Dubai International Financial Centre, Mashreq Bank and norbloc to launch the region’s first production Blockchain Know Your Customer (KYC) data sharing consortium

Untitled design (5).png

Dubai, UAE, 31 July, 2019: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, together with Mashreq, a leading financial institution in the UAE, through its Corporate and Investment Banking Group, and norbloc, the leading Know Your Customer (KYC) and client onboarding fintech regionally headquartered in DIFC, announced today their strategic alliance to launch the region’s first production-ready blockchain KYC data sharing consortium in Q1 2020 to support businesses and Corporates in Dubai.

In line with the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021, the alliance entered into a MoU in January 2019 with the strategic intent to create a first-to-market platform serving banking sector clients in the UAE. This market-leading initiative will facilitate faster, more secure onboarding and exchange of supporting documentation via advanced distributed technologies, including blockchain. The Program also outlines the creation of a Consortium Agreement to govern the mutualization of KYC efforts among future participating banks, government bodies, financial institutions as well as other licensing authorities to subscribe to the platform.

The alliance under a Tripartite Agreement has determined the optimal business framework and technical architecture to support the requirements of registered companies, financial institutions and regulators alike following a thorough and joint ‘Proof of Concept’, with the intended results further validating the positive impact of such an ecosystem. As a result, norbloc’s enterprise-grade, blockchain-powered ecosystem will be the first in the region to enable secure, customer-controlled KYC data sharing, initially between DIFC and Mashreq Bank.

By Q1 2020, companies will be able to digitally create a single KYC record (which will be authenticated with electronic ID) to simultaneously share data with their various financial institutions. This will accelerate the time required to acquire a bank account number for newly registered companies and reduce the burdensome and costly requirements of managing KYC data for already registered companies. This is in stark contrast to the status quo, whereby multiple paper-based KYC files are redundantly originated and managed in silos.

While DIFC and Mashreq Bank will serve as inaugural members, the consortium will be open to all qualified financial institutions and licensing authorities. The future vision is for the consortium-run ecosystem to serve the greater good by improving the ease of doing business as well as uplifting customer due diligence standards in the UAE.

Particularly considering recent UAE Banks Federation (UBF) reports which have advocated for the exploration of blockchain to enhance KYC processes, there has already been strong interest in consortium membership and future members will be announced in the coming months.

Through the UAE Blockchain KYC Platform, DIFC and Mashreq Bank have further demonstrated their commitment and leadership to adopting innovative technology and engaging pioneering fintechs, such as norbloc, with the objectives of better serving their customers and satisfying their regulatory obligations.

H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreq Bank, said: “At Mashreq, we recognize that our corporate clients have a unique and diverse range of requirements. Therefore, a significant priority for us is to constantly tailor innovative and state-of-the-art solutions that match their specific demands. In this case, investing in blockchain technology will greatly improve the customer onboarding and compliance experience, making the entire process unified as well as hassle-free. Emerging technologies such as blockchain also represents significant opportunities for banks in the UAE and wider region to create new revenue streams, which will in turn drive sustained business growth over the long-term. We are excited to initiate this blockchain KYC consortium as a testament to Mashreq’s position as the most progressive bank in the region.”

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “By ensuring the consistent evolution of our world-class business environment and offering, the DIFC continues to reinforce its position as one of the most advanced financial centres in the world. This initiative provides a unique opportunity to harness innovative technology to deliver a seamless experience for both newly established and existing companies at the Centre. As we enter a new period of growth and expansion, DIFC is committed to shaping the future of finance in the MEASA region, and across the globe. It’s great to strengthen our relationship with our long-standing partners at Mashreq, while seeing norbloc, a FinTech firm that the DIFC has helped to accelerate in the region, become a true success story.”

Ahmed Abdelaal, Executive Vice President - Head of Corporate and Investment Group, Mashreq Bank: “As a leading digital bank in the UAE, Mashreq continues to identify commercial benefits for emerging technologies, specifically those that create efficiencies within our operations and enhance the banking experience for our customers. The KYC blockchain initiative exemplifies this strategy by leveraging technology that is secure, easy to integrate and automates the onboarding process for our corporate clients. A first for the region, the platform ensures the protection of customer data while offering them the convenience and flexibility of smart banking. With a launch planned for the first quarter of next year, we aim to successfully roll out this initiative to our business clients and explore the expansion of this initiative to additional segments, further building on our commitment to being the region’s most innovative bank.”

Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO of norbloc, said: “This announcement is truly a watershed moment. Our growing consortium will cultivate an ecosystem in the UAE that will set the global standard for how KYC data should be shared. It also serves as a testament to the vision of DIFC and Mashreq Bank in fostering innovation and partnership with fintech companies. Participation of such top-tier financial institutions and licensing authorities proves that all future stakeholders are able to benefit from FIDES, our blockchain KYC data sharing platform, at scale. The realization of this consortium is another real-world example of the fulfilment of norbloc’s mission: to provide customers full and streamlined control of their data, reduce costs for financial institutions and foster enhanced regulatory compliance.”

