FINE Project: Fintech Investor Network and Ecosystem
On 21 September 2023, the FINE project, funded under the EIE SCALEUP call, kicked off!The Fintech Investor Network and Ecosystem (FINE) project is a Horizon Europe funded project that is focused on the Fintech sector as the vertical ecosystem to provide support for the sector. The consortium consists of 8 partners spread across 6 countries who will be working together to make the project a success, providing expertise and experience in the fintech sector:
- Finance Innovation (FR): Project coordinator, a French leader in supporting financial startups.
- F6S (IE): The leading platform for application management and the largest Startup community globally with +1.5mio Tech-Startups and +2.7mio entrepreneurs.
- Crowdfunding Hub (NL): The European expertise centre on alternative finance and community finance.
- Impulse4Women (ES): A connector of women-led startups and social impact projects with investors, corporations and public and private institutions to give them access to the financing and knowledge they need to grow.
- AcrossLimits (MT): An innovative company and private VET provider with its roots firmly derived from the innovation and ICT sectors.
- The Fintech Corridor (IE): A cross-border cluster working with multiple fintech companies, academic institutions and development agencies along the Dublin to Belfast corridor founded in 2010.
- Romanian Fintech Association (RO): Founded in January 2020 by fintech startups and scaleups (such as Finqware, Seedblink, iFactor, PayPact, Lendrise), currently bringing together 20 members representing start-ups and scale-ups in fintech.
- Truffle Capital (FR): A VC fund and the only European Fund to support innovations from creation to commercial success.
Investment ecosystems are dynamic living organisms driven by different actors with different interests. Investors, including early investors or angel investors as well as venture capital (VC) firms, have different motivations, risk appetites, and levels of available capital. Furthermore, investors vary in expertise and specialisations, with most investors moving away from generalist approaches to more individual sector-oriented strategies. To maximise efficiency, VC firms now tend to focus on specific industrial verticals depending on their expertise and the types of start-ups they attract. Angel investors also prefer investing in businesses they understand, hence limiting their investment activity to specific industries. With verticalization comes more focused expertise, and increased efficiency for investment managers to get to know the ecosystem players, risks and policies governing that investment environment.
By creating more inclusive, connected and interlinked ecosystems between Fintech investment ecosystems (both on local and international levels), FINE will promote increased collaboration between investors including co-investment for new Fintech startups, thus creating a richer investment climate that will support innovation in new start-ups, as well as helping companies scale-up and cross borders to become global competitors in Fintech.
FINE will focus on building strong links between countries with a stronger Fintech investment culture and those with a modest to moderate ecosystem. By enabling cross-border investments and building meaningful investment relationships between countries, the project will thus be harnessing the untapped potential of these EU member states and providing investors with new profitable investment opportunities within the continent.
To achieve this dynamic ecosystem and facilitate the collaborative model envisaged by FINE, three main pathways are outlined by the project, as interlinking approaches that will focus on breaking down the barriers to cross-border investment and networking between local and international investors. These pathways are outlined below:
- Pathway 1: the mapping of ecosystems and development of the KnowledgeBase
- Pathway 2: the development of educational pathways for investors through the Investor Academy
- Pathway 3: the active community-building and networking measures for investors.
These pathways will seamlessly lead into the objectives outlined by FINE:
- Increasing access to capital and investments in less-connected Fintech innovation ecosystems by building Fintech investment pipelines and screening methodologies to attract foreign investment.
- Increasing the access of investors to the flow of local deals through the creation of an openly accessible Investor KnowledgeBase based on a thorough mapping of key local ecosystem players and the appointment of local FINE experts.
- Improved accessibility of knowledge about investment, including introduction to the investment process through an Investor Academy and enhanced knowledge of local and international regulatory frameworks, networks and support systems.
- Enhancing network connectivity and cooperation within Fintech innovation ecosystems and across borders through matchmaking and knowledge-transfer opportunities between Fintech innovators and investors supported by a new collaboration platform.
- Facilitating inclusiveness and gender equality in Fintech innovation ecosystems, by empowering women through gender-responsive programs, models and support systems.
If you wish to learn more about FINE and how you can be involved, please contact [email protected].