Things have been a little rough over at Barclays recently, but with John "Mack the Knife" McFarlane installed in the chairman's office firing anyone he can see through the glass wall, and brand-new CEO Jes Staley attempting to prove that only Jamie Dimon's Padawans can lead big banks, it might be turning around.
One way to look to the future is to engage with a few fintech startups on the cheap and take them for a spin. Barclays has apparently decided that it likes that plan... a lot.
Barclays today announced it signed contracts with eight companies who participated in the bank’s first-ever New York City fintech accelerator.
According to NY Biz Journal, there were only 11 startups at the accelerator, so that's quite the little spending spree. It also signaled Barclays' continued commitment to exploring the world of Bitcoin.
The bank’s chief design and innovation officer, Derek White, told NYBJ that Barclays is way into the Blockchain and basically said that everyone should feel free to read into what seem like a bunch of small moves.
By comparison, today's large class of actual contract winners is especially notable due to what White described as a steeper education curve around blockchain technology. But he also said that while negotiating the blockchain contracts took time to execute, he believes the extra effort will pay off in the end.
“The announcement of Chainalysis and Wave today is fundamentally a game-changer for us,” he said. Wave is building an electronic, paperless shipping records service on the blockchain. Swiss-based Chainalysis, is working with Barclays financial crime and security teams to help the bank transact with companies in the bitcoin and blockchain space.
And Barclays wasn't just shopping in the Bitcoin aisle.
Other startups that got contracts include LiveOak Technologies, which signed a five-year deal for its video-conferencing and e-signature technology, RangeForce, which will pilot cyber-secuerity competitions for Barclays around the world, and Syndicated Loan Direct, which signed Barclays as its beta customer during the development of its service to turn syndicated loan information into usable financial data.