For more information, kindly visit: www.norbloc.com/uae-blockchain-kyc-platform

 

-Ends-

About Mashreq

One of the UAE’s best performing banks for five decades, Mashreq is a leading financial institution with an expanding footprint across the Middle East. We have international offices across Europe, Asia, Africa and the US, and a strong presence in all the financial capitals of the world.

 

As the oldest bank in the UAE, our 51-year old journey can be traced back to humble beginnings in 1967, followed by periods of rapid growth and strategic expansion. Throughout our history, Mashreq has differentiated itself by pioneering new-to-market concepts and launching unique products and services. 

 

Our innovative approach sets us truly apart. It also continues to win us numerous awards and accolades in all the fields of banking we operate in – Digital, Corporate, Retail, International, Treasury and Islamic, and across the multiple banking channels we deploy – mobile, digital, online, traditional and telephony. 

 

Mashreq is proud to be the only institution in the UAE to be awarded the Gallup Great Workplace Award for six consecutive years from 2014 to 2019.

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Rana AlBorno                                                  

Public Relations, Mashreq                                            

Tel: 04 –6083629                                             

Email: RanaAlb@mashreq.com

 

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of USD 7.7 trillion.

With a 15-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of more than 24,000 professionals working across over 2,100 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance. Today, it offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.

For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Manal Shaikh

Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

Senior Manager, Communications

Tel: +971 4 362 2453

E-mail: manal.shaikh@difc.ae

 

 

About norbloc:

Founded in 2016 and based in Stockholm, Sweden, norbloc builds secure platforms for digital Know Your Customer (KYC) onboarding and compliant KYC data sharing. Its flagship product, FIDES, utilizes advanced distributed technologies (such as blockchain) to allow Customers, Organizations and Regulators to securely share verified data and effectively collaborate on a comprehensive and compliant Single Version of Truth.

The team behind norbloc holds significant experience in blockchain technology development, financial services and consulting from companies such as UBS, Lehman Brothers, ING and McKinsey & Co. The company is a core member of and frequent contributor to the Hyperledger consortium and is regionally headquartered in Athens, Greece and Dubai, UAE.

In November 2018, norbloc was recognized by the RegTech 100 list as one of the most innovative companies in the regulatory technology space. In July 2019, norbloc announced a strategic alliance to provide the enterprise-grade technology powering the UAE Blockchain KYC Platform, the region’s first production blockchain KYC data sharing consortium.

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ian Norville                                           

Head of MENA, norbloc                                    

Tel: +971 50 808 4987                                      

Email: ian@norbloc.com

Microsoft ScaleUp Program selects Belgian Fintech startup Features Analytics

Features-Analytics.jpg

LONDON, June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Features Analytics  www.features-analytics.com a leading AI technology company servicing the financial industry, has been selected by Microsoft Scaleup to join its high-growth start-up programme which gives companies unique access to enterprise partners/customers and the ability to qualify to co-sell with Microsoft's sales force.

Features Analytics' unique trading surveillance platform for investment banking uses its eyeDES® technology to detect market abuse at any level by synthesising trading data to identify suspicious behaviour from normal activity. Organisations can catch unknown cases in human and algo-trading whilst reducing compliance costs and penalty risks, providing full auditability and traceability.

Cristina Soviany, CEO Features Analytics: "We're thrilled to have been selected by Microsoft as leading AI technology scaleup company, a fantastic opportunity to bring eyeDES® to Microsoft clients in the investment banking."

Features Analytics dynamically collects, structures and transforms trading data to extract intelligent insights which can spot even previously unknown violations without any rules or parameters being set.

Microsoft operates across the globe eight Scaleup programmes. In London it is based in the heart of London's digital quarter next to Shoreditch.

Andrew Macadam, MD Microsoft for Startups - Western Europe: "I am really excited about the progress and success of the startups that have leveraged the support that the Microsoft program has provided. Every cohort is bringing new dimensions and innovation on to the Azure platform and finding new ways to empower customers to achieve more."

About Features Analytics

Features Analytics is an AI technology and solution provider for investment banking, market infrastructures and other financial organizations. With principles originated in cancer detection, the company developed eyeDES® - a Surveillance platform for detection of market abuse in Equities, FX and other instruments, and transaction scoring for fraud detection and AML. In November 2018, Features Analytics was selected by M12 (Microsoft Ventures) as one of the top Ten Women-led Companies transforming Enterprise Tech.

Contact   
Cristina Soviany
CEO
+32-472-067-891
info@features-analytics.com

SOURCE www.features-analytics.com

About B-Hive

B-Hive is a European collaborative innovation fintech platform that brings together major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players. Together, we work on common innovation programs and build bridges between our corporate partners and our start-up and scale-up community members. We aim to put Brussels on the map as the smart gateway to Europe and leverage on the opportunities offered by the digital transformation for the financial services industry. We believe that building bridges between important fintech hubs and the Eurozone enables both European and non-European companies to grow and expand.

From B-Hive member to Associate Partner

Logo_Thewave.jpg

Insurers: Stand strong against disruption with thewave

Insurtech specialist UnderCover changes name to thewave and becomes B-Hive Associate Partner

Brussels (Belgium), X June 2019 – Leuven based insurtech start-up UnderCover extends its scope and changes its name to thewave. With its new name comes a new mission: thewave will combine its profound expertise in insurance with a deep understanding of emerging technologies. The goal is to invent, build and integrate tailored digital solutions for the insurance sector.  “Thewave does not aim to disrupt the insurance sector, it wants to help it stand strong against disruption,” says Stephan Podevyn, CEO of thewave. The company also exchanges its B-Hive membership for an Associate Partnership.

