Q&A- Startups

7 Questions with Karl Viertel, CEO and Co-Founder of Alyne

1. Who are you?

My name is Karl Viertel and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Alyne – a RegTech business to make Cyber Security, Risk Management and Compliance as easy, cost effective and painless as possible through a smart Software as a Service.

2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?

Everyone who has worked in compliance in banks will confirm that our main competitor is likely spreadsheet software.

Alyne digitises risk management and compliance processes, where messy spreadsheets and endless email chains currently reign. Customers can leverage our extensive controls library to become compliant with laws, regulation or industry standards or use our many templates to measure current maturity and identify and manage risks using our advanced risk analytics methods.

Alyne will be especially relevant to banks or FinTechs that are subject to the coming changes of the BaFin’s MaRisk – e.g. protection need assessments and outsourcing governance are ready out of the box. Everyone can sign up for a free trial or reach out to the team for a demo.

3. How did you get your startup idea and how did you finance your startup?

All four founders of Alyne have worked in the business of supporting banks in security, risk management and compliance for the past 10 years. We saw a lot of money spent with often poor results to show for it – and were motivated to change that.

Our team combines the industry knowledge, functional expertise and technical skills to fully develop our Software as a Service in house. We launched the company in July 2015, released our product in March 2016 and are fully self funded to date.

4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?

RegTechs usually solve a problem that is not visible to consumers – and probably even most employees in financial services, too. Simple explanations like “we’re Slack meets PayPal” don’t work for us and we spend a lot of time explaining or identifying the right people within an organisation to talk to.

5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?

I’m obviously biased towards RegTech and looking forward to seeing which smart solutions will emerge from the pack of young companies in this space. I’m also curious to see how new technologies like blockchain or machine learning can be leveraged for RegTech topics as these technologies mature.

6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech startups in the DACH region, and how can we help to accelerate it?

Nearly all large DACH corporations are embracing digital strategies and recognise the need to innovate. Unfortunately, this often only extends to a small “sandbox” around the chief digital officer or specific business units. Many IT departments still approach Software as a Service or other digital solutions the same way they would implement a SAP project. Additionally, an often misguided cloud aversion is still prevalent in the thinking of IT leaders in DACH. Changing this mindset in organisations is what can accelerate FinTech startups in DACH most.

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

There’s a lot of noise in the startup space. Try to figure out who’s a time waster and who can actually help early on. Filtering out the noise is key for you to focus on your product, your customers and your funding.