Pando Group, a Chinese venture capital firm, has recently invested into The Floor, a dedicated fintech hub located in Tel Aviv.
The Chinese VC made a $2 million investment into the fintech hub to develop a laboratory/test lab for local fintech startups to gain exposure and knowledge about the industry.
The Floor models after successful fintech hub around the world, such as Level39 in London and Stone & Chalk in Sydney. Level39 is a fintech hub located in Canary Wharf which also serves as one of Europe’s largest accelerator space for the segments of financial services and retail. Whereas Stone & Chalk, an independent and not-for-profit organisation spanning across 2,300 sqm of space in Sydney’s CBD, which aims to be the heart of FinTech in Asia Pacific.
The fintech hub in Tel Aviv will offer a co-working space for the startups on top of a research and development centre. There are currently already a large network of partners on board the initiative, including the likes of HSBC, Banco Santander, Intesa Sanpaolo and RBS. The opportunities available to the fintech ecosystem in Israel through The Floor are massive, which includes access to mentorship, funding, networks to large financial institutions and a test lab for research and development.
At the same time, financial institutions such as banks will be able to collaborate and learn from the technology offered by the startups as well as have the opportunity to invest into them.
The Floor intends to develop a proper and wholesome fintech community in Israel through their fintech hub, consisting of startups, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, regulators and the necessary stakeholders.
Many may not know, but the Israel fintech scene has been booming in the last couple of years, with a record-breaking number of 430 fintech startups currently. This comes as no surprise as the Israel’s tech scene is fast-paced and highly active. One of the biggest milestone for the Israel startup ecosystem is when Google acquired Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation mobile app, for $1 billion in 2013.
Chinese investors have been flocking into Israel with 40% of total VC funding into Israel originating from the Chinese. We expect no slow-down in the Israeli fintech community going forward and are excited to see more some unicorns or big exits in the country soon!
*Image taken from The Floor