The winners of DIGIT’s inaugural Scottish Financial Technology Awards have been announced, with Money Dashboard and Soar both scooping two awards each on the night.
The ceremony, hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel on the 25th of September, brought together more than 350 people from across Scotland’s technology and financial services sectors to celebrate and recognise outstanding companies and individuals in the fintech sector.
The event was an opportunity for members of the financial and tech industry to celebrate the development of Scotland’s thriving fintech ecosystem, which has attracted more than £37 million worth of investment over the past 10 years.
Edinburgh-based firm Money Dashboard was named Fintech of Year and Best Fintech Collaboration. Judges praised the company for its innovative consumer ownership model and its tireless efforts to make open banking data more usable and accessible to fintechs through collaboration.
Money Dashboard saw off stiff competition from a host of highly-rated financial technology companies in Scotland, including Modulr Finance, FreeAgent, LendingCrowd, ShareIn and Float.
“We’re absolutely delighted and surprised to win these awards,” said Jossie Ellis, head of growth at Money Dashboard. “We’ve got an amazing team and it’s fantastic to be part of the Scottish fintech community. We’re genuinely excited to push the boundaries of fintech in the UK and abroad.”
Glasgow-based startup Soar was awarded the top prize in the Rising Star: Best New Entrant and Social Impact categories. Judges said the company had differentiated themselves by helping the less wealthy as opposed to offering new tools for those who already have money.
The awards ceremony also saw Stephen Ingledew, CEO of FinTech Scotland, win the Evangelist of the Year award, while LendingCrowd founder and CEO, Stuart Lunn, was recognised as Scotland’s Fintech Leader of the Year.
In the Special Recognition category, Louise Smith, head of intelligent automation at RBS, took home the accolades for her tireless work in championing the Scottish fintech community at home, throughout the UK and further afield.
Accepting her award, Smith called on the Scottish tech community to collaborate and support their counterparts, and provide help wherever possible.
She said: “To all of the people in this room, I say some of the businesses in this room do need your help. Because, as a leader of an organisation, it can be tough sometimes. Everybody in this room has huge expertise, huge experience that can help all of the businesses you see in here today.
“When you go and speak to them, please do something to help – ask what you can do, ask how you can support, but please help, because there are a hundred businesses in this room right now that need your help with design, development, marketing or just helping them scale.
“If you say to them ‘what can I do to help?’ they will tell you and you have a chance to get behind them.”
Founder of DIGIT Ray Bugg said: “The quality of entries in our first ever Scottish Financial Technology Awards was absolutely outstanding, and highlights the strength, depth and variety in Scotland’s fintech sector.
“It’s a community that is growing rapidly and we are delighted to be a part of that, and to help bring people in the industry together to better facilitate collaboration, which will be crucial to ensuring the sector continues to thrive.”
Derek Mackay, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, praised the work of the country’s fintech community in an opening speech.
He said: “At this, the inaugural awards show, it’s really important to celebrate the success that there has been.
“There have been huge announcements of late and actually more to come in terms of big companies investing in Scotland – Barclays, JP Morgan, and I can tell you that there are other big announcements to come.
“Financial institutions are voting with their feet and coming to Scotland because of our entrepreneurial spirit, business network, the cluster of technology, the academic connections we have, the innovation and the internationalisation. All of that is making a difference and making Scotland an attractive proposition.
“But it’s not just the technology. It’s actually the people who are making the difference. It’s the people who are creating the momentum that is absolutely putting Scotland on the map when it comes to fintech.
“Financial services are transformative and it’s an area in which Scotland has long had a fantastic reputation. I’m very positive and optimistic about the future. The digital and technological opportunities are changing at pace but with the passion, expertise and good will within Scotland I think we’ll do very well.”
Winners in all categories are as follows:
Customer Impact: Lloyds Banking Group
Product Innovation: Hymans Robertson
Social Impact: Soar
Best Fintech Collaboration: Money Dashboard
Information Security: Zonal
Financial Technology Partner: The University of Edinburgh
Rising Star: Best New Entrant: Soar
Evangelist of the Year: Stephen Ingledew, FinTech Scotland
Leader of the Year: Stuart Lunn, LendingCrowd
Financial Services Company of the Year: RBS
Fintech of the Year: Money Dashboard
Special Recognition Award: Louise Smith