finleap Insights May 2020

Dear finleap friends, 

It has been an eventful spring season! The COVID-19 outbreak has brought nearly all public life and big parts of the worldwide economy to a standstill, with new headlines emerging every day.  

While the crisis has brought many aspects of our lives to a halt, it has also accelerated digitization in many different ways. Millions of people are currently working from home, something that was unimaginable less than three months ago because of both infrastructure and people’s mindsets. And while shops, company branches and offices have been closed, customers have continued to look for different solutions to their problems – digital ones. 

The needs of customers continue to evolve, leaving companies across the board with the option to either continue digitizing and optimizing their products or drop out of the race. If anything, the outbreak of COVID-19 has shown that digitalization is relevant, and who better to solve this problem in the financial service industry than fintech and insurtech companies? 

As mentioned in the last newsletter, fintech is now more important than ever. This claim holds true as we look at the industry in Germany, Europe and on a global scale. While players in other sectors urgently look for funding, fintech companies such as Penta and the solarisBank partner Trade Republic are still raising investment rounds. Continued investments in European top fintech companies shows one thing – the trust of investors in the power and potential of fintech. This trust is also confirmed by the rise in partnerships, user numbers and new project launches. 

Of course there are also challenges that come with fundraising in times like these, as investors have become more cautious when it comes to investing in startups. Therefore, we welcome the Matching-Fonds initiative of the German federal finance ministry to support venture capitalists with funding for their portfolios. 

Following the full shutdown in most of Europe, the first countries are loosening their restrictions and both the public and  business activities are restarting. The finleap ecosystem with all of its state-of-the-art tech solutions is here to continue the digital transformation of the financial services industry. In this edition of our newsletter, you can find out how the current situation fuels B2B fintech partnerships and how we are managing business in disruptive times. 

Stay safe and healthy while we slowly make our way back into the new normal. 

All the best,

Ramin 

finleap connect: New office in Frankfurt and regtech product in development

finleap connect has opened a new office in Frankfurt, where Andreas Reuß started as Co-GM Corporate Solutions & White Label Products. The team will be located in the TechQuartier and develop an additional Software-as-a-Service regtech product that will help regulated institutions and financial providers in the area of risk management in information security as well as IT services and outsourcing. Reuß will lead the Corporate Solutions & White Label Products department together with Uwe Sandner, who will manage the Berlin-based teams.

Frank Kebsch, CEO finleap connect (left), Andreas Reuß, GM Corporate Solutions & White Label Products (right)

The opening of the new office and announcement of the new product is a strategic step for finleap connect, seeing as Frankfurt is still Germany’s stronghold for the traditional banking industry.

Read the full Handelsblatt interview here. For more information on the new regtech product offering, get in touch with Andreas Reuß.

finleap connect goes live with first Digital Bank customer Prosperity

finleap connect has launched their White Label mobile banking app ‘Digital Bank’, based on the Banking-as-a-Service platform of solarisBank. The insurtech group the prosperity company AG is the first customer, adding banking functionalities to the offering to expand digital financial management for clients, simplify getting started in asset generation and offer more savings-based flexibility.

Read the full Handelsblatt interview here. To find out more about the Digital Bank product, contact Christian Hegeler.

GesundZusammen: First-round finalists of the Future Perfect Accelerator have been selected 

Future Perfect, the accelerator by the GesundZusammen initiative co-founded by finleap, announces its portfolio. With 250+ applications received in just 10 days, exclamovoizeAncora.ai, and, everstox are the finalists of the first batch. Each team receives €20.000 in an equity-free grant, and access to a support system of resources and mentorship from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Stripe, Trivago, BCGDV, Airbus, and many more. The six-week acceleration program prepares the teams in their customer discovery, user acquisition, and investor-readiness. A virtual Demo Day on June 8, 2020, will showcase the progress they’ve achieved. To learn more about the teams, check out this article from Business Insider (German). If you like to be involved with the accelerator, please use this form.

If you are interested in joining the next batch of the accelerator, you can apply here. 

solarisBank announced new partnership with OTTO

(Photo: dpa)

solarisBank, the first Banking-as-a-Service platform with a full banking license, signed Germany’s largest online retailer, Otto GmbH & Co KG, as a new partner. For the “OTTO Market” marketplace, which will be launched in spring 2020, solarisBank will carry out the automated onboarding process as an external service provider for the Hanseatic Bank.