Tailored digital solutions for the insurance sector

Thewave, subsidiary of insurance consultant Ensur, is a web platform for insurers. The platform allows them, based on a unique algorithm, to help their clients calculate to which extent their possessions are protected against different calamities.  

To be able to respond to the increasing technology related requests from clients, thewave now expands the scope of its activities. Moving forward, thewave will combine its profound expertise in insurance with a deep understanding of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Robotics, Connected Ecosystems, Reference Architecture, and Internet of Things. In doing so, thewave will help invent, build and integrate tailored digital solutions for the insurance sector.  

Thewave will now also focus on buying and configuring existing solutions, integrating partner solutions in client platforms and providing technical consulting, like functional analysis, architectural advice and IT project management. 

Stephan Podevyn, CEO of thewave and co-founder of Ensur: “Thewave does not aim to disrupt the insurance sector we love so much. We much rather help it stand strong against disruption.We strongly believe that the combination of the profound insurance knowledge present at Ensur, combined with the expertise in new technologies provided by our partners, will be a recipe for success.”

From B-Hive member to Associate Partner

Thewave has been an active member of the B-Hive community since 2017. Given the fact that the extended scope and the technology focus have a great coherence with the mission of B-Hive, thewave now joins B-Hive as an Associate Partner.

Raf De Kimpe, Director Business Development and Ecosystem at B-Hive: “B-Hive is excited to announce the collaboration with a new partner. While thewave started as a B-Hive member within the community, they are now extending their scope and leveraging the B-Hive ecosystem to help them along the way. Their growth from member to Associate Partner will allow them to engage with the B-Hive community on the next level. We’re very excited to have them on board!”

B-Hive and thewave will collaborate to introduce their new brand and extended scope in the market by connecting them to the insurance companies in the B-Hive Ecosystem. Thewave will participate in B-Hive programs and events such as the upcoming FIN AND TONIC on June 27th around insurtech.

About thewave

thewave is a Belgian insurtech company, subsidiary of insurance consultant Ensur.  Our mission is to combine Ensur’s profound business knowledge and our partners’ deep technology expertise to invent, build and integrate tailored digital solutions for our clients in the insurance sector. We also provide technology related consulting and project management services, thus helping our clients stand strong, and even get stronger, in a sector facing disruption.

About B-Hive

B-Hive is a European collaborative innovation fintech platform that brings together major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players. Together, we work on common innovation programs and build bridges between our corporate partners and our start-up and scale-up community members. We aim to put Brussels on the map as the smart gateway to Europe and leverage on the opportunities offered by the digital transformation for the financial services industry. We believe that building bridges between important fintech hubs and the Eurozone enables both European and non-European companies to grow and expand.

Yields.io and Argenta Partnership

Yields-argenta-partnership.png

Argenta, a bank and insurance company for families, serving 1,75 million clients in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg partnered with Yields.io to use its AI-driven model risk management platform. This solution will enable Argenta to manage the entire life cycle of models including data validation, performance measurements and benchmarking, using state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence algorithms.

Argenta selected Yields.io after a review of available solution providers active in this space. Yields.io was selected because of its flexibility and customizability, which allows Argenta to integrate the platform in its model risk management framework. “We believe AI will change the way we work dramatically. By using Yields we invest in this change, the AI platform will enhance the efficiency and capability of the Validation department in performing robust validations” states Delphine Draelants Manager Validation & Model Risk Management at Argenta. “We are proud to work together with Argenta since the risk management team really embraces innovation and new technologies. Thanks to their strategic decision to take full ownership of the model risk management process, they make a perfect client” adds Jos Gheerardyn, CEO and co-founder of Yields.io. After a successful pilot, the institution selected the SaaS offering. Training of the team as well as support to bring the first models onto the platform was accomplished in a matter of weeks, on schedule and within budget.

This partnership will allow Argenta to be at the forefront of the European market in the use of Artificial Intelligence in the Risk Management practice.

Antwerp - Brussels (May 23, 2019)

Yields.io

Parvis Sainte-Gudule 5, Brussels

Tel. +32 479 527 261

Email: info@yields.io

Get to Know the B-Hive Community #6 - Contract.fit

Contract.fit.png

In this edition of Get to Know the B-Hive Community, we are happy to introduce you our long standing member Contract.fit! See below a short interview with them and discover what makes them a one of a kind fintech.



How long have you been a B-Hive member?

Contract.fit has been an active member of B-Hive since the start of the company back in 2016. Our first office was in the same building as B-Hive in Diegem, now we are both based at co.station in Brussels.

A description of Contract.fit

Contract.fit is an Intelligent Automation Platform that allows companies to turn documents and emails into actionable data. Our self-learning technology is not programmed with a rule set but learns from examples, using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques. We are working on plenty of use cases in the financial services and insurance industries from email routing to invoice processing, claims process optimization, expense management, etc. with a wide range of companies, from enterprises to fintech startups.

