Daniel Broby

One by product of the Covid pandemic has been the dramatic acceleration in pace of digitisation and nowhere is this more evident than in the financial services sector.

Glasgow's rapidly growing fintech community is ideally placed to benefit from this global trend. Guest blogger, Daniel Broby, Director of The Centre for Financial and Regulatory Innovation at The University of Strathclyde reflects on the creation of the latest innovative fintech company to emerge from Glasgow's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Glasgow values its companies

It's not only people that make Glasgow, but also its entrepreneurial spirit.  Unlisted, an innovative start-up, has begun trials of its proprietorial automated valuation engine.  Its team believes that it has the potential to generate a large number of financial data analyst jobs supporting its algorithms.

Unlisted owns patented technology developed at Strathclyde University. It uses Artificial Intelligence to generate private company valuations in real time. The company claims its valuations are more accurate and cost effective than manually generated alternatives.

The team consists of senior ex bankers and technologists from well known IFSD financial companies, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley.  It has received support from a number of financial giants, like Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander bank.

The valuation engine took one and a half years to develop, some 5,000 man hours from a team of developers and interns.  It uses the stock market to derive valuations for companies that are not listed.  The founders believe this will democratise valuation and may even have the future possibility to create a virtual stock exchange for the pricing of private companies.

Initial test clients include one of Scotland's largest accountancy firms, HM Revenue and Customs and a large private equity investment fund.  With the Higgins report suggesting that Scottish SME's will need £6bn to revive the economy, there will no doubt be plenty of demand for its services in the SME segment of the economy.  The client tests are designed to validate the demand and ensure the end product gives a user friendly experience.

The market for Unlisted's technology is global.  It hopes to become the Zoopla of private company valuations.  If it succeeds, it will widen the financial competitive advantage of the IFSD to include financial analysis.  Investment bankers will look to Scotland to source their market intelligence.

The lockdown hit the company only six months after moving into its new offices.  That said, the development work was largely on the cloud.  The company utilises the AWS supercomputer to ensure real time data streaming.  Being agile meant the company was able to regroup on zoom and continue as normal.

Unlisted is a testament to Glasgow's entrepreneurial ecosystem. It has received support from the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network and the RBS Entrepreneur Accelerator and was shortlisted for the prestigious Converge Challenge, which recognises the best technology being spun out of Scottish universities.

Picture shows Unlisted Limited's development team enjoying a pre lockdown beer.

Daniel Brophy Team

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