Recently, there have been reports of a new fintech consultancy firm that will be headquartered in London, touting blockchain technology. The speculative new company, called 11FS, has reportedly raised $5 million USD in seed funding already from the venture capital operation Life.SREDA.
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11FS Seeks $100 Million USD by 2017
An article by Financial News first broke the story of the company’s goals to raise an initial $50 million USD from legacy institutions and venture capital firms by the end of the year. As well as the first proposed funding goals the startup wants to raise a total of $100 million by 2017. 11FS will concentrate on consultancy within the European region and promote blockchain industry standards and education.
11FS’ website currently says, “coming soon.”
Blockchain and distributed ledger technology have basically been a magnet towards investors since early 2015. The blockchain is best known as the technology powering the Bitcoin network, but many people believe they can harness the technology without a token.
Distributed ledgers offer faster settlement speed, reduces cost and erases the need for third party arbitration. 11FS, or the “Banking on the Blockchain Fund,” was founded by fintech consultancy executive Chris Skinner, Jason Bates of the startup Mondo, and David M. Brear Global Director of Digital Banking in Gartner. Brear tells Business Insider that the interest in the technology is high, but people are not being educated enough. Brear explains:
“A lot of people have interests in this but there are a lot of banks that are spending a lot of money without really knowing that they’re doing. Nobody really has the answer. Most suppliers are only one or two steps ahead of clients.”
With the $50 million USD in capital, Brear says the fund will “focus on bringing clarity to banks with regards to Blockchain development and will invest in early stage Blockchain startups.” The co-founder also tells Business Insider that there has been quite a bit of interest in the fund so far. He tells the publication that there are currently ten solid use cases that will “impact” the economy a great deal. Brear says asset management is big business, but there are also significant highlights in the retail sector.
Chris Skinner has been working as a freelance consultant since 2002 and has worked with firms such as Lloyds and UBS financial services. Skinner tells Financial News that “all banks” want to get information on this new technology. He also states that the discussion is not so easy, telling the publication, “The blockchain dialogue is pretty complicated. In financial services, there are five main areas of early use cases: smart contracts; digital identity; clearing and settlement; asset tracking; and supply chain finance and payments. There are at least 10 or 12 interesting companies in each of those high priority areas.”
Banks are seeking data and research on distributed ledger technology in great number. 11FS wants to mentor these traditional banks on the tech that very well could disrupt the entire financial industry. With giant institutions like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America looking to reap the benefits, Skinner says 11FS will also focus on smaller and midsize banks.
What do you think about 11FS? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Linkedin, 11FS website, and Pixabay.