What is Contract.fit working on right now? What products/services should the industry be aware of?

We recently launched a new version of our API that allows to process and automatically recognize and extract more fields from B2B and B2C invoices in the accounts payable use case.

Contract.fit's product can be used for several use cases like invoice processing, email routing, credit disbursement, credit application, claims handling, and many others.

For more details on our use cases, please visit our freshly launched website.

What does the future of Contract.fit look like?

The future of Contract.fit looks bright and challenging at the same time. There is a huge market opportunity, we have the right team and a unique product. But like every start-up, we are faced with common challenges in scaling our company, such as finding the right talent. We are always looking for motivated people to join our team. So if you’re looking for a new challenge, drop us an email and let’s talk!

A fun fact of Contract.fit

We speak as many languages as we have team members: Dutch, French, English, German, Castillan Spanish, Urdu, Panjabi, Mandarin Chinese, Catalan, Kosovar, Polish, Czech, Italian, Turkish and Portuguese.

Get to Know the B-Hive Community #5 - POM

POM visual.png

In our latest edition of Get to Know the B-Hive Community, we are happy to introduce you our member, POM and their Marketing & Communications Manager, Anthony de Bruyn ! See below a short interview with POM and discover what makes them a one of a kind fintech.



How long have you been a B-Hive member?

We’ve been a member of B-Hive from the very start – even before it was called B-Hive! We joined when B-Hive was Eggsplore. Over the years, we have participated in numerous B-Hive events, e.g. the FinTech Hackathon and the FinTech Scaleup Program in collaboration with Oracle. 

A description of POM 

POM optimizes the invoicing process for both sides of the market: billers and customers. POM’s invoice payment services allow companies – large and small – to both significantly lower their collection costs and speed up receivables. At the same time their customers are able to enjoy POM’s superior payment experience in a multichannel environment (across e-mail, mobile, messaging and paper).

POM’s customer base contains - among others - energy companies (EDF Luminus, OCTA+, ...), social insurance funds (Xerius, Liantis, Group S, ...), insurers (DAS), accountancy firms, government institutions (City of Antwerp), ... but also hospitals, schools and sports clubs.

 

What is POM working on right now? What products/services should the industry be aware of?


Billers can drastically improve the invoice payment experience of their customers by adding a POM QR code to their paper invoices or a payment button to the invoices they send via email. Payment reminders via SMS include a unique POM payment link to quickly settle the bill.

If you pay through POM, copying payment data is a thing from the past as payment data are always pre-filled. You can pay easily by either scanning the QR code (simply with your smartphone camera, any QR reader app or the POM app) or clicking on the payment link in the email or message from your biller.

To pay, you can use trusted payment methods like Payconiq by Bancontact (available for 20 banks in Belgium), Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Klarna, … or schedule a one-time payment on due date via direct debit.

POM’s invoice payment services are available to billers of any size - regardless of existing e-invoicing initiatives. Next to direct connections to our platform, we also integrate our services with partners like document service providers, invoicing software, administration software, …

What does the future of POM look like?

We continue to invest in innovation in order to stay frontrunners in the field of invoice payments. At the end of February this year, we received an R&D grant from the Flemish government (VLAIO / Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen) to further improve our platform in terms of automation, UX, security and state-of-the-art payment technology.

Later this year, we’ll be launching a new & improved version of the POM app for professional users. It's the ultimate time saver for entrepreneurs to process, pay and store incoming invoices and to share them with their accountant. Feel free to get in touch with us to book a demo!

Looking a bit further into the future, it’s our ambition to deliver POM’s services on an international level. We have recently completed a market study to identify the top countries in Europe with the highest potential for POM to enter the market and we are now working on a detailed access strategy per country. Our international expansion project is co-funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme.

A fun fact of POM

Did you know POM stands for Peace Of Mind? It’s exactly that kind of sensation we are building into the invoice payment experience of our customers. Convenience is at the core of everything we build and bring to market. The entire team is driving forward our mission to eliminate time-consuming administrative work, and by doing so to create a more efficient, prosperous and happier society.

 

 

AI4Belgium Coalition wil kunstmatige intelligentie in België op de kaart zetten

Ministers De Croo en De Backer hebben, samen met een reeks experten, een strategie voorgesteld voor kunstmatige intelligentie in ons land. Er komt een nationale hub voor AI en een AI-onderzoekscentrum. (French version at the end of the article)

9878703.jpg

18 March 2019 - De 'AI4Belgium Coalition', onder leiding van technologiefederatie Agoria, de federale overheid (BoSa) en de drie regionale AI hubs (The Beacon in Vlaanderen, Digityser in Brussel en Réseau IA in Wallonië), heeft een nationale hub voor artificiële intelligentie aangekondigd. De AI-hub maakt deel uit van een plan dat vicepremier Alexander De Croo en minister van Digitale Agenda Philippe De Backer op de agenda van de volgende regering willen plaatsen. "AI zorgt voor veel vragen bij het Belgische publiek. Mensen zijn bang voor de impact ervan", aldus Alexander De Croo bij de voorstelling. "En AI zal een invloed hebben op jobs en hoe die in de toekomst worden georganiseerd. Ik denk persoonlijk niet dat dit jobs gaat kosten, wel integendeel, maar het is belangrijk hoe we daarnaar kijken. In mijn ogen is AI geen dreiging, maar is het een krachtig tool waar we gebruik van kunnen maken."

