Two London-based fintech start-ups - Everledger, which uses the Blockchain to record ownership of valuables, and Origin Markets, a platform which directly connects corporate bond issuers with institutional investors - have won the 2015 BBVA Open Talent Europe final. OpenTalent, now in its 7th year, seeks to support the fintech ecosystem by finding and supporting the best start-ups across the world, and is part of BBVA’s work to transform its business using digital technology.
There were entries from 63 countries into this year’s BBVA Open Talent, with finals in Mexico City, New York and Barcelona. As well as exploring commercial opportunities with BBVA, Everledger and Origin Markets will join the winners of the Open Talent Latin America final (Destacame.cl and Bitnexo) and those of the US and Rest of the World competition (Modernlend and Lendingfront) in two separate immersion programmes, one in London and the other in Mexico City.
They will also get to take part in an Innovation Day at El Celler de Can Roca, recently chosen as the best restaurant in the world, and receive €30 000 each. “Both Everledger and Origin have what BBVA Open Talent is looking for – original ideas, great technology and a strong team,” said Gustavo Vinacua, BBVA’s Open Innovation & Innovation Centers Director.
Everledger, which was launched in April 2015, uses the Blockchain – a public ledger that is distributed across the Internet - to make a permanent record of ownership and provenance of diamonds, luxury goods & valuables. The solution provides new methods of ownership records, fraud detection as well as smart contract vehicles to enable industry to finance and insure these items efficiently.“We are excited to be working with BBVA, they clearly understand innovation and the opportunity this technology provides, especially in luxury goods. ” said Everledger’s Leanne Kemp.
‘Already, we’ve stored details of 855,000 diamonds and BBVA is key to unlocking a section of the market that we would not have imagined possible at this stage of our business development cycle.,” she added. Origin Markets was founded in March 2015 by two bond traders, Raja Palaniappan and Robert Taylor, who believed they could undertake bond issuance in a more direct way. The Origin platform launches in beta in October 2015: the company has had expressions of interest from over 15 major borrowers and investors, and is already working towards completing its first transaction with its pilot customers.
“The bond market has yet to be touched by disruptive technology,” said Origin’s Palaniappan. “We believe we’re going to create a more transparent and liquid market for all,” he added.