europe.

“Here at Village Capital we are proud to be working with early-stage startups such as CreditStretcher, who are providing fair access to credit to small business owners, and Finclude, whose pan-European creditworthiness product is poised to relieve a major pain point for Europeans, which disproportionately affects economic migrants working in other EU countries.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 30 October, 2020