Die AI4Belgium Coalition is een uitloper van adviezen die een groep experten hebben gegeven om België klaar te stomen voor AI. "We zijn naar de experten gestapt, en hebben hen gevraagd wat er nodig is om een Belgische strategie te bouwen", zegt Phillippe De Backer. "Bedoeling is momentum te creëren om België op de kaart te zetten voor AI."

Vijf werkpunten

Dat momentum moet er komen met, onder meer, een 'new learning deal', een universeel opleidingsprogramma voor volwassenen en meer aandacht voor zowel digitale als menselijke vaardigheden voor de jongeren. "Vanuit onderwijsstandpunt moet er veel training gegeven worden. Daarvoor moeten fondsen worden vrijgegeven om de mensen die skills aan te leren. Verder moeten we ook onze kinderen voorbereiden en het curriculum aanpassen. Daarbij moeten we beginnen in lagere school", zegt Marc Lambotte van Agoria daarover.

Om een verantwoorde strategie te ontwikkelen is er dan weer nood aan een robuust en hedendaags wettelijk kader, ethische richtlijnen en transparantie. Mieke De Ketelaere, Ethical AI Evangelist bij SAS: "Als we projecten willen doen, hebben we een makkelijke toegang nodig tot open data, maar daarbij hebben we wel een verantwoordelijke strategie nodig rond die data. Privacy is en blijft een recht, en als we willen dat mensen deze technologie vertrouwen, dan moeten we hen bijvoorbeeld laten weten dat er oplossingen zijn die privacy met die data kunnen balanceren."

Om AI te demystificeren is er naast opleiding en projecten met een maatschappelijke impact bovendien ook nood aan meer samenwerking en toegang door AI via het opzetten van een nationale AI-hub. Er wordt onder meer gedacht aan ondersteuning voor die typische Belgische bedrijfsstructuur: kmo's. Zij kunnen wel wat hulp gebruiken bij het inzetten van, of bijleren over, kunstmatige intelligentie, zo klinkt het.

Het plan heeft ook de ambitie om België te positioneren als hét Europese onderzoekscentrum voor AI, door het opstarten van 'sandboxes' en grootschalige samenwerkingen met de academische wereld. Tot slot wordt gepleit om de overheidsdiensten meer ruimte te geven om te experimenteren met AI, onder meer door een rollend fonds voor innovatie, meer publiek-private partnerships en 'chief digital officers' voor de publieke organisaties, zo vat Fons Leroy, afgevaardigd bestuurder van de VDAB het samen.

Investeringen

Voor dat alles is natuurlijk wel geld nodig. De AI4Belgium Coalition meent dat er tot 2030 een investering van minstens één miljard euro nodig is om de doelstellingen te halen. Op de voorstelling werd ook de oprichting aangekondigd van het Capricorn Digital Growth Fund met een kapitaal van 100 miljoen euro. Tot slot kondigt ook de Vlaamse overheid investeringen aan, van zo'n 30 miljoen per jaar, te verdelen over onderzoekscentra en bestaande bedrijven.

VUB-rector Caroline Pauwels en Pieter De Leenheer, medeoprichter van Collibra, kondigen op het evenement bovendien hun plannen aan voor de oprichting van een gezamenlijk AI-onderzoekscentrum. Dit multidisciplinaire en interuniversitaire onderzoeksinstituut moet nauw samenwerken met de industrie. Op die manier moet het een verantwoordelijke en democratische toepassing van AI in de diverse geledingen van de samenleving aanmoedigen.

Het oprichten van een gemeenschappelijk onderzoekscentrum met Collibra dat zich toespitst op de volgende generatie AI-technologie maakt deel uit van het plan, stelde Pauwels. "Met dit initiatief om een AI-onderzoeksinstituut en een AI-belevings- en testcentrum op te richten met andere universiteiten, de strategische onderzoeksorganisatie imec, bedrijven en organisaties willen we een belangrijke bijdrage leveren tot de Belgische AI-strategie en mee van Brussel de hot-spot voor AI voor het algemeen belang maken. De eerste belangrijke stappen naar een open AI-samenwerkingsstructuur zijn gezet met het partnerschap met de Europese fintech hub B-Hive en de Belgische Unicorn Collibra", besluit de VUB-rector.

Original Source: link

French Original Source: link

Velocity & B-Hive partnership links Fintech hubs in pan-European collaboration

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-07 at 09.27.39.jpeg

06 March 2019 - The IA’s fintech innovation hub and accelerator, Velocity, and Brussels-based fintech ecosystem B-Hive have today signed a partnership designed to boost fintech innovation across the asset management industry by promoting pan-European collaboration. 

The partnership signed by Fabian Vandenreydt, Executive Chairman, B-Hive and Peter Harrison, Chair of the IA Board, signals a commitment to a closer relationship between the two organisations with the aim of building a strong international Fintech ecosystem.

