Akoni at the Fintech Growth Forum Event by Innovative Finance

On the 19th of September Akoni took part in the inaugural Fintech Growth Forum, an event hosted by Innovative Finance. It was the first of many such events, gathering members of Innovative Finance and the wider Fintech community to create a space for dialogue on a variety of topics and the sharing of experiences in the field.

The event brought together over 400 delegates, more than 20 exhibitors and over 50 speakers. Akoni had a stand at the even as well, exhibiting our Cash Management product to attendees and CEO Felicia Meyerowitz Singh was one of the speakers. She spoke about Akoni’s innovative platform that finally enables SMEs to gain easy access to market information on the best rates for their cash holdings, levelling the playing field with large corporations. This lack of service by traditional banks can finally be fulfilled by technological innovation and the new possibilities that Open Banking offers.

We very much enjoyed catching up with old friends in the business and making new connections that offer new insights. Such events are valuable in terms of networking, finding out about new trends and opportunities for exposure. But they are also a lot of fun and we left feeling inspired and full of energy to keep moving forward.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

SA Chamber of Commerce and Akoni CPD Event 

Financial Management for SMEs

 

Date: 12 October 2017

Time: 8:30-11:00am

Registration and breakfast will be available from 8:30 onwards

Talks will begin at 9:00am ending at 13:00am with an opportunity for networking thereafter

Venue8 Greencoat Place, London SW1P 1PL. Please ask for Akoni on arrival.

To register please email munal@akonihub.com with your details.

Speakers:

1. Sharon Constancon; Genius Minds/SA Chamber of Commerce – FX risk management – how to own, manage and monitor FX risk.

Many SME’s import products or services and those exporting is growing in the goods and services industry.  The UK forex market is busy with brokers but relatively immature at the SME and corporate level in the UK. This is a complex and high risk area of a business and we help explain to you how to manage that risk and what alternatives there are to current actions.

2. Felicia Meyerowitz-Singh; Akoni– Cash Management

Akoni is an online cash management platform system for SMEs, allowing business to maximise their returns on cash deposits. Akoni will talk about cash management in general and then discuss the Akoni platform and how utilising our tools can maximise returns / improve overall business financial management.

3. Paul Surtess & Oliver Cummings; Capitalise – Current lending market and other related trends

Most businesses do not know that there are independent and alternatives to financing options with the high street banks. Capitalise uses in-house technology and data analytics to identify the best financing options available for UK businesses. Capitalise will discuss the current lending market and other related trends.·

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Akoni presenting at the Numa launch event at Google NYC

Akoni provides solutions to increase income to UK businesses by maximising returns on an under-utilised asset – cash. As a corporate and commercial solution, these issues are global problems and challenges for businesses everywhere.
As an early stage startup, Akoni provides a country and currency agnostic platform for corporates and banks, providing increased returns to corporates, personalised to their investment mandate, and benefits to banks to improve affinity to commercial clients.
Akoni is a global proposition and has started early stage planning relating to other markets including having recently been named by BBVA in the Top 10 Fintechs for companies.  While launch and growth may take a number of years, planning and awareness starts much earlier. Particularly important is obtaining support from appropriate advisers and investors who have the relevant specific market and domain expertise. Both technical value-add as well as network contacts are useful at this planning stage. The U.S market is a significant step in this direction due to the size and relative sophistication of the market.
Events, such as presenting at Google NYC for the Numa launch, have a wider audience and provide for these necessary aspects. The audience of both fintech and tech innovators, gives Akoni the right exposure at these early planning stages for future growth markets.
NUMA is an even, that empowers mission driven technology entrepreneurs to solve the global problems of 2030. Akoni is excited to be part of this event and looks forward to many more such opportunities.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh – Cofounder of Akoni

Our very own CEO Felicia Meyerowitz Singh was interviewed by Fintech Profile. They asked all the relevant questions that will provide you with everything you have always wanted to know about us. Felicia gives you the full story of Akoni’s making, what we believe in and what problems Akoni solves for SMEs with our Cash Management platform

Read Akoni’s full profile here.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Akoni’s Interview with The Banker

Last week we were invited by The Banker to do a video interview about Akoni. For those of you who are not familiar with The Banker, it is part of the Financial Times Group and the interview was held in the Financial Times building. They have a series of interviews, which are done by The Banker’s Joy Macknight providing insight into the world of rising financial technology (fintech) start-up companies that will likely shake up the financial services industry.

