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​£2.5 bn fund accessed by First Derivatives plc to support blockchain startups


By Emily McDaid

This week, I spoke with First Derivatives in Newry, about its new strategic partnership with Business Growth Fund (BGF), looking to support blockchain startups.

Through this partnership, First Derivatives will provide startups with its technology platform, called Kx.

Kx, used by 19 out of the 20 tier one investment banks, is a high-performance computing solution for the processing of data. It sets the standard for time-series analytics, with a built-in expressive query and programming language. Kx enables the handling of complex and data intensive applications, by companies in markets from pharmaceuticals to finance.

BGF is the seventh most active private investment fund in the world with a balance sheet of £2.5bn. First Derivatives will work with BGF to evaluate startups to share in these funds, whilst providing them with Kx to ensure their chances of scalability and success.

Blockchain is only one area of innovation that the startups may draw on – others including AI, cyber security, robotics and nanotechnology.

BGF provided £387m in funding to UK SMEs in 2016. The startups that can share in the First Derivatives partnership don’t need to be based in Northern Ireland, but the opportunity is open to them.

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