by Joseph Young
Bitcoin companies Safello,, Vaultoro, Everledger, Wayniloans ,Coinalytics, Bitso, Bitnexo Volabit and Bitwage have become the finalists of the multinational Spanish banking group BBVA’s Open Talent Competition.
Over 652 startups from 19 different sectors in the fintech and finance industry and over 60 countries from all around the world, holding less than US$1.7 million in funding and US$1 million in revenue, were entered in the competition.
Nine bitcoin companies from Latin America, USA and Europe made it to the short list of 50 regional finalists. Among those finalists, two of the six winners came from the bitcoin industry: Bitnexo in the Latin America region and Everledger in the European region.
Three Bitcoin Finalists of the BBVA Open Talent Europe
BBVA Open Talent European finalists Safello, Vaultoro, and Everledger defended their projects the Next Bank BCN event at the Valkiria Hub Space in Barcelona. These bitcoin startups were judged by BBVA Director of Innovation Gustavo Vinacua, Managing Director Alicia Pertusa and Chief Data Scientist Marco Bressan. The event included prominent banking groups and financial organizations, including Lloyds Banking Group, Secco Bank, Thoms Reuters and Think Different Group.
Blockchain startup Everledger, Sweden-based bitcoin spending platform Safello and bitcoin-to-gold exchange Vaultoro competed against traditional financial startups and fintech startups, including English and Spanish risk assessment platforms Aplazame and Cutover.
Latin American Startups
Latin American startups included Bitcoin-based platform, Bitnexo; Mexican bitcoin payment processor and exchange, Bitso; cash-based bitcoin wallet, Volabit; and bitcoin-based p2p lending platform Wayniloans. These companies competed in the finals in Mexico City, in the presence of BBVA Head of Digital M&A Juan Carretero and Hugo Najera, BBVA Bancomer Head of Digital Banking.
Volabit, Bitso, Bitnexo and Wayniloans pitched and defended their technologies at the FINNOSUMMIT fintech innovator summit, a regional event hosted together with large financial institutions including banks, consultant firms and technology providers. The pitches were judged by venture capital firms and financial organizations including 500 Startups, meXBT, Blockchain Lab, MasterCard, Symbiont, and Think Creative.
Startups from the USA and the rest of the world
The last group of startups including autonomous wage distribution and payroll system, Bitwage, and blockchain analytics and artificial intelligence startup, Coinalytics, were among the finalists in New York, where they pitched their businesses at the Microsoft Technology Center in an event called the Fintech eXtravaganza.
By the end of the three regional events, two Bitcoin companies emerged victorious: Bitnexo became one of the two winners of the BBVA Latin America Open Talent competition, while Everledger of the United Kingdom was one of the two European winners. These two companies received a cash prize of around US$33,000 and an opportunity to join a two-week networking program in Mexico and London.