International financial services provider, Barclays Africa, has launched an accelerator programme in Cape Town. According to Fin24, the accelerator will foster the growth of financially-directed startups that would be able to scale.
Barclays first hinted at this launch in a statement last October where it said, in addition to its physical innovation hubs in London, Manchester and New York, it is “set to open one in Cape Town in December.” The launch is in partnership with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) which owns and manages the Bandwidth Barn.
The opportunities provided by changes in how banking is done is reason for the programme, says Steven van Coller, the corporate and investment banking chief executive for Barclays Africa Group
“We fundamentally want to partner with these new technologies because we do believe that banking is being disrupted,” he said.
The investment across many small emerging businesses will help it stem its risk and move quickly in response to updates in the industry.
“In a large corporate, when you want to do a project or invest in something, it’s very difficult to do it small increments. The best thing about these types of set-ups is you create the space, people come – you look at the idea. If you like the idea, you put a little bit of money in and you see what happens,” Van Coller told Fin24.
This is one of the many FinTech-focused programmes that has been supported or led by Barclays in recent months in Africa. Barclays partnered with Think Rise Africa in July to launch Tech Lab Africa a three-month FinTech and Health Tech accelerator.In August, it supported the launch of Digital Academy, a one year internship program that trains software developers to create finance-forced applications.