As part of the agreement, Velocity and B-Hive will share knowledge and expertise on technology trends and work together on joint events and training, as well as tackling common innovation challenges.

 The partnership marks a key milestone in Velocity’s growing reach. From its official launch last October, Velocity has already become a leading centre of innovation for the asset management industry and wider buy-side, attracting more than 80 FinTech firms in the past six months, with five of these forming the first Velocity cohort within the accelerator program.
 

Alexander de Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister said: “I’m very pleased today to witness the Belgian FinTech hub B-Hive partner with the renowned accelerator Velocity. Both hubs' expertise in RegTech and WealthTech gives the European FinTech ecosystem yet another boost and strengthens the collaboration between Belgium and London based startups.”


Peter Harrison, Group Chief Executive, Schroders and Chair of the IA Board said: “I am delighted to announce this new partnership with B-Hive. Velocity has quickly established itself as the natural meeting point between cutting-edge FinTech companies and the asset management industry in the UK. The pan-European collaboration with B-Hive will open new avenues for furthering innovation, which will benefit our members and the savers and investors which our industry serves.” 

Fabian Vandenreydt, Executive Chairman, B-Hive said: "Our partnership with Velocity is a great representation of our main mission to build links between the major European fintech hubs. Velocity's expertise in the investment management innovation ecosystem space will be a valuable asset for the B-Hive community and we are thrilled to partner with them."

 

 

 

Get to Know the B-Hive Community #4 - Digiteal

Untitled design.png

In our latest edition of Get to Know the B-Hive Community, we are happy to introduce you our member, Digiteal and their Sales Manager Christian Bettendorf! See below a short interview with Digiteal and discover what makes them a one of a kind fintech.

How long have you been a B-Hive member?

  • Happy member since the end of 2016. We are often participating in Belgian and foreign B-Hive events and also recently joined the #trustedfintech program.

Digiteal in a nutshell

  • By making it accessible to secure money in Europe, Digiteal creates trust between a buyer and a seller. By optimizing invoice management and payment, Digiteal avoids the ecological waste of paper invoices and the inconvenience of email invoices. All this allows companies and individuals to have a positive impact on the environment and to spend their time to what is essential.

What is Digiteal working on right now? What products/services should the industry be aware of?

  • We have been promoting for years the use of the EPC standard payment QR code on paper bills and allow B2C organisations to accelerate their digitalization thanks to it. This thematic is becoming stronger every day so we invite them not to miss out on this. It’s good for their customers as for their accounting department!

  • Our trusted payment (B2C, C2C, etc.) is definitely something we’re working on as we solve several problems that often occur in a purchase-sale transaction between parties that don’t know each other. We are just launching a free period for transactions under 100 EUR. Test a Digitrust with a friend ;-)

  • Following our license as payment institution, our fresh TPP license (AIS & PIS) allows us to bring novelties to the market so this will take some time too!

What does the future of Digiteal look like?

  • It looks European and hectic! We are currently selecting foreign partners in order to allow other countries to benefit from our current solutions. In the mid-term, we want to become a major player on the EU e-invoicing market, especially as we pioneering in the PEPPOL standard adapted for the B2C. Becoming a European payment champion is also something we dream of. One step at a time! ;-)

A fun fact of you/or Digiteal

  • The “teal in Digiteal refers to the teal management (Reinventing Organizations by F. Laloux). We strongly believe in this new organizational model and want to prove that a company working in the payment sector can be driven by motivations other than profit! We definitely invite you to read this book.  

B-Hive Europe launches a Fintech Landscape Report, B-Lens, together with Roland Berger and Sirris

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 12.59.11 PM.png

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - 22 February 2019. -- B-Hive, the collaborative innovation platform, together with Roland Berger, one of the leading global consultancy firms, and Sirris, the collective center for and by the technological industry, has published B-Lens 2.0, a fintech landscape report that takes a look at the state of financial services and fintechs in Belgium and Europe.

The survey is based on research conducted by B-Hive Europe as well as data collected by Roland Berger and Sirris. The results showed that most fintechs have focused on the banking and insurance sectors to find potential clients while the fintechs thought their key differentiators included the digitized business models, short time-to-market and convenient processes. For international expansion, France, Belgium, Germany and the UK were the most favorable destinations in Europe.

The biggest challenges discovered were talent shortages, slow customer adoptions, low collaboration rates with financial services and opportunities to grow due to the difficulty to attract customers and investors.

Financial services takeaways:

  • Mobile banking subscriptions are growing fast followed by an increase in digital transactions and online purchases

  • Consumer acceptance saw an increase in the use of digital financial services but is below neighboring Southern European countries and the UK

  • Belgium confirms its strong business enablers for digital activity, thanks to higher R&D expenditure and high concentration of ICT specialists and short time required to start a business. However, the cost of starting a new business has been increasing recently

  • Although significant efforts have been put to secure internet servers, increased investment into cybersecurity is needed to limit cases of internet banking fraud and to catch up with the average online security in the EU

Fintech takeaways:

  • Belgian Fintech sector is stabilizing in 2017 (4 Fintechs created) and the trend is confirmed in 2018 with the average deal size almost doubling but decreasing number of deals. Most common investment by funding round has shifted from Seed to Series A.