It was great to be there and we had a chance to talk about Akoni’s new Cash Management platform, which allows SME’s to shop around for the best interest rates that will allow them to maximise the return on their cash holdings. In addition to easy access to up to date market information, business owners will be able to move around their money with just a few clicks, saving them a lot of time and resources. We talked about how it will provide a solution for SMEs and small corporates to earn more money, which will drive the economy, particularly after Brexit.

In addition, we had an interesting conversation about the impact of PSD2 and told them a bit about our inspiring experience at the Accenture Fintech Lab.

Of course, we will share the video with you once it’s out. In the meantime, enjoy a few of the pictures of our day at The Banker.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

BBVA selects Akoni in top 10 Fintechs

At Akoni, we believe SMEs and businesses are the bedrock of economic growth and development.       We were inspired to see that BBVA supports this same viewpoint by launching a global Open Talent competition, with a specific focus on Fintech for Companies – finding solutions for businesses.    Our platform is a cash management platform and smart tools, designed for SMEs and corporates.     We provide an increase to business income – with simple and easy to use technology, and products aligned to the company’s preferences.  This maximises returns on an ongoing basis, ensuring the business earns money while resting.

The BBVA Open Talent is the biggest international Fintech competition for start-ups. There are three worldwide competitions, more than a dozen country-specific opportunities, two special challenges for specific categories, and an all-encompassing, catch-all competition to find the absolute best Fintech start-up from anywhere around the world.

The ‘Fintech for Companies’ category fits with the Akoni philosophy, and focuses on start-ups providing financial solutions for BBVA Corporate and SME customers.    Akoni has participated fully in the international talent search, and we are thrilled to have been chosen among the 10 finalists of this category.   This is another huge success for the Akoni Team and we are proud that our product has been viewed so favourably with many other players from across the world!  Akoni works both with banks, tailoring solutions for their commercial client base, as well as directly with businesses.

We are excited for the finals, which will take place in London in September.    In order to receive regular updates on market rates and make the most of your cash,  you can register at AkoniHub.com – contact us to find out the value we can add to your enterprise.

Read all about the competition  and sign up to join the open innovation day, sharing creative ideas with leading minds

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

 

ABN AMRO Corporate launchpad – HighTechXL Summit

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh, Akoni’s CEO

July has been an exciting month for the team at Akoni!  We were selected from over 5,000 companies to partner with a leading bank in Europe.   Felicia and Panos, our CEO and CTO, attended the ABN AMRO launchpad, collaborating with various members of ABN AMRO corporate, commercial and digital and innovation teams.  We were hosted by the incredible professional and supportive team at HighTechXL Impact Summit in Eindhoven, a technology conference that matches up start-ups with industry experts, innovation executives and investors.

The Impact Summit was attended by 75 start-ups and scale-ups from 23 different countries, that were selected from over 5000 companies world wide.

We had the opportunity to meet around 20 of the ABN Amro team members, covering a range of responsibilities for commercial and SME Banking as well as digital delivery and innovation. This resonated strongly with our team as we believe passionately that SMEs are the bedrock of economic growth.  We are happy to see banks starting to recognise the additional value for this neglected market and looking forward to providing solutions to improving financial outcomes for business in this market. SMEs should have the option to choose the best business savings account and products, based on personalised products and solutions, which increase cash to the company.  This is a gap in the market which Akoni fills.  We collaborate with leading institutions to deliver this to customers.

Both Panos and Felicia, our Akoni founders, met with industry experts and explored the key benefits and features of our cash management platform for the bank’s customers.
Akoni was delighted to be one of the winners of the ABN Amro pilot programme for our Banking on Business platform.

 

 

 

 

We are excited that our awesome team has brought us along this journey and look forward to more exciting successes ahead!

