On Oct. 30, Battery General Partner Itzik Parnafes took part in a panel discussion about trends in financial technology at the annual Ernst & Young Journey conference in Tel Aviv. Participants at the event–billed as Israel’s largest business conference–debated just how much, and how quickly, the financial industry will be disrupted by new technologies.
Parnafes noted that opening up industry APIs will be a key step toward creating new products and services in fin-tech–just as new, open APIs and software-development kits opened up the telecom industry years ago and reduced costs for customers. He also said he doubted that physical financial touchpoints, like bank branches, will go away anytime soon, even as Web-based financial services and technologies expand. “We are physical beings who live in a physical world,” he noted. “So, there will be real touchpoints.”
In Israel, Battery invested in fin-tech firm IDI Direct Insurance, a Web-focused insurance company, which went public last year on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. More broadly, Battery has a long history of investing in fin-tech, including companies such as LIFFE (the London Financial Futures and Options Exchange; TradeKing; Precidian Investments; and Q2ebanking.*
*For a full list of all Battery investments and exits, please click here.