If you want to offer financial services to your customers as well, feel free to contact our colleagues at solarisBank.

ELEMENT launches digital car lease protection plan with VW Group 

(Photo: Robert Haverly)

ELEMENT, the white label product factory for insurance, expands its collaboration with Volkswagen Group. Having successfully launched various short term covers in 2019, a fully digital car lease protection plan was launched last week. All of these products in partnership with Volkswagen follow ELEMENT’s philosophy of state-of-the-art insurance solutions, fully reflecting the needs of ELEMENT’s partners and their target groups.

Read more here (in German): Versicherungsmonitor 

Penta part of the 2020 Red Herring Top 100 Europe Winners

Every year, as a celebration of innovation and new technology, media company Red Herring highlights companies from all over the world who are well-positioned to see explosive growth in their respective industries. We are very proud that this year, Penta, the digital business banking platform for small and medium-sized enterprises, was included in the list, as one of the 14 European Fintech Winners and the only German Company listed in this category. Penta was one of the few fintechs which closed a financing round, despite the corona crisis, and could still increase its potential for growth.

See the full list here and read more about the 14 European Fintech winners here.

BillFront opens its financial solution to a wide range of businesses

BillFront, the proprietary fintech lending and factoring platform, are offering their services to more businesses. To support the digital economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, BillFront is opening up its proprietary receivables-backed financing solution to not only Digital Media/Adtech businesses, but to digital service providers as well. Their flexible and international lines of credit range from €250k to €10 Mio (equivalent) and are funded in €, $ and GBP. Particularly in these times, payment terms and conditions are getting longer, putting a strain on fast-growing tech and media businesses. BillFront helps them unlock some of the liquidity tied-up in their receivables. Through its industry-focused financing product, BillFront originates asset-backed loans in excess of €120 Mio annually.  Interested to find out more? They can be reached via www.billfront.com and hello@billfront.com 

PAIR Finance: Can start-ups in the fintech sector take advantage of the corona crisis? 

 

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy was one of many events that triggered the global financial crisis of 2008 – as well as a wave of new start-ups in the financial sector. FAZ author Antonia Mannweiler asked PAIR Finance Founder and CEO Stephan Stricker, whether the Corona crisis is now also an opportunity for fintech founders. „In the midterm, companies will pay more attention to their liquidity. Receivables management will then become more important“, said Stephan Stricker whose company introduces customers to new digital options in the debt collections field. “Collection services were also in greater demand during the financial crisis.“

Read now (€): https://www.faz.net/aktuell/finanzen/koennen-fintechs-durch-die-corona-krise-profitieren-16757294.html

Elinvar strengthens its management team

Elinvar, PaaS (Platform as a Service) for asset and wealth management, was founded almost four years ago and has grown its team to almost 100 members. Time to further strengthen its management team!

Together with Chris Bartz, CEO & Co-Founder, and Sebastian Böttner, CTO & Co-Founder, the following proven managers will join the management and guide Elinvar in the future: Laura Deneke as SVP Business Development, Stefan Füger as SVP Partner Relationships, Istvan Kroh as SVP Software Development and Paul Thomas Walsh as COO. Sebastian Böttner, CTO & Co-Founder, joins Chris Bartz as Managing Director of the BaFin-regulated company. The four new members of the management team complement each other with different professional backgrounds in technology, banking, asset management and risk management at PIMCO, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. They have previously held Director positions at Elinvar and will strengthen the management team with additional international, technological and financial expertise.

Elinvar enables asset & wealth managers to digitize their business models by providing the required Platform as a Service. This includes applications for core processes as well as third party connections, e.g. to custodian banks, market data or KYC providers. Elinvar’s partners profit from the combination of leading technology and the optimal regulatory setup as Elinvar holds all necessary BaFin licenses.

Find more information in Elinvar’s press release.

Link Tips

Want to find out more about finleap and its ecosystem, we recommend the following links:

finanz-szene: Fintech Women – finleap COO Birte Sewing (German)

Interview with finleap founder and CEO Ramin Niroumand (German)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Open Source Corona-App (German)

Versicherungswirtschaft Heute: Digitization accelerator Corona: Why comparative platforms and ecosystems win (German)

Finleap

Author

Ramin Niroumand

Founder & CEO at finleap