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register for free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

 

 

 

 

FinTech and Artificial Intelligence

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Akoni stand
Cinthia Danove and Munal Mehta on the Akoni stand

Last week was London Fintech Week. For seven days, thousands of delegates from over 50 countries attended conferences, exhibitions, workshops, hackathons, meetups and parties. The main conference/exhibition took place at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, while other events occurred across the City of London, Canary Wharf and ‘Tech City’. The goal was to unite the world of fintech in the world’s financial capital and enhance the dialogue between multi-nationals, innovation firms, startups, governments, media and investors.

As innovators in the fintech sector, of course, Akoni was there!

We met people from banks including HSBC, Credit Agricole and Lloyds, and from international organisations who are interested in expanding FinTech in their home countries, such as FinTech Valley Vizag from India. We also met various investors who showed interest in the Akoni proposition and how we bring innovation to the market, and people from our data partner, Bureau Van Dijk.

As you’d expect, we also interacted with the other businesses who were exhibiting. It was a nice range of businesses, which is evidence of how broad the FinTech world is. Many were from outside the UK, including Malaysia, USA and Israel. This allowed a more enriching debate about the pros and cons of different geographies, such as regulation impact, access to capital, and government incentives. These interactions gave rise to potential synergies and opportunities to work together.

Panel discussion
Panel discussion

We attended a number of panel discussions, but of most interest to Akoni was a discussion about the impact of PSD2 from both a legal and commercial point of view. The panel comprised two tech partners from the international law firm, Pinsents Masons, a representative from RBS’ FinTech team, and the CTO of MoneyHub Enterprise. To a packed audience they raised awareness about the shift of liability from the use of API (in case of data breach), but also how banks need to do more to protect their image, and the challenge of improving communication with clients. They also highlighted the business opportunities and the incentives for banks to produce the best API.

View the official photos on Flickr: 10 July | 11 July

Exploring the hot topics of the day

The fintech world is changing remarkably fast, and there is lots to talk about.

We noticed many e-currency businesses and startups, indicated that this may be a hot space within FinTech. Another hot topic is the new technologies such as data analytics, deep machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) that are already transforming the financial services industry. In fact, McKinsey estimate the combination of AI and robotics to be worth $50 trillion globally by 2025.

AI allows advanced behaviour-tracking, and has already enabled high-frequency trading. In future, it could allow better fraud prevention, voice-enabled e-commerce,  compliance solutions, and virtual assistants to help customers manage their personal finances.

AI will enable organisations to reduce costs and increase efficiencies while offering customers new products and services.

Akoni leverages machine learning techniques and neural nets to improve financial outcomes for businesses, by providing intelligent forecasting and automated prompting to enhance cash management.

Playing our part in events such as fintech week shows we’re at the leading edge.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register for free at AkoniHub.com

SMEs “losing billions” due to poor cash management

Coins

When her Majesty the Queen launches a ship, she smashes a bottle of Champagne against the bow and the world’s media gather to hear her speech.

We do things a little more discreetly here at Akoni!

This week – after months of hard work behind the scenes – we are proudly launching our exciting new platform to help SMEs manage their cash.

We are starting with what the marketers call a ‘soft launch’. There’s no big public fuss or palaver, and we haven’t invited any royals along. Although, admittedly, we might toast the event with a cheeky glass of fizz!

But why is there a need for Akoni in the first place?

Because, even in this low interest rate environment, UK SMEs collectively miss out around £3bn per year on interest on the £258bn they have in cash balances. We think that’s wrong, and decided to do something about it!

There are banks that offer interest rates up to 2.2% compared to high street 0%. However, most companies are not aware of the better rates that are out there, due to lack of product transparency. What’s more, they are put off by the perceived cost of switching.

How Akoni benefits SMEs

It takes time to shop around for the best business bank account, and then transfer your cash deposits to the product where they will achieve the best interest rate.

This is where Akoni comes in.

At AkoniHub, SMEs can download their personalised cash report and search latest rates at a glance. Then, using our simple Deposit Planner, they can unlock the potential of their cash and maximise the returns they receive.

Here’s an example

The average business improves their return by 10-12 x current income. For example, an SME has £2 million cash  held in an instant access account. By transferring the money to banks with higher rates, the company would generate an additional £30,000 per year, even maintaining the same deposit maturity period.

