Latest cohort

Scots fintech firms join TechNation programme

Vicky Brock: ‘this could be transformational’

Three Scottish fintech companies have been accepted for the latest Tech Nation programme, offering advice and insight from global entrepreneurs and investors.

Aveni, Squarebook and Vistalworks will be among 31 tech companies that have been selected to join the Fintech Cohort 3.0.

The cohort includes companies from across the fintech sector; operating in areas such as: insurance, regtech, open banking and digital ID.

This year’s cohort features a high proportion of insurtechs, at 20%; with this being the first year that insurtech companies qualified for the programme. It reflects the strong growth of insurtech as a sub-segment of fintech in recent years. 

The six-month fintech programme is tailor-made to support founders and the wider leadership team for UK fintechs.

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It consists of insights sessions delivered by some of the most established fintech entrepreneurs, investors and partners, covering topics such as sales, partnerships with incumbents and expanding internationally and to give companies and founders the tools and knowledge they need to scale.

Most (60%) of companies joining the programme are from outside of London, highlighting the strength of fintech hubs across the UK and the maturity of the fintech sector outside of traditional financial services centres. On average the companies have raised £3.3m and employ 18 people.

Aveni, Edinburgh, assists and enhances client interactions for the financial services industry through its proprietary pipeline of Natural Language Processing (NLP) which automates processes direct from the customer’s voice. Joseph Twigg, CEO, comments: “Tech Nation is one of the most recognised and prestigious accelerators in the UK and have helped thousands of companies develop and grow their business, we are excited to learn from this experience.”

SquareBook, Edinburgh, reduces the costs of an IPO to the company raising capital, removing the barriers that deter companies from raising capital on regulated markets. Joe Sluys, Founder & CEO, comments: “It is a privilege to learn that the Tech Nation judging panel recognises Squarebook as one of the most exciting names in Fintech. We are enormously excited about having this opportunity to work alongside the Tech Nation team in order to achieve our objective of bringing innovation to the equity IPO process. We are confident we will deliver huge benefits to growth companies and their investors.”

Vistalworks, Glasgow, identifies illegal products and their sellers, who openly operate online, and can warn consumers of potential harm before they buy. It also provides law enforcement agencies and regulators with essential intelligence.Vicky Brock, CEO, comments: “The UK is the world’s leading Fintech market, and this is its most prestigious Fintech programme. The opportunity to participate will measurably accelerate our growth and scale as we evolve into a new market. The relationships we make with potential partners, clients and mentors could be transformational for our future success.”

New data reveals that the UK continues to lead Europe for fintech VC investment. This year, $2.5bn has been invested in UK fintech companies so far, with investment levels peaking in July 2020 ($1bn).


By comparison, German fintechs have raised $1.09bn and Swedish fintechs have raised $1.06bn this year to date. The UK also leads Europe for fintech unicorns, with 22 fintech unicorns, compared to six in the Netherlands, four in Sweden, three in France and three in Germany. 

Liam Gray, Fintech lead, Tech Nation said: “The UK fintech ecosystem is truly world leading and its strength is clearly demonstrated by the calibre of companies on this year’s Tech Nation Fintech programme.

“Our third cohort will officially introduce insurtechs to the programme, a sub-segment of fintech that has matured significantly in recent years. This cohort will also be the most geographically diverse group of fintechs we’ve ever had, with 60% located outside of London, highlighting the growing prevalence of regional fintech hubs.”

Tech Nation received 143 applications for the programme, the most ever received and up by almost 20% from last year.

Judges, mentors and advisors include many of the leading figures in the fintech sector: Catherine Wines, co-founder, WorldRemit; Richard Theo, founder & CEO, Wealthify and Lou Smith, CDO, Lloyd’s.

Tech Nation’s fintech programme has supported many of the UK’s leading fintech companies, including Kani, Credit Kudos, Funding Options, Sustainably, Good Box and Primary Bid. 

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