Holt Accelerator Announces 2020 Portfolio Companies

by sspagnuolo | August 5, 2020

Today, the Holt Fintech Accelerator announces the launch of its 2020 cohort, the third in its history.

This year, Canada’s only business accelerator devoted exclusively to all Fintech verticals has pivoted due to the ongoing pandemic. To accelerate competition in this space during Covid-19, Holt extensively analysed the current market conditions (see Holt’s Fintech Magazine), and identified 4 key verticals for which Canada’s ecosystem has shown a considerable appetite. This year’s cohort will feature 8 companies from 7 countries focused primarily on:

  • Cybersecurity; The needs here are immediate given the increase in fraudulent activity under Covid-19, thus requiring new methods to mitigate cyber threats.
  • Insurtech; Given premiums are now expected to face downward pressures, opportunities to reduce costs, or increase revenues are more welcome than ever.
  • Property tech; with pent up supply and low mortgage rates, resulting in pressure to create new opportunities in distributing loans or securitize equity.
  • Trade Finance; geared towards major economic and socio-political fields like agtech and energy financing opportunities.

Jan Christopher Arp, Founding Managing Partner, said:

“In response to COVID and the world coming to a near halt, we felt that our society needed to accelerate the adoption of fintech solutions more than ever. In adjusting our focus to the needs of our society, we witnessed a record number of applications, alongside an increase in our Advisor engagement. This enabled us to find the best fintech startups that will provide direct benefits to Canadian consumers, financial institutions and service providers, while also enabling Canada to become more competitive globally.”

The 2020 cohort is made up of the following fintech companies:

Brazil’s Agryo connects lenders to farmers by combining data and AI modelling to bring better financial services to millions of underserved farming families globally. Its risk intelligence tools provide analysis before, during and after any transaction related to crop contracts dating back 20 years. They provide risk intelligence as service (RasS) to banks, agricorps, insurers and Ag-coops.

Straight out of London, Naoris helps financial service companies future proof their systems and data the way governments and militaries approach cybersecurity and threat detection. In seconds, the platform is able to detect any security breach, which can take competitors as much as 4 months to accomplish. 

From Calgary, Ownest has partnered with 125 Canadian lenders to make shopping for a mortgage, car financing or other loans as easy as ordering dinner. Clients need 70% less paperwork while partners gain transparency and cut out 90% of their internal processing time.

Relativity6 is a Boston fintech company helping insurers sift through the massive amounts of data they hold to identify and retain profitable customers, cross-sell and up-sell at the right time. Founded at MIT, this AI platform can predict future customer behavior and maximize lifetime value.

Sentro is led by a Canadian ex-pat in New Zealand, helping group insurers grow their business efficiently by connecting their customers, partners and systems. Part of the Microsoft for Startups program, they help their clients give group customers the customized product and service experience they expect, without the administrative complexity in the back office.

Nova Scotia’s Talem Health Analytics offers a predictive AI injury causation tool which examines car crash data for severity, diagnosis confirmation, occupant motion, and recovery trajectory. This helps insurers streamline recovery and cut down on billions in fraud each year. 

Israel-based SolidBlock addresses a serious lack of liquidity in real estate. Tokenization of such assets, smart contracts with built in regulation & legal structuring and a blockchain based, tradable asset infrastructure.

And finally, Swiss-based company Fidectus allows Energy Traders to manage the high pressures of managing costs, cash, limits and risks by automating and accelerating the settlement process in cross-company workflows.

Holt’s goal is to deliver cutting-edge solutions and facilitate opportunities for collaboration in order to help build innovative ideas, products, and services that ultimately raise the Fintech ecosystem to new heights. As such, for the third consecutive year, Fairstone Financial is Holt’s official 2020 Corporate Champion, as they’ve proven multiple times their willingness to adopt fintech solutions.

We have made great progress in that 3 of our 8 cohort companies include women as part of the core team either in Co-founder and/or C-level executive roles. This  is 50%  of our 2020 portfolio, beating out the more traditional ceilings of 13% that have plagued the fintech industry in funding women led opportunities.   Proud to see Holt investing almost 4X above those odds.Elisabeth Laett

Co-Managing Partner, Holt Accelerator

These companies were selected from more than 700 applications emanating from 87 countries. Selections were made following an extensive online consultation earlier this year with 125 of Holt’s professional advisors. With 1,200 years of combined experience, they contributed over 1,000 hours to the selection process. The 2020 cohort begins July 27, online only.

About Holdun

The Holt-Dunn family is the direct legacy of Sir Herbert Holt, and one of Montreal’s finest. Business people at heart, members of the family founded or owned over 300 companies locally and internationally. Sir Herbert Holt was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1979 and remains the longest-serving chairman of RBC (from 1908 to 1934). Sir Herbert Holt’s participation was crucial in turning RBC into the country’s largest bank and the third largest in North America at the time.

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