Fintech specialists Nivaura has been appointed A&O's entrepreneurs-in-residence
Allen & Overy has appointed fintech specialists from Nivaura as entrepreneurs-in-residence, to help support and mentor the tech companies which will be selected to work in Fuse, Allen & Overy’s new tech innovation space based in its London offices.
Fuse is targeting legaltech (helping in-house lawyers and law firms to operate and deliver their services in smarter, more efficient ways), regtech (supporting businesses in complying with law and regulation) and dealtech (developing new ways for businesses to negotiate and transact with each other).
Nivaura, founded in 2015, has developed a platform which automates the primary issuance and administration of financial assets through a centralised system or a blockchain infrastructure. The company was a participant in Cohort 1 of the FCA’s regulatory sandbox – which allows businesses to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in the real market, with real consumers – where it successfully completed a test issuance of bonds on its platform. It was recently selected for Cohort 2 of the same programme.
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Partner Phil Smith, who is leading the relationship with Nivaura, commented: “The work that is being done by Nivaura is hugely innovative and has natural connections with our business. Blockchain and smart contracts are going to have an impact both on how financial markets work and, over time, how we work as lawyers. We’ve been collaborating with Nivaura for some time now in the development of their offering and are thrilled that the Nivaura team will be joining us in Fuse as entrepreneurs-in-residence.”
Nivaura team members – consisting of finance, technology, regulation and risk experts – will move into Fuse when it opens in September. They will help to guide the tech companies selected to work in the space by sharing advice and business experiences whilst continuing to develop their own business.
The appointment of Nivaura complements Allen & Overy’s well-established engagement with the fintech sector. Dr. Avtar Sehra, CEO and Chief Product Architect at Nivaura, commented: “Innovating through vertical integration is challenging in any industry, but even more so in the capital markets, which contain financial, technical, regulatory and legal complexities. Working with Allen & Overy has made managing these complexities easier, not only due to the A&O team’s understanding of each but also how the different elements interact. We look forward to being part of Fuse and continuing to work alongside Allen & Overy.”
Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy, added: “Alternative sources of funding and platforms for that funding have already begun to transform the way in which the financial markets work. This is the space in which Nivaura is operating and because of the sheer volume of deals that we advise on, there are clear synergies with our business. Nivaura will be a terrific addition to Fuse and we are really excited to be working alongside them and the other tech companies that will join us.”
Applications to work in Fuse closed on 12 June. The selection process is ongoing and following a pitch day on 17 July, the successful companies will move into the space in September 2017.
Fuse is being led by Jonathan Brayne, Fuse Chairman, and Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse.