Octopus Investments has launched a new fintech business, Octopus Labs, to fix what it considers is ‘the broken financial services sector’, with technology built in-house as well as sourced from later-stage fintech start-ups across the UK.
According to the new business, while the past few years have witnessed a fintech revolution in the UK, most of the innovations that have sprung up remain unfamiliar and unpalatable to both financial advisers and retail investors.
Octopus Labs is breaking into a category it calls ‘advisertech’ by ‘self-building’ some solutions and supporting others through a fintech accelerator programme for businesses that are market-ready.
Earlier this year, a peer-to-peer investment platform, Octopus Choice, was launched as the first “self-built” fintech product from the Octopus Labs team. This product was built and tested in co-operation with many of the 3,500 advisers within the Octopus network, and is going to be the first among many products currently in development, according to a press release issued today.
According to Richard Wazacz, head of Octopus Labs, the new venture aims to rebuild financial services “the way it should be,” relying on its existing customer base, distribution channels, skills and expertise, and the added start-up dimension with its accelerator programme.
“The result is a powerful new force that will quickly develop new products and services to form part of the Octopus stable,” he said. “We want to take existing innovations and ready them for our mainstream audience of advisers and retail investors.”
The accelerator programme will provide mentoring, central London office space, and access to Octopus Investments’ distribution channels of financial advisers and investors.
There may be an opportunity to secure investment or ‘spin-in’ to Octopus for businesses that excel in the 12-week programme. Applications are open until 16 September for an early October start.