7 Questions- Startups

7 Questions with Lars Reiner, Co-Founder of Ginmon

1. Who are you?

I am Lars Reiner, Co-Founder and CEO of Ginmon. Ginmon provides an automated investment solution which empowers private individuals to invest their money in an easy, secure and profitable way.

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

Our vision is to enable individuals to invest their money in a professional and profitable way, despite their level of assets or financial education.

Ginmons clients get an easy access to globally diversified portfolios of stocks and bonds with average expected returns between 5% and 7% p.a. The portfolio is designed to fit each client’s individual risk profile, which is determined by a concise questionnaire. Our service is provided in a transparent and cost-efficient manner, saving our clients on average 60% of the fees compared to traditional banks.
Our product is thereby the first choice for self-directed individuals who are looking for a time-efficient and smart way to invest their money.

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

As a previous banker, I’ve seen myself that traditional banks often do not act in the customer’s best interest. Cost-efficient and transparent investment products like ETFs are not actively introduced to retail clients because of their low margins – despite their superior investment returns.
Furthermore, Germans are well known for their limited participation in the stock market. In Germany, people have total savings of around 2.000 billion Euros held at interest rates below the inflation rate. These savings could generate much higher returns using a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds.
In the light of these facts, I founded Ginmon to help private individuals to build wealth more efficiently, leveraging smart technology and an ETF-based investment solution. We have closed our first funding in autumn 2014 and have released our product to the public in May 2015.

4. What were the biggest challenges in starting?

In the past year, we have overcome many challenges to realize our vision, such as hiring the right team members, ensuring financing, and launching our technology platform on time.

The largest challenge we have faced in the past was to find the right bank to partner with. We expected a shared vision and a strong commitment from our partner to launch within the planned timeline. Today, we are very happy to work with our partner DAB/Consorsbank, Germanys largest direct broker.

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

B2C investment solutions are obviously my favorite. Due to low interest rates, private individuals loose purchasing power worth hundreds of billions in Euros every year in Germany alone. I truly believe this is where, from a macro-economical perspective, FinTech startups can provide the most value.

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

Compared to the US or UK, the DACH region is characterized by a very different investment behavior of its retail clients. Investments in global stocks are still relatively uncommon and private investor returns are thus on a comparatively low level. The largest opportunity is therefore to educate these clients to increase their exposure to global stocks while maintaining full diversification.

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

I recommend every FinTech entrepreneur to develop solutions that they would truly want to use for themselves.