Tag Archives: Globalisation

LFP164 – A Deep Dive Into Ripplenet, A Key 21stC Global Payments Approach, with Marcus Treacher SVP Customer Success Ripple

Payments are being revolutionised. One of the most fascinating examples is Ripplenet – Ripple’s approach to inverting the old model of slow large payments to super-fast, immediate, small payments (the general trend) which will change payments forever. Ripplenet “an internet of value” is used by over 300 Financial Institutions in more than 45 countries, as a next gen global payments infrastructure.

 Marcus has over 30 years of experience in transaction banking and payment technology, including 12 years at HSBC, being a member of the Global Board of SWIFT and an independent non-executive director of CHAPS Co, the UK’s RTGS clearing company.

In this show we start with the super-big picture of how payments have changed over the centuries, how the challenge is not simply tech but how people and organisations relate to this before spiraling in to a schematic overview of the three layers than amount to Ripple’s solution. Continue reading

LFP163 – A Deep Dive Into Venture Debt – An Important But Underused Funding Option? w/Alex Baluta CEO Flowcap

What is called Venture Capital is most of the time actually Venture Equity – the predominant funding model for Startups/ScaleUps. But in many sectors, Fintech included, some UnlistedCos are Very large – valuations in the billions. These are no small companies. Traditional corporate finance theory says (correctly) that equity is expensive and should always be geared with debt. After all it’s what most people do when they buy a house. So for larger Fintechs and other fast-growth sector Venture Debt may well be an important tool.

Alex Baluta is CEO of Flowcap a listed Canadian provider of Venture Debt and with nigh-on thirty years of experience in investment banking as a whole is well placed to contextualise the use and abuse of both equity and debt.

My simple takeaway is withe “small companies” getting ever larger that the equity:debt mix for their capital is a must-consider for their Boards – just as it is on BigCos, next to none of which fund with 100% equity. In terms of debt solutions for the growing firm Venture Debt is an avenue which must be investigated at a certain point/stage.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP162 – The Past and Future of Fintech w/Vinoth Jayakumar Partner Draper Esprit

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.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP161 – Global B2B Payments & Multi-Rail Technology w/Marwan Forzley CEO Veem

Marwan  joins us to discuss global payments for small businesses. He has been in payments for many years and was first a founder in 2002 so speaks from long experience of both. Veem is a global payments network used by small businesses around the world which allows them to pay their vendors, suppliers and contractors anytime, anywhere.They do payments to 110 countries in 50 plus currencies, and have about 200,000 B2B customers.

One important way that Veem manage such a long list of countries is to use a unique “multi-rail” technology – basically having wired up a bunch of different conduits from bank to bank transfers at one end through the likes of card payments to via crypto currencies at the other. This enables them to have a broader range of options for any particular transfer and for the end-users enables them to have a much richer range of payments destinations.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP160 – Entrepreneur Masterclass: What Attributes Do You Need To Create A Billion Dollar Company? w/Clay Wilkes CEO Galileo

The Tech press is full of unicorns – but these are almost always “on paper”. Those companies that someone has bought for over a billion – be it a trade sale or IPO – are far rarer. Clay Wilkes has created both starting with just an idea. Galileo Financial Technologies which he co-founded, powers 95% of US digital banks and 5 out of the top 5 of UK digital banks and was sold to SoFI. Galileo was formed in 2000 and succeeded in growing without and external funding  until raising a $77 million Series A round in October 2019 (from Accel). In the 90s Clay floated his prior startup i-Link which was a pioneer in VOIP, 

In this episode Clay shares the entrepreneurial values that he has found most essential in creating not one but two tremendous businesses and taking them from conception to successful trade sale/float. We also focus on the fact that many of these attributes are practices or skills rather than something that one can be – it is something we can work on and keep refining and improving. Few people are very strong without going to the gym and lifting weights, or as Clay has done, few can run marathons without putting in lots of hard work and going through pain barriers.

But this is no mere “no pain no gain” “just keep slogging away and be brilliant” simple blog post level conversation. Clay is a great antithesis to the oft-promoted US model as entrepreneur as somewhat psycho model which exists but is over-emphasised. Clay’s entrepreneurship is grounded in family life – as he says “what really matters”.

As a special bonus for the show notes I will share two aspects that we don’t emphasise in the show. First Clay came well-prepared – now of course all guests do but I would say that his was in the top 10% of guests. Would you – or I – prepare for “yet another interview” if we had sold our company for a billion the month before? I’d imagine that 99.999% of folks in such circs would, as it were, stroll along with their hands in their pockets – after all you don’t get to build a company of that size without being a good talker.

Another example is that Clay referred to reading my book on the SmallCo Board. Again how many entrepreneurs who had successful created two hugely valued companies would read another business book when they could write several themselves?

In both these cases I am reminded of a book I have read about but not read – “Relentless from Good to Great to Unstoppable” by Tim Grover, trainer of the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

But the real lesson here is not about a conversation with a remarkable man but that he models what we can endeavour to become too. We too can always go the extra mile to do our next task even better than we were going to do it. We too can always keep the beginners mind and always believe there is much more to learn not matter how much we know already.

Finally I am reminded of another rare chap I knew who was the american head of an authentic Chinese lineage (which is super-rare). I recall him telling me that his pupils think he is further ahead than they are because he trained super-hard in the past. This he said is true. But, he said, what they don’t realise is that every day he is leaving them further behind as he trains more and puts more into his training.

What would your life be like – in any any aspect you choose, business is just one – if you committed to seeing how good you could be? And not just that but when you had achieved more than you ever thought you could you remain humble, open, don’t coast and always assimilating more?

The deeper part of this podcast for me is what is behind the words – however the words themselves point to the attributes that we can all practice and improve upon. Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP154 – Successful Partnering in Fintech w/Joanne Dewar CEO GPS

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?

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP151 – Meta-Creativity & The Road To Fintech Profitability w/Tim Nicolle CEO Primadollar

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.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP148 – Special Episode! The Lord Mayor Of London: The City, Promoting US-UK Fintech Ties & Regional Fintech

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 🙂

All these topics and more are discussed in this episode including: Continue reading

LFP147 – Going Global – Culture and Business Around The World w/Aneesh Varma CEO Aire

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 of identity, culture and migration and in particular how they affect business and Fintech.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP146 – Creating Regtech’s Robocop – Automating AML et al w/Charlie Delingpole ComplyAdvantage

Charlie is one of London’s greatest serial entrepreneurs – with ground-breaking the Student Room and Market Invoice under his belt, as an MLRO he saw the huge gap in the market for using AI/ML to solve both the Financial Crime problem and businesses problems in risking prison if they get it wrong. Thus he formed ComplyAdvantage in 2014 which now has offices in four countries around the world.

This whole area has many dimensions. First it’s a regulatory necessity – Fintechs, FS and increasingly others (Apple had to pay a big fine recently) need to Do The Right Thing. Second its a huge resource drain, traditionally very manually done. But third the MLRO is the poor bod that will be picked on to go to jail.

How does Fintech/FS handle these challenges?

What can computers and a smart bunch of folks do to solve this in a 21stC way?

All this and more are covered in this episode. Topics discussed include: Continue reading