After 57 posts, I missed the one of last Wednesday. Really busy in Milan to work on www.fintechstage.com (please keep registering yourself so we can reach out) and as promised will be back on Jan 1st with AMAZING news.
The Innotribe start-up challenge was born to bridge the gap between start-ups, banks and entrepreneurs. Back in 2009, when it started, you had to be really well connected to even find ONE event of such a type, in our industry.
Now, finding a Fintech startup is not a challenge anymore, nor it is talking about Innovation with banks (endless consulting companies doing just this have popped up like mushrooms). Another movie is to measure the impact of such work, but it s definitely not a stealth mission anymore.
We know by now there are several Fintech funds, including ours, and I reckon in the region of 3B USD the series A venture capital money actually available for this industry, still insignificant compared with the global VC market size, but enough to make the market move, even if we will be short of capital soon without a new injection.
So what is missing, really ?
1- GEOGRAPHIES – Paris, Milan. the Nordics (Money2020 will go to Copenhagen in 2016 looks like) to give few examples are well banked, big countries/cities with clearly no developed Fintech Eco-system. This is the reason why we are launching FintechStage. It would be interesting to understand why, but I think is related to the other two “missing” things.
2 – VC OPTIONS – very little community of Fintech ONLY venture capital money, and often with teams with either bank only background or investor only one. Why is that a problem? Because everyone is after the “big” disruption idea, most fintech entrepreneurs think banks can be beaten on their own ground, and given the vastly diversified business financial institutions (and insurances, and remittances players, etc etc) are in, and the shortage of expertise in the investment side, the bottleneck is becoming thinner and thinner.
3 – INFRASTRUCTURE – I mean by it the same virtuous circle amongst government, entrepreneurs, and bank-supported programs (must say, like in London) that allows this economy to blossom. This is the most complex one, it does not happen by magic and at the same time it takes a lot of pillars to be built together to make it work.
Why should we (someone must ask) make any change at all to push Fintech economy to develop ?
There are different answers for different context, and prefer to develop this topic on a longer post, but this is why, explained with few stories…
#1- Yesterday I had to go to a notary to notarise my utility bill to proof my address for a company in our portfolio, which bank asked (rightly) for KYC … And I am ALREADY a customer of that bank.
#2- if i use the my UK debit or card to pay outside UK, between the commissions and the fixed fee I am getting ripped off, at the same time i have to say to the bank website that i am using my card abroad otherwise my card get blocked
#3- how many times did you give the same documents to do the same things with different banks?
#4- why I have miles, points, hotel rewards, all on a different support?
#5- in how many website my credit card is stored? do I trust this?
#6- why is so difficult for a bank to lend small amounts at a decent interest rate? why – when they do it – is so slow and cumbersome?
It goes on and on… many of these are solved, partially or fully, by some of the startups in this space… and we are only at the beginning.