That return could buy more than a few bottles of Champagne! More feasibly, it could provide for a new marketing campaign or a staff member, contributing to the SME’s productivity and profit and boosting the UK economy.

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh, CEO and co-founder of Akoni said: “SMEs are the engine of the UK economy. By saving them time and helping them make more money, Akoni will make a real impact.”

And there’s more!

A survey by Soldo states that UK SMEs collectively lose more than $10.2 billion every year, because they aren’t managing their cashflow properly.

The research found that SMEs average over four hours per week on managing company finances such as invoices, employee expenses and financial forecasting. The scale of the task grows with the size of the business, but even 15% of startups said they found daily cash management to be a particularly difficult challenge.

Soldo Founder and CEO, Carlo Gualandri, said: “If staff were freed up to dedicate their time to the activities that made a big difference to the company, productivity levels would rocket.”

Technology is the answer.

In order to save time and money, technology is helping to automate many business systems and processes, and cash management is no exception.

We’ve harnessed technology to build a range of simple and efficient tools that are now available for SMEs to use straightaway:

See Akoni’s tools at a glance

  • Deposit Marketplace
    Check today’s best rates at a glance, and filter them according to the governance requirements of your business.
  • Cash Management
    Your personalised Cash Management Report shows how much interest you gain by utilising Akoni’s tools, and provides tips and guidance for optimal cash flow management.
  • Deposit Dashboard
    Build your cash deposit portfolio by trying different alternatives until you find what works for your business.
  • Income and Expenditure Planner
    Enter your key cash inflows and outflows to create an efficient portfolio that maximises returns, while ensuring future expenses are covered.
  • Financial Bootcamp Report
    Get sector-based data that will help you identify opportunities and areas for cash management improvements.

Felicia said: “Akoni solves a problem that most SMEs don’t even know they have, and enables them to access  corporate-level returns on their cash.”

Signup for free at AkoniHub.com

Coming soon…

But we’re not stopping there!

Akoni members will soon be able to access a range of additional cash management services on the platform, such as an Automated Cash Allocation algorithm and advanced Cash Projection tools. It’s all part of the Akoni mission to help UK SMEs to make the most of their cash.

We think her Majesty would be proud.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register for free at AkoniHub.com

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Leaving the Lab

As you may know, Akoni was among only 20 startups selected for the fifth Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab London. It was a honour to be chosen out of more than 300 applicants from around the globe.

Tom Graham, programme director for the Lab, said: “The Fintech Innovation Lab London is helping startups forge ties to thrive at home and abroad…[and] offers lightbulb moments to banks with exciting innovations that can help make financial services work better.”

The Lab was developed to help startups refine and test their proposition through a three-month accelerator and mentorship programme. This year, it was held in the Trampery Republic, an innovation facility at East India in London’s Docklands.

Sigga Sigurdardottir, Head of Customer and Innovation at Santander, said: “It’s positive to see London taking a leading role in shaping and defining the global fintech innovation agenda.”

Akoni’s time at the Lab has recently finished, and we’re now back at our offices in Westminster.

It was a privilege to be part of the programme, and to experience the various benefits that will help Akoni, our customers, and our partners. For example, we were able to network with many fascinating people, including the Accenture team and other innovative startups.

Our team were invited to attend bank events, and had the chance to meet top execs and decision-makers from global financial services institutions including HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Citibank, Santander, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and more. Collaboration with banks is a key part of the Akoni offering, so these introductions are invaluable to our growth and the service we offer.

What’s more, we had personal mentoring from experts within the fintech and banking sectors, which provided us with useful insights. We were also granted the chance to deliver follow-on presentations with Accenture and banks.

This all added up to provide Akoni with the acceleration we’d hoped for.

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh, CEO and co-founder of Akoni confirmed: “The Lab has accelerated our proposition and helped us refine our value to businesses and banks. We have made invaluable connections and gained amazing mentorship from the banks. Banks are now working with us, and we see this as an endorsement of our collaboration.”

Find out more about the Lab

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register for free at AkoniHub.com