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London’s Octopus launches new accelerator to capitalize on FinTech boom


By Mike Butcher for Techcrunch

Accelerators have been all the rage for the last 10 years in tech, but VC funds tend not to launch them in addition to their normal investment strategies. However, London-based Octopus Ventures is taking a different tack.

Its new Octopus Labs will concentrate on FinTech startups specifically, with the move coming just as the U.K. government has been pressing the financial sector to provide more innovation in its services, such as fully mobile banking. Octopus Labs will aim to ‘self-build’ solutions based on gaps they see in the market.

The programme will provide a mentoring syllabus, central London office space and access to Octopus Investments’ potential distribution channels of financial advisers and investors. Octopus may also choose to invest or ‘spin-in’ successful cohort businesses.

Applications for the 12-week programme are now open until 16 September, with activity kicking off in early October. You can apply online here.

Octopus Labs has already developed its first ‘self-built’ FinTech offering in the shape of Octopus Choice, a p2p lending solution (not that you’d have heard of it, admittedly).

FinTech accelerators are increasing in London, with Barclays Bank and Level 39 playing in the area, among others.

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