13 leaders of the Finance Community of Belgium, and the Belgian Government invest in B-Hive to strengthen the digital financial ecosystem.
The Belgian Fintech innovation platform “B-Hive” - which was announced in London earlier this year in the presence of Belgian Minister of Finance - finalizes a capital round of EUR 5 Mio and launches its operations in Brussels, London and Tel-Aviv.
B-Hive, with CEO Wim De Waele, is a collaborative innovation platform in which 13 major financial players (banks, insurers and market infrastructure players) work together on common innovation challenges and build bridges to the global start-up and scale-up community. The creation of this platform is based on a recommendation made by the high-level expert group on the future of the financial sector, which was put in place by Belgian Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt in 2015.
Investors & partners
The investors in the platform are financial institutions AXA, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING, KBC, Belfius, Euroclear, SWIFT, AG Insurance, Baloise Insurance, Allianz, Isabel, BNY Mellon, Mastercard and the Belgian Government - by means of the federal investment fund.
B-Hive will continue to benefit from the support of existing partners, such as Cresco Law, Ingenico, McKinsey&Company, Proximus and Time.lex . The continued engagement and commitment from these non-financial heavyweights proves to show the need for an ecosystem spanning beyond traditional financial services industry barriers.
Goals & ambitions
On March 22nd B-Hive officially started its operations in Brussels - taking over staff and location from its predecessor Eggsplore (founded by Jurgen Ingels and Wim De Waele) - and announced its 2017 plans and goals & ambitions:
- Increase the competiviness and leverage the opportunities offered by the digital transformation for the financial services industry;
- Build a strong start-up and scale-up ecosystem in Belgium, and by extension continental Europe, that exports its products and services;
- Attract foreign smart technology companies to Brussels and for the Belgian capital city to act as a hub for and gateway to the Eurozone.
To achieve these goals, B-Hive will establish a global presence and is opening a satellite office in Fintech capital London as a first step. Other satellite offices are planned in major hubs such as New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
Network & impact
B-Hive has built an extensive global partner network with other federations, public partners and universities and has already established a solid community for start-up and scale-ups in Belgian digital finance among its partners. Recent events among its partner-base confirm the rise of the Belgian Fintech ecosystem:
- Collibra closed a round of USD 50 Mio in January 2017;
- More recently, younger companies SilverFin and The Glue received A-rounds from international investors Index and Polytech Ventures;
- The Belgian government also decided to have the federal investment take part in several early-stage venture capital funds to further improve this investment climate. A first investment was made in SmartFin Ventures, a fund focused on technologies for the financial industry (e.g. payments, data & analytics, cybersecurity) headquartered in Brussels with offices in London and Tel-Aviv.
- The recent decision of reinsurer Lloyd’s of London to establish a continental presence in Brussels also acts as a positive testimonial of the ambitions of Brussels to serve as a financial and Fintech gateway to Europe.
To promote Belgium and its digital finance community, B-Hive is currently attending the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London and will attend renowned international industry events i.a. Money 2020 in Copenhagen and SIBOS in Toronto.
CEO: Wim De Waele
Chairman of the Board: Fabian Vandenreydt (SWIFT)
Investors: AXA, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING, KBC, Belfius, Euroclear, SWIFT, AG Insurance, Baloise Insurance, Allianz, Isabel, BNY Mellon, Mastercard and the Belgian Government - by means of the federal investment fund.
About SmartFin Ventures
Managing Partner: Thomas Depuydt, Mark Ziering