  • Significant change can be identified in the top 3 Fintech technologies with a shift from Blockchain & Data analytics to Saas, App and Artificial intelligence and a shift from marketplace and crowdfunding business models to commissioning and subscription.

Fabian Vandenreydt, Executive Chairman of B-Hive, said: “Here at B-Hive, we work to put Brussels on the map as a smart gateway to Europe and working together with Roland Berger and Sirris enables us to have a fuller view of key metrics, which will inform how we can further improve the position of Belgium in the market.”

Grégoire Tondreau, Managing Partner of Roland Berger, said: “The B-Lens 2.0 data has been compiled in a way that gives the readers a better overview of the market, and allows B-Hive to further focus on areas of innovation in the financial services and fintech industries. We are proud to have been part of this initiative from its launch last year and look forward to continuing our collaboration with B-Hive.”

Omar Mohout, Entrepreneurship Fellow of Sirris, said: “Fintech has a long history and deep roots in Belgium. But it's only recently that a real fintech ecosystem is emerging ensuring a bright future for innovation in the financial services industry in this country. It was a pleasure to take a deeper look into the topic together with B-Hive and Roland Berger, and discover what the future of fintech in Belgium looks like.”

About B-Hive Europe

B-Hive is a European collaborative innovation fintech platform that brings together major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players. Together, we work on common innovation programs and build bridges between our corporate partners and our start-up and scale-up community members. We aim to put Brussels on the map as the smart gateway to Europe and leverage on the opportunities offered by the digital transformation for the financial services industry. We believe that building bridges between important fintech hubs and the Eurozone enables both European and non-European companies to grow and expand.

More information about B-Hive can be found at www.b-hive.eu.

About Roland Berger

Roland Berger, founded in 1967, is the only leading global consultancy of German heritage and European origin. With 2,400 employees working in 36 countries, they have successful operations in all major international markets. Their 50 offices are located in the key global business hubs. Roland Berger advises major international industry and service companies as well as public institutions. Their services cover the entire range of management consulting from strategic advice to successful implementation: e.g. new leadership and business models; innovative processes and services; M&A, private equity and restructuring; and management support on large infrastructure projects.

More information about Roland Berger can be found at www.rolandberger.com

About Sirris

Sirris is the collective centre for and by the technological industry. They offer Belgian companies three key assets to help them remain innovative: years of experience and comprehensive expertise in a wide range of industries; high-tech testing infrastructure spread across the country; and an extensive network of partners. This way they help large and smaller players in Belgian industry make the right technological choices and achieve sustainable economic growth.

More information about Sirris can be found at www.sirris.be




Get to Know the B-Hive Community #3 - Onegini

onegini-logo-regular.png

In our third edition of Get to Know the B-Hive Community, we are happy to introduce you our member, Onegini! See below a short interview with Onegini and discover what makes them a one of a kind fintech.

How long have you been a B-Hive member?

Since 2016!

Onegini in a nutshell

When it comes to Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) software technology, Onegini is the market leader in the Dutch financial sector. Onegini Connect allows you to connect, manage, and engage with your customers while providing top-notch security and a great customer experience. Our customer base includes Aegon, Van Lanschot Bank, Baloise, AON, Univé to retail companies like Coolblue and even the NS (Dutch Railways).

What is Onegini working on right now? What products/services should the industry be aware of?

All of our customers choose Onegini for the same reason; they want an out-of-the-box omnichannel CIAM solution that offers easy & fast implementation, to bring offline customers online and to provide a state-of-the-art and safe journey for processes like identification and authentication. To stay on top of the game, we recently published Onegini Connect 5.0 to delight our financial customers even more.

·      Delegated User Management to leverage your intermediaries

·      Out-of-the-box integration with external identities such as iDIN (Dutch) and ITSME (Belgium)

·      Multibrand, which allows customers to run 1 instance of our software and serve multiple labels

·      The improved insights module now provides a quick customer barometer across all channels

What does the future of Onegini look like?

There is a lot happening out there. Customer expectations will drive the transformation of the digital landscape of insurers and banks. Across business lines. But there are many factors that complicate the transformation: from new (digital only) financial service providers entering the market, increasing legislation such as PSD2 and GDPR, the complexity of managing identities, to the need to improve customer engagement and reduce costs. And that’s a good thing. Onegini Connect offers a solution to all of these factors and more, and I really believe it is becoming the go-to foundation for any identity-aware enterprise.

Onegini’s future looks really bright! We are growing fast, so in 2019 we’re spreading our wings internationally. We will expand our international presence in the EU step by step along the insurance vertical. We plan to open an office in Germany for marketing & sales purposes and focus more on the Belgian market.

A fun fact of you/or Onegini

It's not only all about #CIAM. Colleagues of Onegini using modern technology for justice & fun and developed goal-line technology and instant replay for our own football table. Funny enough, it was by far the most popular LinkedIn post last year. Purchase Onegini Connect and we are happy to add our goal-line technology as well.

Get to Know the B-Hive Community #2 - Polybius

polybius-plbt-logo-0E6B755F2D-seeklogo.com.png


In our second edition of Get to Know the B-Hive Community, we are happy to introduce you our member, Polybius! See below a short interview with Polybius and discover what makes them a one of a kind fintech.

