The End Of The Inaugural FinTech Wales Foundry Accelerator
30 September, 2021
Our First Foundry accelerator programme, created in partnership with Admiral Pioneer, Principality Building Society, and Cardiff Capital Region, completed the 2021 programme at its Demo Day event held on 29th September at Tramshed Tech.
Watch our YouTube Video documenting the night below:
Highlights from this year’s programme include:
- Eight ventures accelerated with a combined market size of £2.5 billion
- Twelve new senior roles being created in Wales, twenty hires during Foundry
- A fundraising pipeline of £9 million generated with VCs & angels
- A strategic partnership announced between Principality & Sero
Iain Mansfield, Chief Operating Officer at Principality Building Society: “We’re proud to be a founding member of the Fintech Wales Foundry and it’s been great to be involved with the first cohort, seeing them progress and continue to grow their companies and thinking. The Fintech ecosystem is growing rapidly here in Wales, with Fintech Wales and the Foundry at the centre of this. We’re excited to see more Fintechs start and scale in Wales, working with them and learning from them as we embrace digital at the heart of our business. Having selected Sero into the programme, we’ve worked with them over the past three months, understanding how we can support our members to reduce the carbon footprint of their homes. We look forward to seeing this partnership develop.”
Featuring a cohort of eight ventures – Wagonex, Zing Cover, Sero, Yimba, Voltric, ShipShape, Laytrip and Viaduct – the 12 week, no equity programme took founders and their teams on a ‘whistlestop tour’ of the Welsh FinTech ecosystem. Through this, the cohort were connected with more than 42 supporting organisations and 111 seasoned mentors from business, venture capital, academia and the public sector.
Toby Kernon, CEO of Wagonex: “The Foundry accelerator programme seems to have flown by in a nanosecond. An intense, informative and exciting experience that has helped open doors, raise investment and seed the beginnings of long-term partnerships with some very well established companies. Our new friends at FinTech Wales have put in an incredible effort, we were delighted to be part of the first cohort and I would thoroughly recommend applying to the next one.”
Over the course of the programme the ventures in the inaugural cohort – selected from over 150 applicants across 27 countries – have participated in a meet and greet with Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP, a private pitching event with regional investors, and attended over 30 bespoke workshops from the likes of EY, Microsoft, IBM, Confused.com, Stripe, Capital Law and the Welsh Government designed to support the ventures in their business development, marketing and fundraising.
Under the banner of ‘Scale In Wales’ the FinTech Wales Foundry negotiated north of £400,000 in tangible credits from multiple big tech providers for each of the ventures in the cohort. Founders could also draw upon a range of intangible perks, including the use of free office space at locations around Wales and office hours from multiple legal experts and technology specialists.
Matt Nunney, CTO of Zing Cover: “We hoped that joining the FinTech Wales Foundry would provide us with some support to accelerate our journey to becoming a fully-fledged, scalable consumer insurance platform. It’s safe to say that the Foundry has met these expectations and so much more. Through leveraging the ready and open access to market leading companies and pioneering business leaders we’ve further developed our tech and insurance stacks, built out our partnership pipeline and expanded our team and advisory network to help progress our next fundraise. Scaling in Wales has been an absolute pleasure – many thanks to the entire FinTech Wales Foundry team, we look forward to continuing our journey with you into the future!”
In total, the FinTech Wales Foundry facilitated 130 introductions to various key stakeholders in the ecosystem and helped to elevate the status of the companies in the cohort, resulting in two ventures closing their fundraising rounds and others securing term sheets of various sizes during the course of the programme.
Julian Mensah, CEO of Voltric: “Being part of the Foundry has added to our credibility which has opened incredible opportunities for us. From securing further investment to new partnerships, the welsh ecosystem has been very welcoming and we are looking forward to our continued relationship with FinTech Wales.”
Half the ventures in the inaugural cohort have announced expansion plans with new positions opening over the next few months as they continue to explore multiple commercial opportunities with various Foundry partners.
Daniel Sawko, CEO of ShipShape said: “Being part of the Fintech Wales Foundry has enabled us to forge a new path for our business. Our trajectory has been elevated, we’ve secured investment, we’re approaching £1m in commercial pipeline from basically £0 at the start of the Foundry, we’ve been unlocked from numerous inhibiting factors. We’ve leveraged the brilliant networks and we’ve taken inspiration from some of the most influential technology business leaders. My recommendation is this, if you want to grow your business, choose to start it in Wales, and choose to scale in Wales.”