AAZZUR is among the startups selected to present at the FinTech Forum event on 18th Nov. 2021 at the Airport Club, Frankfurt: check out the line-up and register here.
1.Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
I am an entrepreneur, a husband and passionate about fintech. At my first job at Razorfish I helped build trading tech for State Street Bank; as a strategy consultant I helped design the portal for online banking at Sparkasse and as an entrepreneur have helped lenders and challenger banks get launched.
My personal passion is cooking and snowboarding. One is good for the head (almost like a meditation) and the other is good at enjoyment and hurting myself on the slopes. These I think are natural Austrian hobbies: eat, drink and ski!
2.Which product or service do you offer, and who are your competitors?
We are BaaS Integrators on a B2B2X SaaS basis. We connect API fintech and insurance services to our platform and ship smart banking blocks. What is that? Functional modules of banking tech (like a balance or an insurance or a transaction list) that you can combine like lego-blocks to build or augment financial services in record time.
Think of it as embedded finance with intelligence.
We enable challenger banking and we have working on a product matching engine to leverage the transactional knowledge into superior financial behavior and cross selling of financial products. If we can see you are going skiing for example there are a number of financial services like sport insurance or concierge services to book the right restaurants on the slopes that we can offer to the end customers.
The biggest competitor is to build it yourself, there are other shops out there that are BaaSi’s but there are only about 4-5 in Europe and it’s a new industry making front-end tech scalable.
3.How did you get the business idea and take it from launch to the first customers?
We wanted to build a challenger bank and figured out how to monetize this business model and how to build them much more rapidly and in a modular basis. We learned we are really good at tech but not B2C marketing in the setup we had and pivoted to become an enabler in this space.
4.How have you financed your startup? Any lessons would you like to share from the fund-raising journey?
Always be fund raising. We have raised over 2 million in four stages:
- VC’s & Institutional early seed
Its not as neat as the list suggests since we did mostly rolling rounds except the last one which was roughly $1m
I love to quote a good friend of mine on this topic: It’s all sh*t, until its great and then its sh*t again.
People try to solve this nightmare of constant pressure and constant raising, but its part of the job and I love it.
5.Which are the key trends and opportunities in (European) financial services?
Hyper-specialised services in all fields and now (where we are)
Scalable front-end re-integration to bundle these specialist services into functioning products
6.What’s on your bookshelf/ reading list?
- The hard thing about hard things.
- From 0 to 1
- Master and Margarita (if I ever get to it)
7.Your favorite place for a coffee and/ or a drink?
My favorite grown up drink is an old fashioned based on Makers Mark … in the Dorchester Hotel Bar in London
My favorite coffee is the one my beautiful wife brings me in the morning on weekends.