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Barclays Africa launches Rise: a global start-up community pioneering financial services and unlocking Africa’s potential

October 5, 2015

Ashley Veasey, Chief Information Officer of Barclays Africa

Ashley Veasey, Chief Information Officer of Barclays Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 5 October 2015,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Africa’s innovators and start-ups will have the ability to scale their ideas in new markets following the launch today of Rise, a physical and virtual global community that facilitates collaboration and fintech innovation.

Funded by the Barclays, Rise is ideally positioned to take advantage of technology solutions that are not reliant on physical infrastructure. This is particularly relevant in the African context. It provides developing markets with an opportunity to leapfrog ageing analogue infrastructure, deployed in most developed economies, and with it the capacity to solve some of Africa’s development challenges.

The ability to bring scale to new ideas has long been at the centre of the Barclays proposition. By connecting the world’s most active innovation ecosystems, Barclays is confident that Rise can assist in co-creating ground-breaking products and services with entrepreneurs from across the continent.

“The financial services industry is undergoing a paradigm shift and new tech start-ups are challenging traditional business models,” says Ashley Veasey, Chief Information Officer of Barclays Africa. “This is possible, in principle, because advances in technology are enabling bright minds to develop solutions that compete with the best of those developed by big corporates. We aim to partner and collaborate at the forefront of this change.”

In addition to the connected digital network, Rise has physical innovation hubs in London, Manchester and New York, and is set to open one in Cape Town in December. With over 5 000 start-ups interacting through the Rise London and Manchester hubs in the first year alone, over 20 hackathons being hosted and over 130 companies having made use of the global sites, Rise Cape Town is set to enable Africans to connect, co-create and scale the next big thing in financial services.

“Rise is about connecting the world’s most active innovators to each other, to corporates and to resources and by expanding to another continent means we’re able to broaden this network further,” says Derek White, Barclays Chief Design and Digital Officer and architect of the global Rise programme.

“We’re unlocking the power of open innovation to co-create the future of financial services, which will ultimately benefit customers and clients across the globe,” added White.

The Cape Town hub will be home to a number of open innovation programmes and includes co-working facilities, a world-class events space, and a bespoke setting for the Barclays Accelerator programme.

Applications are now open for the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars

Several Rise initiatives are already underway in Africa, namely the Tech Lab Africa programme and the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge while applications are now open to companies wanting to participate in the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

This programme offers innovators and entrepreneurs unprecedented access to leading thinkers at Barclays and to Techstars’ mentor and investor relationships across 14 locations. This latest Barclays Accelerator programme follows successful programmes in London and New York.

“The three-month intensive programme has been designed to accelerate new fintech businesses in delivering breakthrough products to market,” says Veasey. “What we’re offering companies is a seat within a best-in-class accelerator programme, which in turn affords access to data, technology and intensive mentoring from industry experts and key decision makers.”

The programme will culminate in a ‘Demo Day’ to an audience that comprises industry leaders, serial entrepreneurs, senior executives and corporate partners.

“We are excited to launch our third accelerator programme with Barclays which will provide new opportunities to companies interested in leveraging the Cape Town fintech community as well as the larger Barclays and Techstars ecosystems. Barclays has become a true innovation partner to Techstars and is deeply committed to spreading fintech innovation worldwide,” says David Brown, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Techstars.

Applications are now open until 10 January 2016 at www.barclaysaccelerator.com. The programme will begin on 28 March 2016 with the ‘Demo Days’ scheduled for June 2016.

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of Barclays Africa.

For more information please contact:

Lexi Ball

Barclays Africa Group Media Relations

011 846 5934

072 992 0641

Lexi.ball@absa.co.za

About Barclays Africa Group

Barclays Africa Group Limited is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest financial services groups. We are uniquely positioned as a fully global, fully regional and fully local bank. We offer personal and business banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management as well as bancassurance.

Barclays Africa is 62.3% owned by Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays). At 31 December 2014, we had 847,8 million shares in issue and a market capitalisation of R154,0 billion. We operate in 12 countries with more than 41 thousand permanent employees and we have 12 million customers.

Our registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa and we have majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia. We also have representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria. Barclays Bank PLC has operations in Egypt and Zimbabwe which are an integral part of our African business and continue to be run by Barclays Africa operationally.

For further information about Barclays Africa, please visit our website www.barclaysafrica.com.

About Barclays

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way. With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com.

About Rise

Rise is a global community for open innovation designed to pioneer the future of financial services. Already open in New York, London and Manchester, Rise has been created by Barclays to plug start-ups, corporates and innovators into a global network that will connect, co-create, and scale innovation. Rise provides physical sites and a global digital platform for innovative companies to access Barclays resources, partners and 325 years of trusted expertise. Rise hosts numerous programmes for open innovation, including the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars, Rise hackathons and innovation challenges (e.g. Tech Lab Africa, Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge etc.).

For further information about Rise, please visit our website http://thinkrise.com.

About Techstars

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of community programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and do more, faster. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.

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