05 April 2016

Ten fintech companies start first-ever Barclays Accelerator programme in Africa

Ten businesses, aiming to shape the future of financial services will begin their journey on a 13-week intensive startup programme in Cape Town today.

The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is an intensive startup programme of networking, mentoring and development, aimed at supporting breakthrough financial technology (fintech) innovations.

It is the first time that the programme is being run in Africa. More than 450 start-ups from over 45 countries applied for one of the ten places on the programme. The chosen fintech companies range from a solution empowering the financial literacy and inclusion of people with special needs, to one that allows governments to convert physical land titles to digital copies on an irrefutable platform secured on the Blockchain.

The Barclays Accelerator is one of several innovation initiatives delivered by Rise. Created by Barclays, Rise exists to offer the ultimate conditions for innovation and growth in financial services. The ten companies will be based at the Rise innovation hub in Cape Town, launched in December and provides the optimum environment to network with and learn from likeminded individuals.


“At Barclays Africa we recognise that to drive innovation within the bank, we also need to look outside the organisation and embrace the innovative start-up ecosystem. I am looking forward to working with these ten start-ups as we find increasingly innovative ways to help Africa prosper,” said Paul Nel, Head of Open Innovation at Barclays Africa.

"We are thrilled to be in partnership with Barclays Africa on this fintech accelerator, which represents Techstars' first foray into the African continent,” said Greg Rogers, Executive Director at Techstars.

“We firmly believe that some of the most disruptive technologies to financial services will come from African entrepreneurs as their thinking will not be trapped within the confines of legacy bank infrastructure and products. African entrepreneurs are literally reinventing banking for their communities, and Techstars and Barclays Africa are here to help them on that important journey," added Rogers.

The Barclays Accelerator programme will culminate in a Demo Day at the end of June where the companies will present their businesses to prospective investors.