LFP039 – A Deep Dive Into the World of Startup & Small Fintechs with Alexandre Gaillard CEO InvestGlass


In this episode we are taking a break from talking to the biggest players in London Fintech and dive instead into the far more numerous, if lower profile, world of small Fintechs.

Given the outburst of tech and business creativity right now there have been plenty of new and young companies forming in this sector – both from the Fin side and the Tech side of the FinTech phenomenon.

It’s admirable that so many folks are foregoing the wage slavery and potential necessity to be a clone to fit into giant FS or IT firms and starting out on their own. Equally as all the stats show it’s a highly risky path with the vast majority falling by the wayside.

How do startup and small Fintechs alter the odds?

What is it like working at the smaller end of the Fintech ecosystem?

Alexandre Gaillard

I am delighted to be joined to discuss this topic by Alexandre Gaillard. He is uniquely qualified being the founder and CEO of a small Fintech Investglass and the Founder of the Swiss Fintech Meetup.



There’s plenty to talk about in this world and amongst the many topics we discuss are:

– what folks actually do when listening to the podcast πŸ™‚

– what it’s like going solo and leaving #oldFS employment and starting in Fintech

– a large dose of discussing Switzerland, Swiss Fintech and the Swiss Fintech Meetups (Geneva, Zurich)

– West coast and East coast Fintech styles in the US and Switzerland (erm?)

– the challenge of connecting to banking systems in general given Swiss Banks historically very confidential business model

– the need for a certain amount of craziness to form a startup in the first place let alone where a client base (if in #oldFS) is very conservative

– the differences in forming a Fintech compared to any other startup

– the bifurcated Fintech market into (in effect) #newFS and #newIT selling to #oldFS

– the role of incubators and accelerators and how the whole phenomenon is going – positives and negatives; the lack of “performance data” in that sector – which is for example the most successful one in London – or can’t we tell [#transparency anyone? :-)]

– challenges around building product

– important lessons Alexandre learned from the failure of his first Fintech [InvestGlass being his second Fintech he formed]

– “zombie Fintechs”

– the challenge of marketing and sales in a world where all your potential clients are overloaded [see my BizDev content re how to cope with an overloaded world]

– Alexandre’s rather Gallic metaphor πŸ™‚ of how Fintech marketing has gone from eroticism (?!) to pornography (!?) πŸ˜€

– the problems that come with rapid growth and success

– a discussion of the ideas of Peter Thiel “From Zero to One” and Joe Pine’s “Mass Customization”

– mass customization ideas around modular/versatile growth followed by pruning (of staff or clients)

– InvestGlass as a tool that solves the problem of relevance and compliance when advisers approach clients individually

– vitamins versus painkiller Fintechs πŸ™‚

And much much more πŸ™‚