U.K. financial giant Barclays has opened a co-working space in London dedicated to fintech. Called Rise London, the venture in the Shoreditch neighborhood of the capital aims to bring together at least 40 fintech startups, industry experts, and corporate clients to collectively craft better solutions on the shared path forward for technology and financial services.
At month, Rise London will host more than 200 hours of learning, workshops, hackathons, and networking. With such concentrated effort, Barclays hopes the location, which will be integrated with like-minded organizations in at least six other cities across the world, can become the breeding grounds for new products and services. The other targeted locations include New York, Mumbai, Cape Town, Tel Aviv, Vilnius, and Manchester.
“In each location, we operate multiple programs for open innovation, including the award-winning Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars,” said Barclays in a statement. “These programs facilitate rapid engagement between Barclays and the Rise fintech community, leading to the development of new models, long-term financial solutions, and the creation of valuable relationships.”
Jes Staley, Barclays group chief executive, attended the launch event for Rise London, and said that he sees this as a big step forward for a company that must increasingly make technology a core competency.
“Fintech startups are at the front of the technology wave that is changing our industry,” said Staley at the event. “Through Rise, we glean important insights. We can actively experiment with emerging technologies, and we can spot early trends and new markets as they form. This allows our employees, customers, and clients to do things faster, better, and at lower cost.”
Michael Harte, group head of innovation at Barclays, added that, on top of brining value to the bank, he believes the initiative will benefit the industry as a whole.
“By matching fintechs with the business challenges that we face as a diversified financial services firm, we drive customer and shareholder value,” said Harte at the launch. “For us, the more vibrant we make the fintech community, the greater the value contribution to customers and shareholders as well as to the financial services sector as a whole.”