Earlier this month Crowdcube launched Thrive for Fintech. An initiative for Pre-Series A and Series A businesses to secure lead investment for their raise on Crowdcube, as well as legal and accounting support from our professional service partners. Linklaters, Crowdcube’s legal partner for Thrive for Fintech, is offering an exclusive support package for all shortlisted companies invited to pitch at the Thrive for Fintech investor event in January. Finn Griggs, Global Co-Head of Fintech at Linklaters, will be on the judging panel for Thrive for Fintech, so we wanted to introduce Finn and get to know Linklaters.
Finn is a partner in the M&A team at Linklaters and advises on cross-border public and private M&A transactions, with a particular focus on the financial institutions sector. She also has specialist knowledge of the fintech sector, including deep knowledge of how to approach M&A and consortium transactions within the sector together with understanding of distributed ledger technology and its application to corporate transactions.
Tell us about Linklaters
Linklaters is a global law firm that offers clients support across a broad range of practice areas, including M&A, capital markets, intellectual property, employment incentives and technology services. Our goal is to support clients through change, particularly as their businesses grow and develop within the fast-paced world of business. A particular area of focus for us as a firm is Fintech, which is a great example of a sector facing great change and development, but also significant opportunities. Getting to know companies operating within the Fintech sector and working with them to achieve their goals is one of the best parts of being a lawyer at Linklaters and delivering our strategy.
What excites you about Fintech at the moment?
One of the most exciting developments that I’ve seen has been the way in which Fintechs have developed methods to reach customers directly in order to provide access to financial services that may otherwise not be available to them. In particular, it is exciting to see the technology underpinning developments within Fintech, such as distributed ledger technology, establishing how it might contribute to future disruption in the sector.
What is important to you to see from companies at this stage in their journey?
There are three key things I would typically look for in companies at this stage:
- Understanding your business environment: Given the pace of change within Fintech and the fact that it typically involves a regulated, customer-facing environment, it is important that companies understand the business environment in which they operate and, specifically, the key risks and challenges alongside the many opportunities.
- Opportunities for growth: A particular theme we have identified is collaboration within Fintech, and we see real benefits for companies that are open to maximising those opportunities and thinking about how they can keep pace and develop their businesses through working with others.
- Forward-looking attitude: Whilst it is important for companies to demonstrate a well thought-through approach to how the funding raised will be used to develop their businesses, and set in place clear milestones and deliverables, I’d like to see companies demonstrate how they can future-proof their businesses to prepare them for upcoming change, both known and unknown – particularly given the speed at which FinTech products develop and financial services regulations change.
Why did you want to get involved with Thrive for Fintech?
Within Linklaters, we are passionate about engaging with Fintech companies at an early stage and investing in their future growth, particularly by helping them to manage some of the challenges faced when scaling up operations. One way in which we wanted to achieve that goal was through TechLinks, an online portal we have designed for small and startup technology businesses. These businesses can access market insights, trends and learning modules, but most importantly they can access key resources and employment documents to help them build their teams, engage staff the right way to attract and retain the best employees, and also protect business information and IP.
What’s the process for companies getting involved?
Companies can find out more about Thrive for Fintech and apply, here. After an initial screening, applications will be reviewed and a shortlist of seven companies will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges at an investor evening in January, where the companies who will secure investment, as well as legal and finance support, will be announced.
What would you to say to companies thinking of applying?
This process represents a fantastic opportunity for companies to showcase their business, their plans for growth and why they will be part of the future of Fintech. For those that are shortlisted, Thrive for Fintech provides unrivalled access to advice that will support their growth. Even for the companies that are not selected for the shortlist, any opportunity to expand your network and demonstrate your enthusiasm for your products is a great one to pursue and always has the potential to open new doors in the future.