Early stage European FinTech deals include INZMO, We.trade, CybSafe etc. We feature Q&As with Matti Rönkkö of Cooler Future and Max Lautenschläger of Iconic Holding.
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
I’m a born and raised Finn but have done most of my career outside of Finland. I am not good at anything, so I have big hopes that soon generalists will be in demand 🙂 I am a nature lover; the thicker the forest and the more snow there is, the more I enjoy it.
My career I have built mainly on building and scaling companies. I love the excitement of building something from scratch. In the last few years I have thought a lot about my personal values and the topic of climate change and I decided back in the end of 2017 to make a switch to focus on ways to create a positive impact. That led us into founding Cooler Future back in 2019, to use the skills we have hopefully developed over the years for creating positive climate impact.
7 Questions with Max Lautenschläger of Iconic Holding
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Born and raised in Heidelberg I started my professional career in consulting and after a few years, I transitioned more towards finance. In particular, the alternative investment space has always been very attractive to me. This is why I decided to do the MBA program at the Frankfurt School of Finance and in parallel, I did the CAIA designation. After a few years in Private Equity, Venture Capital and FinTech Company Building, I decided to found my own business Iconic, of which I’m still one of the main shareholders and managing partners.
I’ve never been this 5-hour-startup guy, who begins his business on the side while still working full-time on something else. As soon as Pat (Co-Founder, Managing Partner) and I had the idea for Iconic we went “all-in”, quit our jobs, moved to Berlin and bootstrapped our startup. And so far, it seems as if it has been the right approach. If you love something and are convinced of its potential, just do it! The worst result could be failing and even this will give you more joy, experience, and learnings than any corporate job could.
When it comes to leisure time, I love sports, spending time with good friends and traveling. Since I think relationships are one of the most important things in life, I try to see all of my friends on a weekly basis. Independently from how busy I am, I try to fit sports into my schedule 5 times a week since this refreshes not only my body but also my mind.
German Insurtech INZMO Raises €3.1 Million Through Seed Investment Round Led By Change Ventures
INZMO, a Germany-based insurtech startup, announced on Thursday it secured €3.1 million through its latest seed investment round, which was led by Change Ventures with participation from Swiss insurance giant Helvetia.
Founded in 2016, INZMO aims to simplify the insurance process with its full-stack platform that combines all the steps from purchasing a policy to filing a claim in a distal-first manner.
“The startup focuses on B2B2C solutions across multiple verticals from consumer electronics and bike insurance to rental deposit insurance.”
Blockchain bank group We.trade raises €5.5m
The Dublin-based consortium will use the funds to further develop its IBM-powered platform for cross-border trading.
We.trade, the Dublin-based consortium of global banks developing uses cases for blockchain, has raised €5.5m.
The group is made up of more than a dozen banks including Deutsche Bank, Santander, HSBC and KBC, which all fund the project’s development. IBM is also a backer.
British startup CybSafe secures €6.3 million to help companies manage human cyber risk
Today CybSafe, a startup that’s transforming the way organisations manage human cyber risk, today announced an approx. €6.3 million Series A1 round. The round was led by deep tech investors IQ Capital, with participation from Hannover Digital Investments GmbH (HDI Group) and B8 Ventures.
This investment comes as a result of the company’s continued momentum, its pioneering use of both data and behavioural science, and the growth of the market opportunity.
French fintech company SESAMm uses big data, AI to build investment strategies; raises €7.5M
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, fintechs have shown growth globally. As per a report, on average, fintech firms reported a year-on-year increase in their transaction numbers and volumes of 13 per cent and 11 per cent respectively in Q1-Q2 of 2020, as compared with the same period in 2019.
In this regard, a Paris-based provider of analytics and AI solutions for investment professionals and enterprises, SESAMm, has announced its Series B round of funding of €7.5M.
The round was led by two investors – NewAlpha Asset Management and The Carlyle Group.
E-commerce boost: London fintech Storfund that funds online merchants secures £26.5M funding
The global pandemic situation brought many changes to the retail industry that might last forever. While traditional retail shops faced a hammering, e-commerce soared in 2020 and it was a bumper year for Amazon, eBay, Estey, etc. 2020 saw global e-commerce sales surpass $3.5T (nearly £2.55T), which is 22% of the entire global retail market.
