Draper Esprit are one of London’s longer-established VCs and with investments in the likes of Revolut, Transferwise, Thought Machine, Seedrs, Crowdcube and Freetrade might know a thing or two about Fintech. Draper Esprit, like Augmentum who we had on the show last year are also a listed AIM and thus also can offer finance not tied to the cycle of underlying funds – the so-called patient capital model.
Vinoth not only leads Fintech investments at Draper Esprit but has had a long running interest in the sector being at a Zopa Party in around 2007/2008 long before almost every firm now on the scene existed.
In this episode he picks out the key developments in Fintech over the past decade and a half, some of the takeaway lessons that all businesses can implement, some of the challenges and ends with his prospects for the upcoming decade.
In this Brexiting Age the UK must turn its thoughts once again worldwide – how does one do business around the world? How important is localisation vs globalisation? What role does culture play? Aneesh Varma is the founder of Aire, one of Fintechs longest-standing credit-rating firms who have scored over $10bn of VAR to date. Having lived in 11 countries and had businesses in 4, Aneesh knows more than most on this topic.
Aneesh was awarded the British Council’s 2009 Young Entrepreneur.and was nominated for the European Commission’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.
Having lived in so many places and self-described as a “3rd culture citizen” he is well placed (ha! see what I did there :-D) to give us some perspective on important 21stC issues ofidentity, culture and migration and in particular how they affect business and Fintech.
The Retail Credit Bureau market has been in place for decades but disruption is coming to the market in the shape of Credit Kudos who help people make faster more accurate credit decisions. They have proved that this new source of data enables better credit decisions.
Formed in 2015 in anticipation of ‘open data” (a superior term in this context to Open Banking) they got by with screen scraping but now have a commanding lead with this new technology. Contrary to my inbox there aren’t a million firms doing new credit bureau services – only Credit Kudos.
In this episode we look at how open data and Fintech are changing the assessment of retail credit decisions.
All businesses employ people, generate salaries, products and services and sometimes even profits without which modern society could simply not exist, Thus all Fintechs “do Social Good”. However in addition some focus their profits and services on the most disadvantaged members of society. We look at this “social benefit” sector in this show along with income streaming which is relevant not just to the lowest earners per se but also to the gig economy.
Peter Briffett knows this equation from both sides having been a serial entrepreneur and now founder and CEO of Wagestream who “help eliminate the payday poverty cycle by giving employees the flexibility to stream their earned wages into their accounts whenever they need or want it”.
Wagestream are also a member of Finance For Good which is a collective of socially-minded companies in the finance industry.
Using “P2P loosely there are over fifty to invest in, all with different standards and approaches. It’s a “fragmented and complex” market. Professionals do much due diligence before investing. How is an individual investor to cope? One strong contender for The Answer is “Aggregators” who do the due diligence, sign you up with said platforms and offer model portfolios
Iain Niblock co-founder and CEO joins us today to lay out the problems and challenges of investing in “P2P” which in practice covers many approaches in a diverse landscape.
Orca are also a rare example of a well-regional Fintech being based in Northern Ireland with an office in Edinburgh.
Once upon a time P2P was a simple thing. Now it’s more accurate to see it as online lending and borrowing. Models vary, regulation varies, the most successful platform was started by a bank, direct lenders have wholesale flows in funding retail or corporate outflows, others have just retail funds and others mixed.
Quite a complex state of affairs and in this episode Christian Faes joins us for a wide-ranging conversation about where this all came from, where it is and where it is going.
Lendinvest itself is no longer a P2P in the current definition but an online investment platform which is itself only one of their many channels.
App Banks are following many courses with many motivations. Who better to guide us through this ever more complicated maze of motivations and destinations than Ricky Knox, Founder and CEO of Tandem Money/Bank and serial entrepreneur sans pareil.
inter alia (alia being things like Insead) Ricky founded GSM Systems in 2003 (where he remains non-exec chairman) which now has partnerships with >170 mobile operators in >70 countries.
In 2005 he founded Small World Services taking it from inception to a Top10 global money transfer businesses with nigh on $5bn annual turnover.
Not content with these laurel leaves he founded the well-known Fintech Azimo in 2012 which does remittances to 198 countries globally, has half a million customers and more than 270,000 cash pick-up locations worldwide.
In 2015 he founded Tandem Bank, which (another inter alia) bought Harrods Bank – which certainly makes it a standout in Fintech as a whole, let alone in the App-Banks sub-sector.
All of which background (and more not included!) makes him ideal to discuss whether the current crop of App Banks are going to turn into real businesses – you know those businesses that are self-supporting and whose revenues are higher than their costs 🙂
Much Fintech (online wealth managers qv) is just “putting lipstick on a pig” – digitising existing processes at oldskool prices. No-one can say this about CrossLend who securitise loans ~200,000 times cheaper than oldskool prices and securitise down to one single loan as small as €1,500 :-!
Furthermore oldskool securitisation has all too often been a metaphor for investment bankers taking a huge chunk of value out of a package of assets and slicing and dicing the residual into complex tranches that even bamboozle the ratings agencies. With catastrophic effects – 2008 & CDO-squareds qv.
CrossLend has grown to a team of around 45 people, based in Berlin and Luxembourg and work across Europe – Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Norway, Finland.
A year ago in LFP060 (currently the 2nd most downloaded episode) we covered Open Banking/PSD2 from a Regulatory perspective. In this episode Louise Beaumont argues forcefully that Reg & Tech perspectives are “necessary but not sufficient”. To do Open Banking “well” means to utterly rethink ones strategy.
Louise is the co-Chair of the Open Bank Working Group at techUK , member of the UK Govt’s Open Bank Implementation Entity and Strategic Advisor Open Bank at Publicis.Sapient and thus sees Open Banking from many sides.
She was also on the show three years ago in LFP011, she was a co-founder of Platform Black, the then number two in the UK Fintech Invoice Discounting sector so has plenty of deep background in the Fintech Revolution. Indeed LFP011 was precisely around what she saw as the 5 Key Challenges facing Fintechs growth (which seem appropriate to this day).
So with that track record behind her we can anticipate that her views on Open Banking/PSD2 will be equally relevant in several years’ time too.
So if a year ago we looked into what this is all about and where it is coming from, we can now examine where we are and critically what the key factors for success are in practice.
What are the threats?
What are the opportunities?
Is sharing your customers data so well you lose them all success?