There is a new consultancy on the block – 11:FS. The new firm brings together a range of blockchain experts to supply FinTech startups with advisory services, as well as access to a large fund to support their propositions. The new firm has already raised $5 million in seed money, as well as a broad range of expertise.
The financial services world has found itself, for some time now, under the threat of disruptive FinTech players. These players, leveraging a key piece of proprietary technology that simplifies or transforms current business practices or models, has the potential to, like Netflix, shake up the market. One technology of particular interest has been blockchains, which underpin digital currencies like Bitcoin.
The purported benefits of the technology are multifaceted, from creating a globally transparent and tamper proof ledger to vastly cutting down transaction times. The technology has potential in a range of areas, and is not merely limited to financial transactions. Its uses include, among others, secure electronic document signing.
The promise of the technology’s potential to be disruptive, as well as a sense of urgency from incumbent institutions, means that consultancy firms, including PwC and Accenture, have been quick to launch a range of offerings to support both sides: startups seeking to develop propositions as well as incumbents seeking to understand the threats and in turn to deal with them.
A newly launched consultancy firm called 11:FS, aims to combine its own startup mentality with some of the best experts in the field. The new consultancy is co-founded by David Brear, former head of digital banking at Gartner; Simon Taylor, currently the Vice President of entrepreneurial partnerships at Barclays; Chris Skinner, Financial Services Club (FSC) chair and author of The Digital Bank; and Jason Bates, Mondo banking app co-founder.
The team, which has so far acquired $5 million in seed funding for the new venture from Life.SREDA, a Singapore-based venture capital fund, aims to set up a $100 million ‘Banking on a Blockchain’ fund for FinTech activity related to blockchains, as well as offer a range of consulting and research services to incumbent clients and startups – which may include connecting large incumbent financial services players with the new kids on the block.
Simon Taylor, who will leave Barclays on June 24 to join the 11:FS team full-time, says: "We'll help guide you because there aren't a lot of people who have spent time seeing bank execs react to this but also talking to governments, regulators and startups. There's a lot of ships in the fog. We want to help you separate this stuff, we're going to be the good shepherds."