Published on September 8th, 2016

MD Interview Series: Hendrik Krawinkel

Hendrik Krawinkel is Co-founder and Managing Partner of FinLeap whilst also being Partner & CFO of HitFox Group. At FinLeap, Hendrik is responsible for the organization and structure of FinLeap and its ventures. He holds a Master’s degree from HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

Today, we interviewed Hendrik about his experience at FinLeap, the company’s talent network, and the Fintech world. What are your responsibilities at FinLeap?

Hendrik: I am responsible for all organizational and structural topics at FinLeap. This includes heading our departments for Finance, Accounting, Controlling, Tax, Legal, Regulation and People and Organization to make sure our businesses are built on a strong foundation both from a legal and a human perspective. You are with FinLeap since the very beginning. What was the motivation behind FinLeap?

Hendrik: After being successful in building companies in AdTech and Big Data, HitFox decided to tackle its next market – FinTech – with a dedicated company builder focusing only on FinTech. We saw the huge potential of this market and believe(d) that businesses and consumers deserve better financial services. What impact do you think you have as a Managing Director?

Hendrik: As a managing director of FinLeap I have a strong influence on the overall development of our group, especially on FinLeap itself and on our early-stage companies. We typically try to give a lot of freedom in their operations to our later-stage ventures as we believe that the entrepreneurs running those companies 24/7 are best suited for their job. However, we still try to support them as strong sparring partners and bring in our network and contacts. Speaking of talent, what’s FinLeap’s talent network?

Hendrik: As a company builder, we are constantly searching for the new and innovate talent out there. It is important to find the right co-founders and entrepreneurial employees that will want to grow great companies with us. We are thankful for an unique ecosystem in Berlin where highly educated tech-experts, experienced founders, and an international startup community come together. At the same time, the city is attractive for financial experts due to its high-quality standards. Thus, currently, FinLeap has more than 270 employees from over 30 nationalities working together to create great companies. What’s the most interesting part of your job?

Hendrik: It has to be the variety of our ventures and the team. In less than two years, we have launched nine ventures and have some already in the pipeline. Each venture offers a unique solution to an existing problem in the financial sector. It is great to see how ideas for those ventures are born and develop into self-sustaining organizations over time. In addition, I enjoy the spirit of people that work at FinLeap, always striving to go the extra mile to create superior companies within the financial world. In your opinion, what gives FinLeap the competitive edge?

Hendrik: To begin with, we have an incredible set up that provides a platform filled with knowledge, financing, and network for new ventures. The main reason for FinLeap’s success is the dedication of the team – making sure we are always one step ahead, coming up with one-of-a-kind ideas, and providing quality expertise. How do you keep up with the dynamic Fintech world?

Hendrik: It is very crucial to keep up with the Fintech industry as it is ever changing and extremely fast-paced. FinLeap’s strong network of experts that bring not only industry expertise to the company, but also tech capabilities and entrepreneurial mindset to the company can be a great way to keep up. I also regularly meet leaders from other financial services companies to stay informed about their developments. What is some advice you can offer to other FinTechs?

Hendrik: The most important task in a company is to execute all legal matters with excellence, so everybody is in compliance with the laws and regulations. Afterwards, it is important to have the right blend of people working in the company. Fintech is more than just finance, so a successful startup has to have tech and financial experts who are ready to enter the entrepreneurial mindset that is needed.