One reason that as the Fintech revolution proceeds Fintechs can do more ambitious things is that there an increasing number of back-end service providers that they can plug into. In this episode Joanne Dewar, CEO of back-end payments services provider GPS – who work with 40 issuing banks globally, and operate programmes with 90+ APIs for over 100 clients (including Revolut, Starling Bank and Bo) in 60 countries in 150 currencies – joins us to share her experience of what drives success in this sector for both the B2C front-end companies and the B2B back-end providers. GPS is furthermore a rare example of a profitable Fintech – which are always good to talk to.
Back-end providers have been with us for a long time – Currency Cloud, who executed most of Transferwise’s FX transactions for quite some time were back on the show years ago.
Time moves on though and by now we have plenty of data where partnering/outsourcing worked well and plenty where it did not.
What are the key factors of success? How is it done well and why is it done badly?
As we have repeatedly heard profitability is a major challenge in Fintech. In this episode Tim Nicolle CEO of Trade Finance Fintech Primadollar describes his journey to working out the necessary building blocks to profitability. As someone who has had his own businesses for some 30yrs he has had more experience than most with these challenges.
Despite only being founded in 2015 Primadollar already has an astonishing 12 offices around the world so is well placed to also talk to the globalising of Fintech in this Brexiting year (albeit temporarily (?!) on hold due to a well-know virus of course).
Staff numbers are around 50, one-third in the UK and around two-thirds abroad.
Today the LFP has Dan Kiernan as guest host and instead I am in the guest seat to discuss my long in the making recently released book on the Unlisted Board The Realpolitik Of The Unlisted Company Board – Making Your Board An Engine Of Growth. This is a behind the scenes account based on interviews with some 80 SmallCo Boarders – mostly founders but including Chairmen, NEDs, VCs, Angels and other SmallCo Boarding surround.
Done well the Board can turbocharge the SmallCo’s success – done badly it can end up in company failure or the sacking of the founder who created the company in the first place.
Company Boards are a mysterious and remote thing for most people – only a tiny percentage of any company serves on the topmost, legal Board. If you are in MegaCo they will generally be so remote as to be irrelevant to your day job. Even in a SmallCo you may know little of what they do other than matters such as signing off on fund raisings, certain large expenditures et al. You will have read about the obsession of recent decades Corporate Governance and think that Boards are just paper pushing.
However no matter how inexperienced and naive all founders sooner or later find out that it is the Board that governs the Company not the founder. For some time the founder might have voting control on the Board but as bigger and bigger raises come and go the founders control slips away which creates a whole new dynamic.
In this show we discuss the background leading to the book, the motivation and some key takeaways as well as the thing that serial entrepreneurs know about the Board that the first time founder does not. Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading →
Do you known that William Russell’s – the 692nd Lord Mayor of London – first trip was to the US to promote Fintech and that he is perhaps the first Lord Mayor of London to have visited all the regions and is well up-to-speed on regional Fintech? No me neither before we spoke. However his mayoral theme is “Global UK – Trade, Innovation and Culture” which is super-important in this Brexited year.
What actually is The City – a phrase we all use? What is the Lord Mayor and what is his role?
How does the geographic district relate to FS as a whole – much of which is in Canary Wharf and spread around the UK?
How does the CIty’s soft power work and what have some Fintech’s already found out about the influence it can bring? What is US investors’ attitude to UK Fintech at present?
Also a small prize for spotting a splendid ancient Clock chiming away in the background of this recording in Mansion House 🙂
In this show we review a decade in Fintech. Although the earliest Fintechs were formed around 2004/5 (WorldFirst, Zopa) many big names formed around 2010 (Funding Circle, Ratesetter, MarketInvoice). The LFP formed started covering the scene in mid-2014, the year of the first London Fintech week and the year that the Fintech word first hit the broadsheets. Using the shownotes at the time as a diary I trace the evolution of the promises, the hopes, the disappointments, the old innovations and the new innovations. Where did it all go?
No long show notes this week – it is a podcast podcast and in listening you can draw your own conclusions – indeed that’s the point of using dozens of real world examples as seen at the time not as seen through the dark glass of memory.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the London Fintech scene and wider UK Fintech scene and to all listeners. Want to know what the next decade might hold? Check out the previous decade and join the dots…!
Michael conducts the most in-depth analysis of Companies House data on UK Fintechs that I am aware of. That earlier this year he partnered with KPMG and Google on his Fintech Funding and Financing study says a lot. So what can we learn from a decades’s data on UK Fintechs?
Well first that only five are making a profit!
Michael recently updated his study which includes nearly one hundred Fintechs.
In this episode we focus on trends in profitability – which are not all as you might expect – although the report covers many more parameters especially around fund-raisings.
After a decade for the longest running Fintechs we should be able to start to draw conclusions. What are they?
Today Shameer Sachdev founder of Growth Gorilla and I have a wide-ranging conversation about marketing. I’ve done it for over 30yrs and Shameer runs a growth marketing agency who help innovative start-ups, scale-ups & established businesses catalyse growth.. So between us we cover most angles, oldSkool and newSkool 🙂
You may have noticed that “build it and they will come” ain’t how the world works in the 21stC unless you a building a fountain of liquid gold but you’re gonna’ have a hard time making a profit with such a business even if marketing takes care of itself.
However, like everything in life we can all improve in all aspects and so this kick-around conversation is less to give you an A-Z encyclopedia on How To Market than to discuss various ideas and angles and for you to pick out whatever resonates most with you that you might work on in your business tomorrow.
Change creates positive and negatives. The digital world means newer generations will grow up far more tech savvy. On the shadow side as we have touched on in passing a few times the digital world has been a created a nightmare for mental health in the young. But there are many dimensions of challenges – social media and money being but two.
When money was something physical you could put it into kids paws and to spend it they would have to hand some over and end up with less. This gave a good feel for its nature and the limitation of its amount.
How does this work in a virtual world though when literally “no money changes hands”, when “money” is something virtual? GoHenry have an answer to the money education and management piece – a payment card designed for children – digital pocket money if you like and 700,000 clients to date.
Founder Louise Hill and I discuss the challenges kids face in the digital world and hence the challenges their parents have. We don’t have all the answers to all the questions but have had to find some interim answers as parents ourselves.
Tristan was last on the show some three years ago in LFP063 which has been solidly in the Top5 most downloaded episodes of all time even since. Today he joins us to update us on what is hot in AI/ML – and there’s a lot 😉 – along with predicting commodity prices.
Tristan is now CEO of ChAi who are creating insurance products for the commodity markets and at the forefront of some of the most interesting developments in AI/ML today.
In this episode we cover some of the key important developments and in particular dive into some amazing examples of how Alt Data is crucial to the developments. The focus in AI/ML is moving away from algorithms and onto data.
Britain needs both megabuilds but also a specialised SME property project finance market. Mike Bristow CEO of CrowdProperty a P2P based in Birmingham offers (to both sides) development finance loans and improves risk-returns by disintermediating the SME property finance market. We also debate whether P2P itself is morphing into asset securitisation for institutions (and to an extent retail funds as most folks are too busy/uninformed to second-guess experts by attempting to cherry-pick.)