  • How long have you been a B-Hive member?

Polybius has been with B-hive since June 2018.  

  • Polybius in a nutshell

Polybius is a fintech company, that focuses on relieving people from thinking about money.

  • What is Polybius working on right now? What products/services should the industry be aware of?

We are currently creating OSOM - a fully licensed and regulatory recognized open banking service that will change the way people deal with money. At the beginning, OSOM will give it's users a clear view of all of their fiat and crypto assets at once and will enable easy and secure payments. We are on the way to build the last financial app the consumer's will ever need.

  • What does the future of Polybius look like?

Pan European service coverage, connecting tradidional and new economy, active beyond open banking, but also in other financial sectors. 

  • A fun fact about Polybius

In the extremely diverse Polybius team we have people from Belgium, France, UK, Australia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania and Estonia.

Do you want to be a part of our Get to Know the B-Hive Community series? Email us at lotta.nevalainen@b-hive.eu and you might get selected to our next edition!

Insurtech UnderCover increases capital by 550.000 EUR

undercover.png

In order to fuel its further growth, both nationally and internationally, Louvain insurtech start-up UnderCover executes a capital increase of 550.000 EUR. The lion’s share of the increase is provided by the major shareholders: Ensur, insurance consultant, and Xplore Group, expert in digital commerce and part of the Cronos Group.

Xplore Group provides insights of high business value and integrates fully end-to-end digital solutions. Its promise is simple: connecting people by creating technology that makes sense.

Paul Claes, Managing Director of Xplore Group and member of the UnderCover Board: “We add smart technology and useful experiences from other sectors to the deep insurance knowledge present at Ensur, leading to truly innovative solutions like UnderCover.”

UnderCover has developed an application allowing private customers to calculate, based on a unique algorithm, to which extent their possessions are protected against different calamities. Thanks to this application, brokers and agents get a better view on their customers’ needs, resulting in better and more efficient servicing. Moreover, based on the same algorithm, they can qualitatively compare the policies of different insurance companies.

Currently the application covers the domain Living (building & content). Soon Mobility (car, bike, travel assistance) and Family & Hobby (household insurance) will be added. Later this year, Health (hospitalization, physical accidents) will follow.

Stephan Podevyn, CEO of UnderCover: “UnderCover bridges the gap between a customer’s lack of insurance knowledge and a broker’s or agent’s lack of detailed knowledge about this customer. Ultimately, it will lead to more frequent and positive interactions between customers and intermediaries.”

BANCA MEDIOLANUM ADOPTS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ALGORITHMS FOR RISK MANAGEMENT

With the introduction of IFRS9 accounting principles on Jan 1, 2018, all banks, including non-AIRB (advanced internal ratings-based) banks, have to adopt a “model validation and governance” framework for their internal risk models. Thus, the need for banks to identify and equip themselves with innovative tools to manage validation processes of the risk models used.

Get to Know the B-Hive Community #1

Secupi Logo.png

In our first edition of Get to Know the B-Hive Community, we would like to introduce you to our member SecuPi, a data-centric security software platform. See below a short interview with SecuPi and discover what makes them a one of a kind fintech.

How long have you been a B-Hive member?

Since November 2018

Describe SecuPi

SecuPi is a software platform that delivers data-centric security and compliance across your existing enterprise applications, data warehouses and big data environments. By using personal data-flow discovery, real-time monitoring, user behavior analytics, and dynamic data masking, SecuPi enables organizations to secure their sensitive data and be privacy compliant within days and with no code changes.

What is SecuPi working on right now and what products/services should the industry be aware of?

We are working on what we do best - protect your and your customers' data. We recently broke a speed record with a super fast deployment for our Swiss customer. We also succeeded (where all others have failed) in applying anonymization across multiple big data environments in one of the largest Telco provider in Europe.

Additionally, we've been helping enterprises to safely move their applications up to Cloud. SecuPi is, quite literally, helping its customers reach for the sky.

What does the future of SecuPi look like?

Our quest is to lead the GDPR Kingdom of Privacy ;)

We're constantly expanding and growing together with our customers and partners with new functionalities and support.

Our team is also growing (horizontally... we need to take it easy with the food at the office ;) ).

Tell us a fun fact of a member of SecuPi

SecuPi CEO, Alon Rosenthal, has a black belt in Karate. So you can keep calm and let us worry about your security.

Do you want to be a part of our Get to Know the B-Hive Community series? Email us at lotta.nevalainen@b-hive.eu and you might get selected to our next edition!

The US Small Business Fintech Report

Source: cbinsights.com

Source: cbinsights.com

The tech startups transforming small business payroll, lending, insurance, accounting, and more.

• About the author

CB Insights software lets you predict, discuss, and communicate emerging technology trends using data in ways that are beyond human cognition. We are a leader in the Expert Automation & Augmentation Software (EAAS) space.

imec.istart open call

The imec.istart business acceleration program supports entrepreneurs with the early development of their tech start-ups during minimum 12 months.  During this period we want to assess the feasibility of a business proof-of-concept, prepare the (commercial) launch of the first product(s) and the establishment of a start-up to drive this commercialization.