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VC firm Octopus opens accelerator programme with fintech focus

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Labs plans to “fix the broken financial services sector”. According to Octopus Group, the existing marketplace is unnecessarily complicated and inaccessible, thus the new venture is set to build mainstream solutions to solve the problem.

The firm is managing some £6bn worth of assets on behalf of more than 50,000 customers at present, which provides the accelerator with “financial services credibility and expertise”. With Labs, Octopus will work with growing fintech companies and support development, while also independently building its own products.

Applications are currently being accepted for Labs until 16 September and the programme will begin in October. Octopus is hoping to introduce “next generation fintech” that will be welcomed by financial advisers and retailers with open arms – an area it’s called “advisertech”.

“When our founders launched Octopus sixteen years ago, they did so with a belief that the financial services sector was broken, that customers deserved better, and that we could deliver it,” said Richard Wazacz, head of Octopus Labs.

“The world has changed dramatically for our customers since then – but our ambition hasn’t. We want to rebuild financial services the way it should be.”

Read more on the fintech sector:

Labs will focus on helping startups refine the products they’ve developed and help them achieve distribution. The 12-week programme will comprise mentoring, office space in central London and access to Octopus’ financial advisers and investors. Additionally, those on the programme may receive funding from the firm too.

Wazacz added: “Octopus Labs takes the existing strengths of our business – our established customer base, distribution channels, skills and expertise – and adds a start-up dimension. The result is a powerful new force that will quickly develop new products and services to form part of the Octopus stable.

“Our accelerator is a great example of the ambitions we have as a business unit. We want to take existing innovations and ready them for our mainstream audience of advisers and retail investors.”

The first in-house product to roll out of Labs was peer-to-peer lending channel Octopus Choice, which was tested with a bulk of the 3,500 advisers Octopus has in its network.

During London Technology Week, it was revealed 12 ambitious digital happenings are expected in the next 20 years.

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