Virtual reality and finance: Time for the innovators to go all out on FinTech as VC fund Accel Partners has $500 million to invest

London has rapidly become a global center for all things FinTech, transforming itself over the course of the last two years from the home of traditional banking giants into the plate glass, ultra-modern nerve center for technological innovation that it is today. In perhaps complete contrast, Israel has been a FinTech center for quite some […]

Virtual reality and finance

London has rapidly become a global center for all things FinTech, transforming itself over the course of the last two years from the home of traditional banking giants into the plate glass, ultra-modern nerve center for technological innovation that it is today.

In perhaps complete contrast, Israel has been a FinTech center for quite some time, however its rise to prominence has not shared ground with the traditional financial giants, instead having risen from incubators often operated in co-working spaces by clear-thinking technology wizards, with little or no resources.

In keeping with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s vision of turning London into a global FinTech powerhouse, and Israel’s will to keep pushing the technological boundaries, North American venture capital fund Accel Partners whose portfolio includes the early backing of Facebook, a recent investment in Deliveroo and Funding Circle, has now raised $500 million for a new fund to invest in startups across Europe and Israel.

FinTech features very high on the agenda

The last time Accel raised was in 2013 with a $475 million fund. Now, with the Accel London V fund, the VC firm’s total funds under management in Europe and Israel stands at $2.5 billion.

This time, the focus is on Northern Europe including UK and the Nordic countries, and Israel.

Consumer investments and enterprise software are high priorities for Accel Partners, however Accel Partners London senior executive Harry Nelis explained that alternative finance is one of “the big ones” when it comes to investment opportunities.

“And and that one is interesting for London because it has the highest concentration in the world of talent to make that work. We believe the financial services industry is ripe for disruption. And marketplaces, whether that’s financial services marketplaces or ride sharing” – Harry Nelis, Accel Partners.

Mr. Nelis concluded “Accel has already invested in its first artificial intelligence company, Lola Travel, a mobile travel agency founded by two former executive of travel website Kayak.”

When it comes to virtual reality, another hot tech trend this year, Mr. Nelis said Accel is still looking for the “right one”.

The landscape of the financial services sector is changing shape, and retail customers could very likely see some of the fruits of this investment within their reach very soon indeed.

 

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