Dear finleap friends,
Almost one year ago today, I wrote to all of you with the message that we can’t restart 2020, rather we have to hack it. One year later, this message still rings true for 2021. Back then, both the world and the fintech sector were uncertain as to how the pandemic would affect us. It has, however, proven to be a catalyst for truly digital financial services, reshaping the structure of the industry and skyrocketing the adoption of cashless payment methods. This will result in accelerated future growth and increasing maturity for fintech. Going forward, we will likely see the start of a new era of fintechs at scale.
Anyone who has been following global fintech news can see the uptick in larger fintech funding rounds in the past year. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, I am proud of our ventures CLARK, Elinvar and Penta which were also successful in winning new investors and capital to further invest into their platforms.
Furthermore, we increasingly see partnerships between large corporations and bigtechs, like the one between Google and Deutsche Bank. At the same time, we also see these between bigtechs and fintechs. Our ecosystem company Solarisbank enables Samsung to empower their Samsung Pay solution in the European market. For this, finleap connect and Solarisbank partnered to create a new eKYC product, reducing the customer onboarding time for Samsung Pay to just under three minutes. The variety of partnerships is tremendous, but in the end one takeaway remains: every tech company can become a fintech company.
Overall we can see that if the pandemic has proved anything, it’s that the next generation of financial services users both want and expect financial services to be fully digital and tailored to their needs.
Today, the new generation of startups will be built differently. They can rely on a number of fintechs including finleap’s regulated platforms for the infrastructure and expertise necessary to succeed in the market. Fintech companies that you can build today, could not have been built 5 years ago – from true ‘headless’ banking applications to deep-tech financial service disruptors.
For us – as an early mover – it means: we will continue to apply integrated insights from our own experience, network and the market to grow the fintech ecosystem, by doubling down on our assets. To that end, our team of highly skilled fintech experts is already focused on maximizing value creation and fostering innovation for all the stakeholders in our ecosystem and beyond and believe our existing category leaders have the potential to be unicorns.
Our longstanding role as the trusted entrepreneurial investor to our portfolio remains our competitive advantage and main focus.
Update regarding finleap Partner, Dr. Carolin Gabor
Dr. Carolin Gabor, previously Partner at finleap, has decided to leave the finleap ecosystem as of 31st March, 2021.
As many of you know, Caro has been integral to finleap‘s success story since first joining us as Managing Director in 2016. Over the years, she has truly been one of the driving forces behind, and a true representative of, our efforts to reshape the European financial services industry, together. We are pleased to share with you all that Caro will continue to be a finleap shareholder, as well as support us and our ecosystem in a senior advisory role.
As for what comes next for Caro, she has decided to start her next challenge at Movinx, a digital insurance solutions provider for car companies and mobility providers. Following her role at Joonko, the move to Movinx was both a logical next step and a perfect fit for her.
We wish Caro all the best and much success for the future.
finleap connect welcomes Dr. Lea Maria Siering as Chief Risk Officer and designated Managing Director
Connect with Lea on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-lea-maria-siering-3089a827/
finleap connect digitizes customer onboarding with eKYC
deineStudienfinanzierung enters its next growth phase
Founded in 2018, the fintech deineStudienfinanzierung makes it possible for all Students to study without financial worries. To achieve this, the platform aggregates the most important financing products for students – from jobs to BAföG to student loans. In November 2020, the fintech company, founded by CEO Bastian Krautwald, received an investment from finleap, and therefore joined the finleap ecosystem.
Since December 2020, the startup has also been cooperating with KfW, Germany’s leading development bank. This makes the young fintech the first-ever accredited digital sales partner of KfW Bank. In addition to a wide range of offers, it can now also provide the KfW student loan completely digitally and within just a few minutes on deineStudienfinanzierung for the first time.
Now, deineStudienfinazierung enters its next growth phase, naming Jenny Boldt, formerly Head of Startups at Bitkom, to Head of Growth, and Simon Götz, formerly Head of Product at 7mind, as Head of Product. Both will report to CEO Bastian Krautwald, and together, will optimize the platform’s current offering and bring it to the next level.
Find out more in Finance FWD: https://financefwd.com/de/bitkom-jenny-boldt/
Penta tops up its Series B funding to a total of €30M – and welcomes Markus Pertlwieser as CEO
Penta extended its Series B funding to a total of €30M. The digital business banking platform announced it plans to use the funds to further develop its business model, with a holistic and target group-oriented focus on self-employed individuals and companies of all sizes. This funding round will also be used to enter further strategic partnerships, from which a total of over 30,000 self employed persons, freelancers and companies will benefit.
Penta has also welcomed Markus Pertlwieser, former Chief Digital Officer of Deutsche Bank, as its CEO. Michael Hock, Managing Director of finleap, says on behalf of the investors on the appointment of the new CEO: “We are delighted that Penta is gaining Markus Pertlwieser, an excellent banking manager with foresight and enormous expertise in digital business models. His experience in the implementation of corresponding business strategies will decisively advance Penta in becoming the most important digital platform for business banking.”
Read more here: https://bit.ly/penta_round
Elinvar signs €25M funding round with Toscafund, Goldman Sachs, Ampega & finleap
WealthTech platform Elinvar has signed a €25M funding round with Toscafund Asset Management, Goldman Sachs, Ampega and finleap. Elinvar enables B2B2C partners to digitize their business models via its Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) multi-tenant solution.
“Our goal is to connect the entire ecosystem and to enable our partners to execute their target operating model in the best way possible. We are proud that Toscafund and our existing shareholders share our vision and support us in delivering on it”, says Elinvar CEO & Co-Founder Chris Bartz. Read more in Elinvar’s press release: https://bit.ly/390ngJ1
CLARK raises a total of €69M in Series C funding
Germany’s leading digital insurance manager, CLARK, has raised €69M in Series C funding from Tencent and existing investors such as Portag3 Ventures, White Star Capital and Yabeo. With this funding, CLARK will accelerate its rapid growth and continue to pursue its goal of becoming the largest insurance broker for consumers in Europe.
BSI & finleap connect “Open Banking & PSD2 for insurance companies”:
finleap connect and BSI Software hosted a joint webinar on how Open Banking & PSD2 can help insurance companies find, win and retain customers. In case you missed it, the webinar is now available on finleap connect’s brand-new YouTube channel (in German): https://youtu.be/0Wz2tLFadvY
As a special bonus, they’ve even included the question & answer session with finleap connect’s API expert, Lennart Swoboda, and BSI’s Colin Gygax.
Interested in learning more about how Open Banking & PSD2 can help your company bring financial transactions to life? Reach out to the team via email@example.com.