Over the past five years, Delio has grown to become one of the ‘hottest’ names on the Welsh fintech scene – establishing an international client base of more than 90 organisations, helping financial firms across the world to transform their private markets propositions, through configurable technology that enables customer organisations to make alternative investments more accessible and transparent for today’s investors.
We spoke with Llantwit Major-born co-founder Gareth Lewis to discover why he and fellow co-founder David Newman set up Delio in Wales in 2015; and what lessons he has learned over the past six years…
“Why Wales? Why Not.”
“David and I were working in wealth management and corporate finance. During this time, we noticed first-hand the changing demands of today’s high-net-worth investors and wealth creators. We saw how they were becoming increasingly entrepreneurial, interested in private investment opportunities across sectors that they knew and understood, and spotted the market space to help a broad range of organisations connect their clients with private investment opportunities quickly, transparently and compliantly. Why did we choose Wales as the place to bring alive the vision? The answer is why not? I was working in Manchester at the time and to be frank, I was frustrated that Wales wasn’t thinking big enough back then, with more opportunities presenting themselves in other parts of the UK. We clearly have the human capital here in Wales – we, alongside fellow fintechs like Wealthify, Yoello and Credas have proven that – but we needed to be bold and back ourselves.
“We’ve expanded to London, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney, Geneva and New York”
“We consciously designed our platform to seamlessly complement the operational processes of financial institutions of any size” explains Gareth, “so we are, in effect, a centralised own-branded digital hub for these organisations, with integrated modules that support all private markets activity. This allowed us to expand our reach from the Cardiff HQ to London, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney, Geneva and New York, with customers ranging from wealth managers, angel networks and family offices to some of the largest financial institutions in the world. So creating a truly global business really can be done from here in Wales.”
“We can’t be complacent – let’s do it now.”
Did Wales offer any advantages compared to other locations?
“We’re every bit as good as anyone else – and our smallness can in one sense be a positive, because we can see and feel the edges of our fintech community, rather than getting lost in a larger scene like London. But we can’t be complacent – the fintech sector in Wales has a window but needs to run incredibly hard to make the most of the moment. We’re not New York or San Francisco – we can’t afford to sit on our laurels, even for a moment. My message is clear: let’s do it now. Let’s grab this opportunity in Wales.”
“We focused on delighting existing clients with solutions that resonated across the sector”
Complacency is the last word you would associate with Delio, as they increase market penetration across North America, Asia and the Middle East.
“Very early on, we adopted the approach of working closely in partnership with key strategic clients and building solutions around their needs” stresses Gareth.
“We focused on identifying the blockers that financial institutions experienced across private markets and developed solutions that resonated with both them and their clients looking to invest capital – positioning technology as an ‘enabler’ of financial services, rather than as a competitor – which meant we could engage high-profile organisations very early in our own evolution.
“Now we’re scaling our tech-offering to increase interconnectivity across the financial sector, we understand the importance of continually developing new functionality that will benefit our clients and users. The vision never changes – to make the world of private investments more accessible and collaborative by widening the ability of institutions, investors and private businesses to engage in a controlled, secure and compliant way. Through all the iterations, we have remained true to our original idea – and that’s a lesson worth remembering.”
“Scaling our tech-offering to increase interconnectivity across the finance industry”
For Sarah Williams-Gardener, Chair of Fintech Wales, the success and continued growth of Delio represents something of a landmark;
“We all know about the huge success achieved by Admiral, Confused and GoCompare – and many people recognise the phenomenal achievement of successful scale-ups such as Wealthify. Delio is beginning to belong in that same conversation: a fintech success that’s being made in Wales and is clearly going from strength to strength with new platforms that continue to stay ahead of the market and client expectations. As Gareth says, it’s time for us to show what we can do right across fintech here in Wales.”