Italian startup Scalapay closes €40 million seed round for easy buy-now-pay-later integration
Milan-based startup Scalapay has landed a whopping €40 million seed round. The investment was led by Fasanara Capital, while Baleen Capital and Italian family office Ithaca Investments joined as well.
The platform allows e-commerce merchants to offer buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options to their customers. The Italian company says its financing tool increases average order value by nearly 50 percent.
Amsterdam-based Catawiki scoops up €150M; 6 interesting things to know about the 12-year-old auction platform
The last couple of years have witnessed an increased reach of internet connectivity and an upsurge of digital payment platforms. This is led to the digitalisation of auction platforms globally. In addition, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a substantial shift of conventional auction companies to online platforms, enhancing the growth of the online auction market.
Reportedly, the global online auction market was valued at $4071M (approx €3.35B) in 2019 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% over the forecast period between 2020-2028.
Naqoda goes live with cutting-edge low-code development platform for banking
London, UK – Leading specialist platform developer Naqoda has gone live with its new cloud-based core banking platform solution with the aim of setting a new standard for core banking systems in the banking market.
Offering a cloud-based, micro-services architecture with an open API gateway, the Naqoda core banking platform has gone live with its first full client – Oxbury Bank – a new-to-market fully licensed SME bank dedicated to the UK agriculture market.
Naqoda has worked with Oxbury Bank since inception to build one of the UK’s most modern, flexible and bespoke core banking platforms operating in the market.
Naqoda’s vision is to provide bank clients with a comprehensive and resilient core banking system, able to support the full range of banking operations, while also putting bank clients in control of their product and service proposition development.
BaFin will N26 stärker kontrollieren – das kann Folgen für viele Fintechs haben
Die Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht will die Smartphone-Bank N26 stärker regulieren. Was bedeutet das für die Branche und hätte es nicht schon früher passieren müssen?
Wenn BaFin und Smartphone-Bank N26 in einer Meldung vorkommen, sind es eigentlich selten positive Neuigkeiten. So auch, als die Agentur Reuters mit Verweis auf interne Quellen vermeldet, dass die Finanzaufsicht die N26 GmbH zu einer Finanzholding einstufen würde – und sie somit stärker regulieren will.
Zur Erklärung: N26 besteht aus zwei Unternehmen: die regulierte N26 Bank, die durch ihre Banklizenz bereits der Aufsicht der BaFin unterliegt. Und der N26 GmbH, die Muttergesellschaft der Bank, in der laut Informationen aus Firmenregistern und Insidern Abteilungen wie Produkt, Marketing oder Kommunikation angesiedelt sind.
Digital Transformation: Germany’s Commerzbank to Invest €1.7B into Digitizing Banking Operations, will Close Down Many Physical Branches, Lay Off Staff
Germany-based lending company Commerzbank has announced that it will be cutting around 10,000 jobs and will permanently shut down 340 branches by 2024. The company confirmed that it plans to focus more on its digital transformation strategy so that it can lower operational costs and increase its profitability.
Commerzbank, which currently employs around 50,000 professionals worldwide, stated that one out of every 3 jobs in its home market of Germany will have to go, while its physical branch network of 790 brick-and-mortar locations will be reduced to around 450.
Additionally, €1.7 billion in capital will be invested into the bank’s IT services and related infrastructure over the next few years in order to digitize key processes and automate the bank’s core business operations.
Join us for Bar on The Block webinar on Thursday, March 4th to learn more about cryptocurrency derivatives.
About this Event
In this webinar, we’ll discuss one of the oldest forms of a financial contract- DERIVATIVES! We’ll deep dive into the types of crypto derivatives products, their common forms, policy, and regulatory regime. We’ll have an in-depth discussion on how derivatives are used in crypto trading, what kinds of Crypto derivatives can be traded both on traditional exchanges and regulated crypto exchanges, the biggest risks that traders face, and why investor interest seems to be surging in crypto-derivatives.
“Meet” us at:
F10 Online Demo Day, 11 Feb. 2021
An Insight Into Crypto Derivatives, 4 Mar. 2021
Finovate Europe, 23-25 Mar. 2021
Meet Our Partners:
Opportunity Network https://www.opportunitynetwork.com/fintech-forum
Money2020 Europe https://europe.money2020.com
InsurTech Insights https://insurtechinsights.com
Finovate Europe https://informaconnect.com/finovateeurope/
FN FinTech 40 https://www.fnlondon.com