FinTech for Breakfast (38)
Held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
With support from Dentons
Jemima Kelly (FT Alphaville)
Louise Beaumont (techUK)
Dylan Bourguignon (So-Sure)
What’s up this month? At the time of writing, there is much concern about “peak smartphone”, about the knock-on effect of a slowdown in China, about Huawei’s alleged transgressions, and about a so-called “techlash”. At the same time, a (very) cursory trawl through the recent press presents a more positive picture. In particular, I note:
that VC-backed FinTech firms are said to have raised almost US$40 billion globally last year, up 120% from 2017;
the increasing commercialisation of AI applications, not least in healthcare;
the announcement that the Chinese tech sector has already created one hundred “unicorns”, led by Ant Financial but including such newbies as ByteDance, Douyin and Meicai;
the latest Blockchain hype over Vakt, a new platform for trading Brent that was initially set up by BP, Shell and Equinor; and so on…
That said, there is, no doubt, more concern about the future – particularly given the increasing threat of regulation and more and more talk (not least in the FT) about an imminent bursting of the “tech bubble”.
So, lots to talk about – with Jemima Kelly, FT Alphaville’s techno-realist, as our principal guide. This month, she has two heavyweight minders to keep her on track:
Louise Beaumont is co-chair of the Open Banking & Payments Working Group at techUK, but she is a lot more than that. For a sector as new as FinTech, she is a veteran. Her portfolio includes a new AI platform (Signoi), Open Banking & Payments (Pay.UK, Yapily, Funding Options, Bottomline) and… podcasting (Message Heard). Plus, she has a doctorate in semiotics (whatever that is).
Dylan Bourguignon is the founder and CEO of So-Sure – which is one of the most promising of our insurtech fledglings. He is also a co-founder of Insurtech UK, an association of tech-based insurance of CEO’s in the UK. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in private equity and cofounded Growth 365 for Grant Thornton. He is a Harvard MBA, with a masters in aeronautical engineering – and a very grandes ecoles background in France.
Good stuff. If you (or a colleague) would like to join us for a review of what has been going on in the FinTech sector, and what is likely to come up in the next month or so, please let us know by emailing email@example.com or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056.* As usual, thanks to Dentons’ hospitality, there will be tea, coffee and buns.
*We will try to circulate a rough agenda ahead of time. If there is anything you feel we ought to be covering, please email Oliver Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.