Jun 30, 2020

Top 10 venture capital firms: Anthemis

venture capital
Fintech
Matt High
2 min
London financial district
Having featured in our top 10 venture capital firms list in the June edition of FinTech magazine, we look more closely at Anthemis...

The financial services sector is synonymous with innovation and new, digital technologies. 

In recent years, fintechs, challenger and neobanks and tech-driven startups have disrupted the market, providing consumers with new ways to manage their financial lives and driving incumbents to innovate faster and more effectively. 

Tech, naturally, is the beating heart of the vast majority of these companies. But, so too is investment and support from venture capital (VC) firms. 

However, as well as investment and capital, these organisations help to provide a framework for innovation and talent and embody knowledge, a pioneering spirit and a supportive mentality.

Here, we take a closer look at Anthemis, a London-headquartered VC company dedicated to cultivating change in the financial services industry. 

Anthemis

Anthemis is built on a passion for emerging technology and values that inspire and drive its work. 

The business began working as Anthemis in 2010, continuing the work of founders Amy Nauiokas and Sean Park, who made their first seed investment in financial services startups in 2008. 

Park is an experienced entrepreneur and recognised thought leader in financial services having previously worked as a senior executive in capital markets and investment banking. 

Nuaiokas is a recognised leader in innovation, strategy and management in several industries and markets.

Since that first investment by the pair, the organisation has worked to create and nurture a fertile breeding ground for startups and entrepreneurs looking to innovate in, and disrupt, the financial services industry. 

Today, its efforts are focused on developing a unique and high value ecosystem within the sector, in particular investing in technology-driven organisations that are driving change.

In doing this, it explains, it aims to “reinvent finance for the information age by bringing together and investing in talented entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and change-agents in the world of finance.”

Invest

Anthemis describes itself as a ‘thesis-driven investor’. 

The business has a diversified portfolio of best-in-class, high-growth and digitally native financial services companies on a global basis.

It uses rigorous design thinking methods to build new, venture-backed businesses and its dedicated Venture Partnerships team works with companies that challenge the financial services status quo, including in new and emerging sub sectors like insurance. 

To date, Anthemis has invested in, and worked with, a host of innovators, including Atom Bank, Azimo, Currencycloud, Happy Money, Monese and Tide.

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Jun 10, 2021

FIVE things fintechs must do to keep investors onboard

Fintech
Investment
venturecapital
AI
Brandon Rembe, CPO, Envestnet...
5 min
Fintech innovations drew in first-time investors who reshaped the markets. What new advancements will help them continue their rise?

New investors flocked to the stock market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of investors said they had never had a brokerage or similar account before opening one in 2020.

Low or no-fee trading options have helped accelerate the trend – nearly half of new investors said they accessed their account primarily through a mobile app. As FinTechs, how do we create the trust needed to keep new investors in the market and create a fruitful customer experience for them?

The financial industry does a disservice to individual investors if we merely offer tools that focus on making money quickly, an approach that usually backfires. Instead, the surge of interest presents an enormous opportunity for those who want to help more consumers use financial technology to educate them on responsible spending, saving, and investing in order to achieve financial wellness current fintech tools have welcomed individual investors in the door.

Now, it’s time to focus on education and improving their experience going forward. There are several ways those of us in fintech can step up to shape the future of retail investing so that it works better for everyone, starting with the following areas.

Equal access to financial wellness education

Financial health should be available to everyone — but today, not everyone has the educational resources to achieve it. One study shows that only 3.9% of students from low-income schools were required to take a personal finance class. What they aren’t learning in school or from family members, fintech companies can provide on their platforms.

The companies should move from solely offering financial services to a more responsible model of education, advice, and prescriptive choices to help consumers develop better habits and make wiser financial decisions. Not only can they empower consumers and bridge historical wealth divides, but they can also stimulate growth by opening up new consumer segments.

More personalisation

Just as we’ve come to expect that our fitness routines are tailored to our individual bodies, we’re also ready for finance tools that go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions. But only six percent of financial institutions say they’re using the kind of technology that allows them to deliver a deeply personalized experience. Fintech tools need to reflect that financial success looks different for each of us.

For one consumer, it may mean providing guidance on how to pay off student loans early; for another, it may mean prescriptive actions that enable them to stick to a budget for the first time; for a third, it could look like prioritizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, so that her portfolio aligns with her political beliefs.

Now, we are seeing financial technology beginning to meet the demands of personalized finance in a substantial and meaningful way.

The rise of AI-Powered Advice

Big-picture advice and predictive guidance used to be a feature of high-end financial advisory firms — a perk only available to those who could afford it. But thanks to rapid advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), that kind of holistic advice is now more accessible than ever. AI-driven robo-advisors can parse many different streams of financial information, delivering customized answers to key questions: Is it time to buy a home, or is it smarter to keep renting? Can I afford to take out another student loan?

Intelligent connectivity powered by AI can anticipate consumers’ needs and next steps, making proactive suggestions that guide them along the path to financial wellbeing. Fintech companies can also help consumers identify when their financial picture becomes too complex for a robo-advisor, and help them find a human financial advisor to meet their needs. 

Focus on financial mental health

New investors are quickly finding that the market can be overwhelming. That’s not surprising, financial anxiety is common and studies show that financial stress can have an impact on mental health for some.

It’s not enough for fintech companies to give retail investors access; they also must provide the guidance and support that help consumers manage their financial well-being. Educational tools can ensure that consumers are well informed about their options.

Predictive analytics can anticipate consumers’ questions, serving them key information and insights before they ask. Features that emphasize a comprehensive notion of financial well-being, rather than short-term wins and losses, can also help ensure that consumers are keeping their eyes on the bigger picture.

Gamification for good

The surge of gamification apps has done an impressive job making investing as engaging as playing a video game or joining a social media platform.

Much of the current use of gamification emphasizes short-term thinking, but there’s also an opportunity to help consumers think more broadly about their overall financial picture. One example is peer benchmarking, a feature that enables help consumers to see how their financial habits compare to those of friends and fellow consumers.

Gamification can also be used to incentivize making smaller, smarter choices — for example, rewarding saving over making an impulse buy.

The future of fintech is about more than just broadening access to the markets. It’s about making sure more individuals have access to the tools that can help improve their financial well-being—in the ways that suit their own circumstances and needs. The potential to act within their own set of individual priorities, with their long-term financial wellness in mind is much more empowering to a consumer than simply relying on short-term, high-risk investments.

About the author: Brandon Rembe is CPO at Envestnet Yodlee. He has over 18 years of experience building high-growth technology, software, and information service companies, Brandon has worked across a broad spectrum of enterprises from early-stage ventures to global businesses.

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