1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Before founding growney in 2014 I was responsible for developing financial products and trading across all asset classes at the Landesbank Berlin. We were around 200 people and active in all german speaking regions. Back then I was already thinking about starting an independent digital wealth management service. There was no chance to start this project in a bank enviroment so I took my courage in both hands and started growney. Apart form that I spent a lot of time with my family and friends and play tennis when I get the chance. I also love good food and wine.
2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?
growney is a digital wealth management tool – or robo advisor – which established on growney.de in 2016. We also started offering white label solutions for financial service providers from mid 2017. At the moment Signal Iduna with its 5 million clients is our biggest customer. Our goal is to convince more big players with our experience as a third party service- and plattform provider.
3. How did you get your startup idea and how did you go about launching it?
The idea for growney grew over many years. A lot of private shareholders out there would be able to get much more yield out of investments with the same amount of risk than they do at the moment. Making this possible is what keeps me going. In our case it was pretty easy finding investors for that idea.
4. How did you finance your startup, and what learnings would you like to share from the fund-raising journey?
In the beginning we bootstrapped growney. One year later we decided to take to take an accounting firm and a family office on board. Now we are in the happy position to be able to evaluate what actions are necessary in order to scale growney in the most efficient way. We are a big step further now and aim to make another big step in our funding as well.
5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?
I really like both – FinTech and InsurTech solutions. Ideally I want growney to be part of a “best in class” solution that combines payment, digital wealth management (private, public and company pension schemes) and digital insurance management. With a solution like that 95% of all people would have one go-to place for all their financial services.
6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech startups in Continental Europe, and how can we help?
No matter where you start it’s important to have a look at international developments right away. I think venture capital companies and investors can help to gain the right perspective and find ways to achieve your goals.
7. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs?
Even the biggest funding will vanish if your product does not deliver.