8 hot Blockchain and FinTech start-ups SME Instrument supports

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Blockchain and FinTech are shaking the way the traditional financial sectors operate. By offering an effortless access to mobile payments, loans, money transfer, and fundraising, they make it easier to start and run a business.Here's a list of 8 hot FinTech and Blockchain companies the SME Instrument funds. 

According to Accenture, the value of global FinTech investment in 2015 grew by 75% to$ 22.3 billion clearly indicating where the next digital revolution is taking place. This list gives you an idea of the interesting businesses we fund in FinTech and Blockchain:

Signaturit solutions SL Spain Sign and certify your documents and digital communications
Signaturit is the first e-signature service that guarantees 100% legal validity in business digital transactions, minimises the risk of cybercrimes and drastically improves productivity. Adding advanced biometric and blockchain encryption tools to ensure an unreachable level of cyber security in e-mail transactions, while Smart contracts will ensure that productivity is optimised.
Signaturit received € 1.22 million under SME Instrument Phase 2.

Authenteq EHF Iceland Blockchain-based 100% automated Know Your Customer service

Authenteq has developed a smartphone-based 100% automated and tamper-proof online identity verification service (Authenteq ID) that uses multifactor biometric authentication, fitting the needs of online/mobile marketplaces, as well as other websites that require or benefit from ID verification such as betting, gaming or dating sites. Authenteq ID uniquely combines a smartphone app, where the end-user creates its certified ID by scanning its passport and taking a selfie, backend proprietary services that perform face match recognition, image analysis of ID security elements and third-party security checks, and Blockchain data storage for validation purposes (impossible to reverse-engineer and hack).

Authenteq got € 50.000 in funding under SME Instrument Phase 1.

Billon Warsaw Poland Secure, low-cost and simple bank-free payments

A distributed ledger technology for creating free current accounts enabling making ultra-low cost payments with real currencies (EUR, GBP, PLN) in a regulated manner. The disruptiveness of Billon arises from: (1) distributed architecture developed on blockchain by our specialists, (2) compliance with the EU regulations upon the agreements with banks and ongoing FCA Regulatory Sandbox in the UK. The project is addressing market segments of mass payouts for corporate customers and social & media online payments for online users.

Billon received € 1.96 million under SME Instrument Phase 2

I-MOVO Ltd United Kingdom International productisation of a disruptive digital vouchering technology

i-movo are a fintech SME commercialising a disruptive vouchering technology to solve problems for consumer-facing companies such as publishers, brand-owners, retailers and loyalty scheme operators. They need to send valuable offers, reward vouchers or make cash-payments to their readers, consumers, customers or members. Previously, they may have used paper vouchers, a century-old means of accomplishing this. These are prone to fraud and slow to process, meaning retailers who accept them must wait, sometimes over many months to be paid. Our technical solution- Secure Digital Vouchers- are a new financial services industry payment method that can be distributed using any digital format such as mobile phones, email or payment cards. They are validated in real-time to limit or prevent over-use, fraud or viral spread and give instant feedback on the success of any campaign or activity. They are more convenient for consumers, protect the financial risk of the issuer and ensure retailers get paid promptly. This has removed the last remaining technical barrier in the development of this market by developing a method of retail integration that requires no new software or hardware. The i-movo method uses Industry Standard payment messages so the system can be implemented anywhere in the world. To date, the company has processed over 17 million transactions, worth over €350 million at over 62,000 retail outlets and has managed over 1500 promotional and payment campaigns for over 270 customers.

I-movo received €50.000 funding under SME Instrument Phase 1

IXARIS TECHNOLOGIES Ltd United Kingdom Open Payments Eco-system 

The aim is to enable the widespread development of innovative payment applications with the active involvement of financial institutions (e.g. banks) providing supporting transaction services by creating an Open Payments Eco-system (OPE). The OPE is the critical step in widening access to payment services and to alternative, open, collaborative, lower cost methods of delivering payment applications to end users (particularly SME’s) who want to make use of payment services within their business. The Eco-system enables the SME developer community to provide creative new payment applications to the market and offers a high degree of re-use of common application components. OPE has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the current creation and delivery mechanisms for payment services, by providing for the low-cost creation of quality assured payment applications and the building and delivery of payment services, in a controlled and regulatory-compliant environment. Ixaris specialises in the development of innovative global applications based on open-loop prepaid card schemes and the OPE will add a unique infrastructure to its product portfolio.

Ixaris received €1.97 million under SME Instrument Phase 2

MONESE United Kingdom Instant accounts for mobile people

Monese has launched a prototype of a mobile-first banking service that validates customer’s identity fully online, enabling access to banking even for customers with poor credit history or no formal proof of address. Account opening takes place in real-time, enabling 3-3000x faster onboarding (3 minutes). Monese aims to provide local bank accounts across European Economic Area for a transparent low-cost fixed-fee pricing (4x less expensive). The service is currently launched only in UK and has attracted >6000 customers, with 60 000 people waiting to get access. MONESE project aims to scale up the technical capability of the service for reaching and being able to serve growing number of users – to increase the level of automation of user identification, scale up service architecture and introduce features required for EU-wide reach. Combining these innovations with business model innovation (fixed-fee pricing, streamlined value proposition, value chain deconstruction, focus on underserved people) enables to achieve EU-wide scale in a profitable manner. Improving the access to bank account services is becoming a primary policy objective, pushing the drive for new products and business models.

Monese received €1.13 million under SME Instrument Phase 2

ENSYGNIA United Kingdom Interact securely online, in-store, or on-the-go

Ensygnia’s progress so far has already been recognised within the mobile and payments industries: • Mobile Industry Awards: “Best Software Solution” – Ensygnia [June 2014] • UK winner in the “Innotribe start up” challenge 2014 organised by SWIFT – the banking industry group. We will now take part in the global Innotribe finals in Boston later this year • Voted by the audience at the Mobile World Congress as one of the top three companies most likely to have “the greatest impact on the global mobile industry over the next ten years” (March 2013).

Ensygnia received €2.5 million under SME Instrument Phase 2

PETAFUEL GMBH Germany One-size-fits-all mobile based solution for cashless payment for Europe

With VIMpay petaFuel develops a mobile based payment solution for European market entry. The product will enable all smart phone users to participate in cashless payments, consolidating both card based payments (contactless as well as contact-based) and SEPA payments. The main USPs of the products are (1) that it enables users to do payments without the need for a bank account and (2) does so in a secure and convenient way without (3) requiring additional payment infrastructure, i.e. it is based on open and already established standards.

PetaFuel received €1.65 million under SME Instrument Phase 2

Interested in more innovative start-ups funded under the SME Instrument? Check out our datahub.


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