The firm has set aside another £100,000 to help FinTech businesses through the provision of free legal advice, taking the firm’s total investment in the sector to over £400,000. The FinTech Fund was first launched in May 2016, and was the first programme of its kind to support start-up FinTech businesses through various legal challenges they can face in their early stages.
“A lot has changed”
“We are really excited to be announcing the fourth cohort of our FinTech Fund,” said Angus McLean, partner and head of Simmons & Simmons international FinTech team. Mr McLean said, “A lot has changed in the FinTech market since we launched the Fund in 2016. We have revised one of the criteria this year to reflect the increase in the level of funding that is now available to UK FinTech firms, with seed rounds now looking more like the Series A rounds of a few years ago. A real sign of the growing maturity of the market. We are also delighted to be supporting a US-based business for the first time. Over the last 12 to18 months we have seen a number of our FinTech clients ramp up their international expansion plans, so it is great to be able to support a business that is looking to the UK as part of its strategic expansion. We are looking forward to helping all of the businesses solve the challenging legal issues FinTech firms face along their journey.” Thomas Wolf, founder of EdAId and one of the winners last year, added: “In Simmons & Simmons we found not only a law firm that were able to provide clear, robust and commercially minded legal advice. They were also able to appreciate the unique challenges facing any fintech startup. On a personal level as a founder their empathy, direct financial support and nuance with which they backed EdAid has been instrumental in our growth.”
The FinTech team at Simmons & Simmons has chosen four innovative businesses aiming to take advantage of fintech developments and market uncertainties to make a significant impact on the financial service industry. The four successful winners of the 2019 FinTech Fund are: SteelEye specialises in regulatory compliance technology and data analytics, offering solutions for MiFID II, MAR, EMIR, SM&CR and more. Rungway aims at transforming how employees give and get advice. Liquidly is building manager-specific trading infrastructure for illiquid assets aiming to enable fund managers to offer their investors liquidity. Propio is leveraging the power of property-backed investing to help people make the most of their money.