LFP002 – Innovation Matchmaking with Warren Bond of matchi.biz

about matchi

This week I have the great pleasure of being in conversation with Warren Bond, co-founder of matchi.biz. It’s a great way to start the London Fintech Podcast interviews as both this podcast and matchi.biz are about bridging the worlds of suits and t-shirts, of incumbents and innovators. If matchi.biz continue to deliver on their promise and scale successfully they will be that rarest of things – a real game-changer.

This is a must-listen to show for any Fintech aiming to sell into banks.

Matchi.biz is something of a combination of an innovation marketplace/database and a dating service.  On one side innovators sign-up (to sell) and on the other side sponsoring banks (to buy). It’s free to try and (IMO) amazingly cheap to use.  I wish it had existed 15yrs ago when I had my own Fintech startup selling in to banks.

Many fintechs I meet are all to aware of the difficulty of selling into banks – notoriously long/slow sales cycles and highly bureaucratic processes.  A recent survey by the ccgroup found that almost 75% of all IT investment decisions in financial institutions involve up to 20 people, with 15% involving 50 people or more :-O So many fintechs – in essence – try and avoid selling to banks.

However Banking IT (alone) is a $180bn p.a. marketplace (2013: roughly equally split into thirds across US, Europe and Asia). Furthermore as Warren discusses many banks are waking up and smelling the coffee fast and setting up innovation units to facilitate the purchasing process for Fintech.

[Another sign of how hot Fintech is is that “even the FCA” (in London) is to set up an “inovation unit” to faciliate innovators dealing with the regulator]

Matchi.biz is about making this process far easier – especially in the sweet spot of something that is successfully working in one bank in one geography.  Warren gives the example of one innovator who has sold into Chicago and is now having sales conversations all around the world.  Imagine trying to that in the past without the interweb and a facilitator such as matchi.

Warren also outlines the characteristics of innovations that make them harder or easier to sell into banks (something I have never seen any attention given to before). He emphasises the 75% of innovations that are “below the waterline” – unsexy, never publically visible, not written up in newspapers but very wanted.

Equally for the banks we discuss how they can easily make themselves more open to innovation and not be out-competed in this current Fintech boom – either by the Fintechs themselves or by their more innovative incumbent competitors.

As well as matchi.biz Warren co-founded the innovation consultancy Luminous and also co-founded “Sport for All” a social enterprise of getting kids into sport and off the streets which is active in 18 townships and has been visited by the UK Trade and Industry department – we could certainly do with that in the UK too 🙂

Warren Bond co-founder of matchi.biz

Warren Bond co-founder of matchi.biz

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