Our venture Pair Finance has added Stephan Stricker as its newest Managing Director. Stephan brings with him years of experience at HitFox. He was responsible for the internationalization of ad2games, founding entities in San Francisco and São Paulo and, lastly, oversaw as Managing Director the strategic development of nevaly. In addition, he has experience in online and mobile marketing, team and company building as well as consulting for KPMG. Stephan holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has studied in Germany and Australia.
Today, we interviewed Stephan about his newly-acquired responsibilities at Pair Finance, Adtech, and the Fintech world.
FinLeap.com: You’ve been at HitFox for a while now. How did you learn about the company?
Stephan: I was asked to join HitFox in the beginning of 2012 as the Head of Business Development. I grew within the Hitfox Group and helped Ventures like ad2games and nevaly to successfully run their businesses.
FinLeap.com: How did you decide to join Pair Finance? It’s a big change from Adtech to Fintech.
Stephan: I saw the interesting opportunity Pair Finance provides: a new venture with a great revolutionary product in a more old fashioned market. Thus, there is space to truly disrupt and make a big step for the industry.
FinLeap.com: As the newest MD, what will your responsibilities at Pair Finance be?
Stephan: I will be taking over the business side of the venture; everything from sales, marketing and PR to finance and operations.
FinLeap.com: In your opinion, what impact will you have on the venture as MD?
Stephan: My national and international experience within the HitFox Group, the establishment of international entities as well as team building and team management has given me experience in setting up structures and having a pragmatic go-to-market approach which I can give to Pair.
FinLeap.com: How does HitFox and now Pair Finance differ from your previous experiences?
Stephan: HitFox has the startup DNA. It’s very agile and creative, allowing me to develop and implement new ideas quickly. It gives entrepreneurs as well as young starters a great opportunity to grow professionally and allows all of us to leave a fingerprint in the business world.
FinLeap.com: Speaking of past experiences, what is the main difference between the business processes in Adtech and Fintech?
Stephan: Early stage startups have many commonalities. You have to prove that a product or service is attractive in the market and attempt to revolutionize the status quo. The orientation towards customer satisfaction holds true for both industries. The Adtech industry is already on a more mature stage when compared to Fintech. Nonetheless, it makes it even more interesting to use the learnings from one industry and develop the other.
FinLeap.com: In your opinion, what makes Pair Finance unique?
Stephan: It’s definitely the highly sophisticated product. On one hand, it is based on behaviorist analysis which makes it extremely customer-oriented. On the other hand, the digital approach of the debt-collection industry makes the venture a true competitor.
FinLeap.com: What do you find most interesting about your job?
Stephan: First of all, Pair Finance’s team is a very exciting team to work with. Additionally, the big opportunities that the market provides to make a change and leave this above mentioned fingerprint are also very interesting. Lastly, the role itself offers a lot of room for personal growth as well as the possibility to have an impact on the company.
FinLeap.com: The Fintech world is very fast-paced. How do you personally keep up with it?
Stephan: I talk to many other founders and establish good friendships within FinLeap which help me understand Fintech better and challenge different people’s ideas. I have also enjoyed following FinLeap’s development since the very beginning which keeps me updated on recent Fintech news.
FinLeap.com: Finally, do you have any advice for other startups?
Stephan: Don’t lose yourself in too many strategic topics – be pragmatic and have a fast go-to-market approach. Establish and grow the company while learning from the market.