Q&A- Investors / Corporates

7 Questions with Christian Knott, Capnamic Ventures

Christian is among the leading early-stage investors covering European FinTech innovation areas and investment trends at the 11th FinTech Forum, 21st Nov. 2019 in Frankfurt: https://ftf11.eventbrite.com

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

Well, I am the typical business student, did my bachelor in Cologne, Master in Leipzig. Worked briefly for the European Commission but that was not my hometurf. Started working in Venture Capital in 2010 and am with Capnamic for 5.5 years now. Since 2018, I am partner. 

In my private life I have a fiancée (wife at the end July), who I love to travel with. The more remote and beautiful the place the better.


2. What are your focus areas, overall and within the FinTech space?

We believe in enabling technologies, which means that we look for companies that solve problems that you cannot necessarily see in the direct interface with a bank, but that are crucial to solve in order to offer new services and run services stable. Furthermore, we believe rather in cooperation between banks and start-ups than competition or replacement.


3. Could you share a couple of your startup investments or partnerships?

NDGIT is probably the most renowned one and most relevant in banking. We furthermore invested in GetSafe, a digital insurer and have also invested in iWelcome, an Identidy and Access Management Provider


4. Which areas of FinTech innovation do you find overhyped and which ones are worth watching out for?

I think payment is a very crowded market. Furthermore, lending is somewhat difficult with all the companies and money allocated. As mentioned above, we look rather for enabling technologies. Personally, I think in the whole KYC / AML area there is too much complexity (and increasing) today, what holds similarly true for regulatory compliance. 


5. Which way do you see the (European) financial sector going and who would be the likely winners?

If I knew I probably would not need to work anymore. Generally, I believe that we will see an ever increasing connection between players in the market, which means that in the end it will be most important to offer the best interface and be the overlay over all the performances. I personally do not want 10 different applications that somehow relate to my financial matters. 

I believe that this holds also true in B2B, where it will be about ease of use and accessibility.


6. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs?

Know who you talk to and choose your battles / enemies. A pitchdeck claiming that “we kill banks in 2 years” might be a little overambitious or aggressive.


7. What’s on your bookshelf/holiday reading list?

Total transparancy – I primarily read fantasy or thrillers. In my vacation I try to really relax and thus stay away from busines related books most of the time.