Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Nordics Are Ramping Up Their Fintech Ecosystems With Three New Innovation Hubs

Via Business Insider:

After London, the Nordics are Europe's second hotspot for fintech. The first innovation wave produced success stories like Klarna and iZettle in Sweden; MobilePay in Denmark, and Holvi in Finland.

The next wave is well underway, as one in ten investments in the Nordics go to fintech startups, according to TechCrunch.

Sweden is the leader, having attracted almost a fifth of European fintech investment in 2015. It is now on track for another record year.

Now, Nordic fintech entrepreneurs are getting dedicated physical facilities to match this success.

2017 will see New dedicated Fintech hubs in Stockholm and Copenhagen; in addition to a corporate-sponsored accelerator in Oslo.

These initiatives follow the trend that bigger Fintech hubs like London, Singapore and New York have set with their numerous fintech incubators, often in partnership with leading banks, insurers and investors.

The new Nordic hubs and accelerators should help early stage startups in The Nordics get mentoring, networks and access to partners. Most of the Fintech investments in the Nordics are indeed in the smaller $1-3 million range, according to Neil Murray of The Nordic Web. He told TechCrunch:

"[..] Despite the increasing amount of investment, the ecosystem is still at a fairly early-stage and the Nordics potential to be a fintech hub is still in its infancy”.

Here are the new Nordic hubs.

Stockholm FinTech Hub KPMG announced last week it will launch Sweden's first physical platform for fintech innovation. Other partners include NFT Ventures, Invest Stockholm and venture capital firm BLC Advisors.

Stockholm FinTech Hub, launching in Q1 2017, is independent and not-for-profit. It will also host startups from the emerging InsurTech and RegTech areas, and bring together relevant actors within the financial sector, in order to boost innovation:

“Stockholm FinTech Hub will be an enabler and a vital link between startups, regulators and established financial institutions" said Matthew Argent, co-Founder of the Stockholm FinTech Hub and partner BLC Advisor, to Finextra.

Argent continued:

“The ecosystem of FinTech-startups and high growth companies in Sweden is one of the best in the world. But to keep the excellent standards up in a global market we need to evolve the support ecosystem that supports these companies".

Copenhagen Fintech Copenhagen is already a Fintech hotspot with its annual Money 20/20 conference, which gathers the world's leading investors and entrepreneurs. '

Now it has announced "the first fintech hub in the Nordics". The Copenhagen Fintech co-working space is a partnership between Financial Services Union Denmark, the City of Copenhagen and the Danish Bankers Association. Some 40 fintech entrepreneurs have already moved into the hub, according to Copenhagen Fintech. At the hub's launch, Copenhagen's mayor told about the city's ambitions to Computer Weekly:

“I want Copenhagen to be a city laboratory for designing and testing new technology”

Oslo: DNB NXT Accelerator Norway's biggest bank, DNB, is keen on following the Fintech boom. It recently joined forces with a local incubator, StartupLabs, to launch the "DNB NXT Accelerator", which incentivizes entrepreneurs to come up with solutions that the bank can use.

Other Norwegian developments: last month, a separate accelerator located outside Oslo, called Fintech Factory, just completed its first Fintech cohort.

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