Hogan Lovells to fund female led FinTechs

Hogan Lovells announces during UK FinTech Week that applications are open to its Global FinTech Mentor and Momentum Program for 2021-22. This year, the firm will focus on selecting and supporting female led FinTechs, as part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. To date around 10% of successful applicants for the Program have had women founders or leaders, including Dozens (Gemma Steel), Flexy (Joanna Mansbridge) and Rodi (Ilia Mallioras).

The Program is open to FinTechs at any stage of development, from start-ups to more established growth players. Interested businesses, particularly in the areas of banking, lending, payments, insurance, investments, and sustainable finance, are welcome to apply throughout 2021 for complimentary or subsidised support from Hogan Lovells. The firm is committed to empowering the female FinTech community, and is aiming for at least half of successful applications from female led FinTechs.

Globally, just 3% of FinTechs were founded by women as of 2019, according to Deloitte Insights published in October 2020, which also found that funding for FinTechs founded or co-founded by women was significantly less than for men. Innovate finance reported in January this year that female founded FinTechs accounted for 17% of the UK’s total FinTech venture capital investments over 2020, up 6% from 2019. Yet KPMG’s UK FinTech Focus 2020 found that female founded FinTechs are more resilient to the pandemic, with more in cash reserves.

Commenting, Hogan Lovells Head of FinTech and Innovation Emily Reid, said: “What we are seeing is that, despite the challenges of the pandemic, female-led FinTechs represent a well-run and competitive investment proposition. However the levels of investment remain nowhere near on a par with male-led counterparts. We recognise their potential and hope to harness it through our Global FinTech Mentor and Momentum Program this year, empowering female-led FinTechs to grow and achieve a greater share of the market and investment.”

Launched at Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) in April 2017, the successful Program is entering its fifth year. To date, Hogan Lovells investment has totalled over a million pounds in support of around 25 FinTechs; providing each with up to £25,000 in free legal services, together with a 30% discount to the free advice, to make it go further. This is in addition to the same discount on advice provided after or outside the scope of the program, as well as access to industry events and networking opportunities with the firm’s existing clients in the FinTech space.

Hogan Lovells Head of Financial Services Regulation, Rachel Kent, said: “We offer more than just legal advice through our Global FinTech Mentors and Momentum Program, we share our extensive industry knowledge, our connections, content and tools to help the selected applicants launch, expand and succeed within a complex regulatory framework that is constantly evolving and can be tricky to navigate, but is essential for a long term sustainable business.”

Those selected are assigned a dedicated relationship manager who will ensure they receive maximum value from Program membership by guiding them through the suite of support options on offer:

  • Commercial insight on how financial services businesses can successfully launch and scale-up
  • Access to the firm’s cross-border FinTech network
  • Networking with current and previous mentees
  • Training opportunities through a host of firm and industry events
  • A package of affordable corporate and regulatory advice, from contracts, compliance and collaboration agreements to employment law, fund raising and structuring
  • Guidance on the financial services regulatory landscape for FinTechs post-Brexit
  • Free or subsidised access to the firm’s suite of LawTech tools offered on Hogan Lovells Engage, including the Consumer Credit Academy, PISP/AISP Authorisation Toolkits, Payment Services Academy and Blockchain Tools, among others while on the program
  • Support from Hogan Lovells Consulting team for regulatory advice on everything from authorisation to building a scalable compliance framework.

Hogan Lovells is ideally placed to provide this support, long positioned at the heart of the FinTech industry. The firm advised on the establishment of the UK’s first internet only bank; on the launch of Zopa – the world’s first peer-to-peer lender; and of a mobile P2P payments service – the first of its kind in the UK market. Head of Financial Services Regulation Rachel Kent co-chaired the policy and regulation chapter of the recently published UK FinTech Strategic Review, in February 2021.

More details on the Program and how to apply can be found here.

Hogan Lovells invests in FinTech start-up Fygo

Hogan Lovells is supporting the launch of an innovative free automatic student rewards app from COVID-19 start-up Fygo, one of the firm’s FinTech Mentor and Momentum Program 2020 cohort.

Launched in April 2017, through the Program, FinTech organisations in Asia, the EU and UK at any stage of development, from start-ups to established momentum players in strong growth mode, can apply for complimentary or subsidised support from Hogan Lovells.

Recipients benefit from extensive industry knowledge from Hogan Lovells’ commercial insights, access to the firm’s global network, legal and compliance training, industry events and use of the firm’s FinTech tools, up to a maximum value of £25,000 for any one company.

Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fintech start-up Fygo has conceived and brought to market, with the help of Hogan Lovells, an innovative automatic student rewards app. Launching initially at Durham University, the free mobile app allows students and staff to link their bank cards to the app through a secure interface, and instantly and automatically receive cashback when they spend using a linked card at Fygo partners, without having to say, show, or scan anything.

For participating businesses, partnering with Fygo provides an affordable cost, hassle and commitment free solution to acquire more Generation Z customers and increase revenue. The in-built tracking system providing insights to help them better understand their customers and competitive positioning, with access to customer analytics, and to improve their service and products.

Commenting, Hogan Lovells FinTech Mentor and Fygo relationship lead, counsel Oliver Irons, said: “The global pandemic has totally changed how we live and work, and whilst it has presented many challenges, some positives that can be drawn are the advancement of technology, and innovation to adapt to constantly changing circumstances. The team at Fygo identified a way to support both students and businesses through harnessing their technology, and have worked tirelessly to make their concept a reality. They are deserving recipients of our FinTech Mentor and Momentum Program support package, and it has been hugely interesting and rewarding working with them. We wish them the very best for the pilot in Durham, and look forward to a continuing relationship.”

“Being accepted onto Hogan Lovells FinTech cohort 2020 was an enormous boost for us. They have provided superb strategic advice on several of our key business activities. The team’s diligent approach has ensured we are building a product capable of launching and scaling quickly. Being amongst top European start-ups has inspired us to sharpen our product’s value proposition and continue putting everything we have into building something people want!” said Jonah Lowenstein, Co-Founder at Fygo.

For further information about Hogan Lovells FinTech Mentor and Momentum Program, see here.

Businesses will be onboarded from March 2021, and the app is expected to launch to students in early April. Businesses can find out more via blog, podcast or video. Students can join the waiting list here.