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Ex-Barclays CEO Jenkins bags £34m for his fintech startup

[LONDON] Ever since Barclays ousted Antony Jenkins as chief executive officer in 2015, he has been warning the banking industry to embrace new technology or face a "Kodak moment" of obsolescence.

Now Mr Jenkins has the opportunity to practice what he preaches.

Today his fintech startup, 10X Future Technologies, announced it has raised £34 million (S$61.93 million) in a Series A round led by Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, a financial services firm in Shenzhen, and Oliver Wyman, a consulting firm owned by New York-based Marsh & McLennan Companies.

The value of the investment is 17 times greater than the median of other early-stage fundraising deals in global fintech startups in the second quarter, according to data from CB Insights, a New York research firm.

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Launched last October, London-based 10X is helping banks and other traditional financial companies unravel their spaghetti balls of aging information technology systems.

By offering them a digital toolkit filled with mobile banking software, cloud computing, and other innovations, the firm plans to make it easier for banks to redesign mortgages, checking accounts and other products for a faster and more interconnected world.

It's already building a digital bank for Virgin Money Holdings UK, which is set to launch in 2018.

"Twelve months ago my expectations were this is going to be a long process," Mr Jenkins, 56, said in an interview.

"Since I've started this firm, multiple banks around the world have been telling me they have a problem they can't solve. But they don't have a choice. They they won't be able to compete in this new world where data is king."

He expects his two new partners to help him expand in key markets.

Oliver Wyman will introduce 10X to dozens of clients in the financial services space, while Ping An, a Chinese finance giant with 318,000 employees, will tap 10X's capabilities in its push throughout Asia.

Mr Jenkins, a retail banking specialist, made fintech a hallmark of his three-tenure tenure at the helm of Barclays by starting its accelerator program for early-stage startups and backing its Pingit mobile payment app.

The bank's board of directors fired Mr Jenkins in July 2015 after losing confidence in his strategic plan to revamp the bank and bolster shareholder value.

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