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Bondsmart: Two years after Barclays Eagle Lab Flight Programme

2 minute read

 

Bondsmart were part of the first Eagle Lab Flight accelerator cohort – we catch up with them to see what they have been up to these last couple of years.

The Barclays Eagle Lab Flight programme provided a forum for the business to establish it’s brand and values early. Since then the group has been through an accelerator with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive meeting 22 financial institutions and now moving into pilots with groups.

It will take a private client saver over 50 years to double their money in a cash deposit so for people wanting a decent return on their money they need to consider alternatives. Equites are a rollercoaster and risky. Buy-to-let properties are now taxed on gross income so there is a gap for clear fixed income returns.

What have you been doing?

There has been lots of engineering in the workshop and fine-tuning with prospective customers. Bondsmart has two important ingredients - financial innovation and process innovation. These two legs work hard below the surface, like a swam paddling, to give a clear, crisp experience to the user. Our aim is to open the big company loan market to retail customers with ease. That means a frictionless digital experience presented in the financial institutions brand to give the retail customer bite size pieces of a financial instruments only usually available to pension fund managers. This asset class is often alien to the ordinary investor so clear presentation and explanation of the investment is important.

We are at stage where the technology and workflows are established and now we are deploying with financial institutions. The interesting thing is our traction was where we did not expect it. A sore point we often share with other young businesses is the work in getting a new proposition to market is longer and harder than you plan.

Born in the UK, thriving overseas

Success of any business relies on getting sales channels and interestingly the distribution of wealth products in most overseas markets is via captive distribution channels. The UK is very unusual in that independent distribution channels are stronger than the large financial service organisations. This has meant bondsmart’s first customers are abroad in the Middle East and a partnership model is more appropriate for the UK and this is what we are working on.

Bondsmart is now underway with its next phase of work in taking a solution to market and that means many conversations with financial institutions with both the business and innovation centres, finding the spark to take the solution live.

One lesson they share is the simplest of ideas often requires more energy and commitment beyond what you expect.

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