1. Who are you?
My name is Jens Jennissen and I am the founder of Fairr.de GmbH. Fairr.de offers savers innovative and transparent retirement solutions.
2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?
We currently offer one retirement product, the fairriester, with the aim of broadening the product line this year with one additional product and by entering the market for corporate pensions. The aim is to offer customers all the various tax wrappers for pensions in Germany with our products and through our platform.
There are obviously a lot of other pension products out there. However, the industry is still predominantly offline and simply does not focus on the customer. In that regard we are only ones who do.
3. How did you get your start-up idea and how did you finance your start-up?
We are three founders at fairr.de and we were all extremely frustrated with the existing pension products. There are intransparent, come with huge fees and are overly complex. So we decided to create a pension product that we wanted to buy. This is still the main guideline for all new products: do we want to buy this product? This helps us to create products that are focused on the customer from front to end.
We are financed by business angels from the industry and self-funded.
4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?
We are operating in a highly regulated industry. Our product as well as our company went through an extensive licensing process that took (by industry standards only) ten months. Afterwards you have limited influence on the product, which means that techniques such as minimum viable product do not really work. You have to get it right first time, which luckily we did.
5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?
Obviously the pension space, after all that’s why we are in this market. But I personally find the intellectual and philosophical questions raised by cryptocurrencies fascinating.
6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech start-ups in the DACH region, and how can we help to accelerate it?
Financial service providers, especially in the DACH region, have neglected the customer’s need of the last 10-20 years. So there is huge opportunity to provide products and services that people need and want. As incumbents struggle with that new reality, I think we will see an increase in cooperation between start-ups and banks but also an increase in cooperation among fintech start-ups as the sector matures.
7. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs in the region?
Build products that people actually need.