Safello has been selected among 10 other startups to join the Techstars-affiliated Barclays Accelerator that will take place in London this spring. This is the first time that a bitcoin company will participate in the scheme.


The Barclays Accelerator, backed by Techstars, is a 13-week intensive course that gives startups opportunities to network and learn from industry experts. The participants will have access to the catalogue of Barclays APIs and data and will work in the co-working environment of the London Escalator in Whitechapel in the heart of East London. The programme began today, on March 23rd, and will last until June 22nd, when the companies will present their business models  to the public at the Demo Day. The details about Safello’s objectives in the scheme will not be revealed until then.

Frank Schuil, Safello CEO & Co-Founder, told CoinFox that he does not discount the possibility of collaborating with Barclays in future:

“HMT published the response to the Call for Information signalling that things are moving in the right direction. One of Safello’s objectives is to return to the UK as it is one if not the most important market[s] in Europe. Of course it would be great if Barclays could play a role in this, but it’s premature to make any statements about that. From experience we know it can go in any direction.”

Safello, a Swedish-based bitcoin exchange, experienced problems with opening bank accounts in Sweden and abroad in the past. In January 2015, their UK bank account was closed without explanation after more than a month of operation. The UK is notorious for its banks’ unfavourable attitude towards bitcoin, according to entrepreneurs based in the country. However, with the recent comment on cryptocurrencies from the Bank of England and the UK Treasury, the banking climate may be expected to change for the better.

Safello has been selected alongside 9 other companies that work on fintech innovations, including the cloud-focused startup Basestone; PQ Solutions, a startup providing cybersecurity with encryption techniques; and Ravelin, which provides education to counteract online fraud. Each of the ten companies will receive $20,000 in seed funding from Techstars.

Greg Rogers, Managing Director of Techstars, explains:

“We are very excited to have Safello join the incoming cohort. We have been very impressed with Safello’s management team and traction to date. We look forward to working with them to not only accelerate their trajectory but also to help further develop Bitcoin as an innovative technology in fundamentally changing how consumers interact with financial services.”

The most important selection criterion was the startups’ teams and everything related to teamwork. The committee also assessed the startups’ ability to develop a business product that could realistically be launched in June.

Techstars is a startup accelerator that focuses on mentorship and coaching, building a network of more than 1,500 mentors and over 500 alumni companies. It runs programmes every year in Boulder, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin.