finleap Insights April 2020
Dear finleap friends,
2020 is about to make history – unfortunately not in a positive way, but rather as one of the toughest years we all have had to endure.
I wish we could literally restart it in order to take the right measures to beat this global pandemic that has caused so many deaths around the world. I, and probably also the majority of you, dear readers, would have never expected the dimension that the coronavirus has on all levels of our lives.
Public and social life is at a complete standstill, and so is a majority of business, small and medium enterprises are suffering especially from the situation. The funds from the German government are an important step in the right direction, now the financial aid needs to reach those companies fast and without further bureaucracy.
In these challenging times and in a crisis that the world has never seen before, digitalization is still on the rise. The situation we currently find us in is unparalleled and has already left a mark across industries. The development of online education sped up, millions of people moved to working from home and fintech is now more important than ever.
In a world where social distancing and staying at home is a must, customers are in need of digital solutions for organizing their financial needs. We at finleap are here to help, with the full power of our ecosystem. In this edition of our newsletter, you will find a lot of insight into how we are managing business in times of coronavirus.
Besides our vision, reshaping finance, we went beyond and co-founded, together with other major tech companies, an initiative that should help to stop the spread of the virus with new digital solutions.
So, coming back to what I said in the beginning: as we can’t restart 2020, we have to hack it.
Stay safe and healthy – and stay home.
All the best,
#HackOne: finleap, wefox, via as initiators of initiative “Gesund-Zusammen”
In the battle against COVID-19, finleap wants to do more. Therefore, we started, together with wefox and via the initiative “Gesund-Zusammen”. The mission: to actively help stop the spread of COVID-19 with digital solutions, based on data. To do so, we brought together a wide network of digital players, like Bundesverband deutsche Startups, BCG Digital Ventures, N26, Delivery Hero, Omio, IONIQ, Heartbeat Labs and many more. As one of the first projects, Gesund-Zusammen is supporting the launch of a Corona Tracing App, based on the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PPE-PT) system.
Read more about the initiative in the press here and check out the website here.
#HackTwo: How can banks help their customers in times of coronavirus?
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the economy, the German government agreed on an extensive aid package for companies in Germany. These measures aim to help companies cope with the Coronavirus crisis and to ensure their liquidity. Next to the KfW, house banks play an essential role in the allocation of the loans and consequently – the guarantee of business continuity.
This is where finleap connect solutions come into play. With the connectivity widget, banks can speed up their loan application with a fully digital onboarding of their customers. This includes both a lean KYC process as well as categorized account data for your risk rating and decision making. Click here to find out more about our offering and request a demo!
#HackThree: Backstage initiative – Mastering current challenges together!
As we are all facing the same challenges in these turbulent times, finleap connect has established an independent platform to foster knowledge exchange on sourcing-related topics to ensure stable operations in the financial industries. New risks and restrictions have arisen, but also increasing demands on loans and trading, as well as customer inquiries have increased. During joint video conferencing sessions hosted by our team, service providers, banks and insurances can virtually meet and discuss topics like “How to manage my partnerships in times of Coronavirus crisis”. Selected speakers will share their experiences and answer your questions.
Please find more information and sign up here! Time slots and speakers will be announced later this week. All sessions will be held in German.
18,5 Mio. € for Penta, who stands “Side By Side” with its SME customers
Good news from Penta: the digital Business Banking Platform raised a 18,5 Mio. € investment round and welcomes RTP Global, ABN Amro and VR-Ventures as new investors. Also, current investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and finleap invested again.
Nevertheless, due to the actual situation, there was not really the time to celebrate, as Penta started a bigger project: under the slogan #SeiteAnSeite (engl: Side by Side), Penta launched a petition in order to help small and medium-sized enterprises to receive loans and helicopter money quick and seamless from the new governments aid funds. In addition, Penta also created a help website for their customers, to inform them about the different applications processes for financial aid. Please find the petition here and raise your voice by signing it. And be sure to check out the Corona help website.
MyEGO – welcome to the finleap ecosystem!
Yes, part of our DNA is still company building. But sometimes, you just get to know a company which has developed an outstanding technical product, is led by a great founder and is built by a team with the right skills and motivation. At that point, it doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel, but it is better to invest. This was the case with The Ego Company. The team developed the MyEGO App, where users can scan their most sensitive documents, like IDs, credit or insurance cards, and store them digitally and safely, thanks to blockchain technology. This technology is, especially in times where everybody should avoid direct contact, a real support for digital identification. We are aiming to develop the product further, supporting the team and building more interesting use cases around it. We can’t wait to meet the team at our H:32 Fintech Hub in person – as soon as the crisis is over. Read more about it in our press release.
Perseus (now part of HDI Group) helps to be safe during Home Office
Our new joiner, The Ego Company, was not the only change in our ecosystem. Perseus, the expert in prevention of cyber risks and emergency cyber assistance, was acquired by HDI Group earlier this year. HDI Group, to whom Perseus’s former co-investor Han Re belongs, was already a trusted partner of Perseus. The acquisition enables the insurance company to offer cyber insurance policies and cyber security concepts services from a single source. We are happy for Perseus that they found such a great partner to further grow their business. And as many of us are currently working remotely, they offer a free webinar for employees about cybersecurity while working from home.
Keep your finances safe through the crisis with Joonko
The coronavirus pandemic is a major challenge for all of us. Many people might wonder how this will affect their finances or insurance policies. Joonko, the digital financial portal, has summarized in a guide everything you need to know about employment law, insurance and finance during the crisis. And for those of you who are still searching for interesting information to get you through times of social distancing, Joonko has put together a whitepaper with all the latest insights on financial behavior in Germany.
PAIR Finance: How to adapt debt collection to the current situation
Like the rest of us, PAIR Finance believes that the Coronavirus crisis will further accelerate digitization, more people will organize their receivables via smartphone and more companies will rely on a digital collection strategy. As a Digital First debt collection partner, PAIR Finance offers advice, scope and flexibility for people affected by the crisis, consumers and companies alike. In the midst of this economic uncertainty, it is clear that PAIR Finance wants to act compassionately. You can read their full message here (in German).
Happy birthday to the first BaFin licensed platform in our ecosystem!
We still remember that feeling in 2016 when solarisBank left the common finleap office and moved into their own space – as the first fintech in Germany with a BaFin regulated banking license. The “tech Platform with a banking license” grew quickly, signed partner after partner and investor after investor. Now, four years later, solarisBank, led by CEO Roland Folz, counts over 300 team members, enables companies like Tomorrow, Kontist and Penta, and is backed by investors such as BBVA, SBI Group, ABN Amro, Visa and Lakestar.
Additionally, the company recently launched a new subsidiary: solaris Digital Assets. With their cutting-edge custodial service, they aim to drive digital asset adoption in Germany and beyond.
See how the team celebrated their 4th anniversary – remotely, of course.
Two questions to the finleap management team
Birte Sewing, COO of finleap on the impact of Covid-19 on the fintech sector.
How will the coronavirus impact the fintech sector?
The crisis is unprecedented and could not have been foreseen. We see a short term impact on the demand for fintech solutions, financing and fundraising for the ecosystem are also proving to be more challenging.
Next to the precautionary measures that we are taking to protect our employees, we also took a closer look at our business. For instance, we are reviewing our liquidity situation, modeling a number of scenarios to enable financial planning. We are also assessing how we can help contribute to mitigating the crisis.
What could be opportunities for fintech, both, during and after the crisis?
As in all crisis situations, opportunities arise. We expect to see an increased focus of traditional companies towards implementing digital strategies. For instance, within financial services, it is almost certain that the digitalization across the banking, insurance, and asset management value chain will accelerate. Specifically, companies will seek to develop new or improve existing digital models across:
- Customer interfaces and front end modules
- Digital processes to increase efficiency in the middle and back office
- Value-adding solutions to enhance core businesses
There will be opportunities in the market for finleap connect solutions as well as ecosystem ventures. We are optimistic that we have the capabilities, talent, and network to navigate through this crisis and accelerate growth in the „new normal“ once it passes.