Following the Nordic tradition, the Bee has two homes and we attended the launch of the Stockholm Fintech Hub, hosted by KPMG, where the room was packed to capacity and 180 people had to be turned away! The hub itself, based at the No. 18 shared working space in Stockholm’s Central Station, opened its doors in March and a number of fintechs have already moved in. With 141 funded FinTechs in Stockholm alone, this facility is much needed.
We’re proud that the Stockholm Hub has asked Sofie to sit on its advisory committee, and represented it at February’s OsloFin Tech Fest in a lively discussion about collaboration across the Nordic Fintech Hubs.
With the Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki facilities getting up to speed and the vibrant and growing number of fintech companies in the Nordics, it’s the right time for the hubs to be collaborating and building relationships between banks, governments and the fintech community. We’ve derived a lot of value (as well as some great lunches) from the hubs already and we look forward to growing our collaboration with them as we build our business and technology.
Trust and Identity
The Bee has also been spreading the word about identity and trust at various events, including the Danish/American Business Forum in Copenhagen, where the topic was payments both present and future. You can see the slide deck here or the full article here, where we present the case for ecosystem based contextualised behavioural identities and how hiveonline can support them.
There we shared the stage with Mastercard, hosts Bird & Bird solicitors and our other home, the Copenhagen Fintech Lab, with Thomas building a lot of interest for our growing space. So many people have moved in already that lunchtimes are getting crowded and we’ve been discussing the idea of a shift system semi-seriously!
While we have been evangelising our business model across Scandinavia, we have also been busy behind the scenes. Our prototype app is progressing well, ready to demonstrate and gather feedback from our interested customers. We’re very excited about the great look and feel, as well as the opportunity to showcase our core interaction workflow!
We have also released the latest version of our website, www.hivenetwork.online where we have now published a wide range of content through our blog like Sofie’s most recent post on Nordic FinTech Collaboration and the Let’s not build a bank! series of articles.
We’ve also been bolstering the company organisation in preparation for closing our funding round at the end of April, by formalising the collateral for our shareholders – important in times when much of our development is based on open source technology. So we’re building our architecture, including business and technical architecture, into the core assets of hiveonline, so that we can protect our ideas and investors can be confident they won’t be copied.
The Big Picture
In the world of politics, we’ve been watching with interest as both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump begin to translate to policy and regulation, which currently looks likely to shift the balance of economic power further towards large corporations. Our philosophy is to empower small businesses by building trust, helping to reduce the burden of unnecessary administration and unfair charges and supporting the growth of business communities. We think this will help the communities most damaged by globalisation and we look forward to building bridges between communities. We’re also confident that disintermediating trust and empowering communities to collaborate through our platform will enable communities to make sustainable decisions about their productivity and their environment, including shared ownership of sustainable energy sources and common resources.
And we’ve also been working on how our model can help the world’s unbanked, to provide a similar service without the need for bank accounts. Currently, 2 billion people have no access to financial services, of whom 1.5 billion have no official identity documentation, meaning they can’t access loans or financial facilities and have challenges proving ownership e.g. of property. It’s early stages for us but we are confident our model will enable the 1 billion of these people who own a mobile phone to start building a trust record that will give them access to identity and financial services, breaking through the credit ceiling traditionally limiting growth for the small farmers and traders in this group.
We’re working with groups across other fintech ecosystems globally and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to support their 2030 sustainable finance agenda. Sofie will be out in Venice with UNEP next week, briefing G7 policy makers on sustainable fintech opportunities for small businesses.
- G7 Environment Meeting: Mobilising green finance for small and medium sized enterprises (Venice, 5-6 April)
- Women and Finance (Luxembourg, 4 May)
- Blockchain Use Case Expert Session (Copenhagen Fintech Lab, 15 May)
- Forrester CIO Group briefing (London, 7 June – invitation only)
SIFS – Sustainability Innovation in Financial Services
We’re exploring bringing together a sustainability fintech event in parallel with SIBOS in October. Please get in touch if you’d be interested in attending or would like to see more details: info@hivenetwork.
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