A two-year-old organisation from London is looking to help connect technology scaleups with its network of executive decision makers. Now, with its fourth cohort, we look at the sort of companies involved and what they stand to gain from membership.
What is SwiftScale?
The SwiftScale mission statement is to: "Connect enterprise-ready startups with corporates looking to innovate."
"SwiftScale scout globally for exceptional scaleups (fast growing startups) delivering proven enterprise solutions to common business problems - from enhancing security, to aggregating and comprehending big data".
It was founded by Alex Sainty and George Johnston, a recognised face in the London tech scene who is also the founder of Tech City Ventures and IncuBus Ventures, where he met Sainty.
During their time at IncuBus the firm was selected to run a joint venture accelerator programme with PwC and then worked with the firm again once they founded SwiftScale. PwC has since launched a number of "scale-up programmes" of its own.
"So my cofounder and I brought together the fundamental aspects of an accelerator programme, which is the boundaries of a fixed term initiative, and that's where the comparator ends," he said.
SwiftScale takes no equity, it either charges a flat fee (previously £10,000) or 'works on the basis of success'. The success fee model is negotiated by SwiftScale and is only made available to select companies.
Sainty said. "The outcome of the programme can be hundreds of times greater than the upfront cost, or you just get a return on your initial investment but seriously increase your network, either way we are pretty convinced that the RoI is clear."
The programme typically runs for 90 days and access to enterprise decision makers comes through both its network of 150 or so executives and events: an executive forum and an investor day.
The benefit for the executives and corporates is free access to innovation, for now. "For everyone else it is a combination of, I guess, altruism, curiosity and thinking about what's next," Sainty hypothesised.
The Spring 2018 Cohort
So SwiftScale runs just two limited programmes a year and companies are hand selected by its own team. The criteria, broadly, is to be a B2B business which is generating revenue, is beyond the seed investment stage and is looking to scale.
The latest cohort of startups - Spring 2018 - which is sponsored by Macquarie Group, are: Amplyfi, Apexx, Freeformers, Libryo, LivingLens, Panaseer, Qlearsite and Tessian (formerly CheckRecipient). All are UK-based except for South African firm Libryo.
These companies cover a broad range of technology areas, but regulatory tech (Regtech) and cyber security seem to be the key areas. They are:
- Apexx - provides payment solutions, primarily allowing customers to facilitate cross border payments without having to integrate with each local system.
- Amplyfi - specialises in BI and analytics for data that lies outside of the reach of traditional search engines.
- Freeformers - looks to help organisations give employees the right digital skills as companies transform digitally.
- Libryo - gives companies easy to consume legal and regulatory advice as they expand geographically via a SaaS application.
- LivingLens - is a GDPR compliant platform for collecting and analysing consumer insight and customer feedback, primarily aimed at video content.
- Panaseer - promises to give customers a comprehensive view of the cyber risk within their organisation.
- Qlearsite - provides workforce analytics.
- Tessian, formerly CheckRecipient - specialises in software to help organisations avoid that sinking feeling of accidentally sending a sensitive email to the wrong person. It uses machine learning to set a baseline and then alerts or actively stops outgoing email which looks unusual.
The aim for the startups here is purely revenue driving, so procurement opportunities rather than direct investment, with other benefits like finding new board members completely secondary.
This was backed up by Tessian CEO Tim Sadler, who echoed these views to Computerworld UK at an event last month.