Blockchain Expert Leaves Barclays for FinTech-Focused VC Fund

Barclays executive Simon Taylor will be leaving his position at the bank to join 11:FS, a new FinTech-focused venture capital fund, as a co-founder.

According to a Business Insider report, Taylor served as a VP of Entrepreneurial Partnerships at Barclays for the past three years, where he lead the bank’s R&D efforts into the applications of blockchains in the financial industry.

Taylor will be leaving Barclays for the 11:FS venture fund on June 24. He will be joining David Brear, co-founder of mobile banking startup Mondo, and Chris Skinner, who was appointed CEO of the fund, in April. Two months ago, 11:FS received a $5 million infusion of capital from Singapore-based venture capital fund Life.SREDA, and 11:FS is looking to raise $50 million by the end of this year. By the end of 2017, the fund is hoping to draw in a total of $100 million in capital invested.

The 11:FS fund’s main objectives are to provide an avenue for mid-sized financial institution – which may not have access to FinTech experts – to gain exposure to the rapidly-growing global blockchain industry. Taylor, whose three-year-stint at Barclays has given him a wealth knowledge and experience in the applications of the technology in the financial sector, will be advising 11:FS on their capital allocations, as well as educating smaller financial firms on the technology.

Taylor explains:

“There’s a lot of ships in the fog. We want to help you separate this stuff, we’re going to be the good shepherds.”

As far as Taylor is concerned, blockchains have the potential to improve many aspects of the financial industry; settlement times in securities transactions; digital & hard asset ownership tracking; trade finance.

While Barclays has confirmed Taylor’s departure to Business Insider, the bank has refused to provide any comment on the matter.


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