Q&A with Manuel Silva Martínez of Santander InnoVentures, Nitesh Srivastava of Datawok, Omocom, Slimmer AI, Pennylane, Hello Customer etc.

The early stage players raising funding this week include Omocom, Slimmer AI, Pennylane, Hello Customer etc. We also feature a Q&A with Manuel Silva Martínez of Santander InnoVentures and Nitesh Srivastava of Datawok.

Meet the first set of startups and investors who will be on stage at the 12th FinTech Forum, on 19th Nov. 2020 in Frankfurt:

(Click on the hyperlinked names to read our Q&A with the respective founders and investors)

KlickOwn: blockchain-enabled platform offering a superior real estate investing experience for everyone

CommneX: a digital brokering platform for credit- and deposits from municipalities and municipal enterprises

Finteum: a platform for interbank intraday lending, enabling treasurers to borrow and lend for hours at a time

We are pleased to confirm the following investors and financial institutions who will be sharing  investment trends and opportunities in specific areas.

Astrid Freier: Partner, DACH, Vidici Ventures

Paula Blazquez Solano: Head of Investments at InnoCells (Banco Sabadell)

Manuel Silva Martinez: Partner, Head of Investments, Santander InnoVentures

Daniel Andemeskel: Head of Innovation at Universal Investment

If you are in the midst of a funding round, feel free to reach out to us via LinkedIn: Frank Schwab or Samarth Shekhar

Call for startups: apply to pitch at the 12th FinTech Forum, 19th Nov. 2020 in Frankfurt – email contact (at) or reach out via LinkedIn. Investors & corporates: register here directly 

7 Minute Pitch Template Essentials

In the past 7 years we at FinTech Forum have evaluated over 3,500 pitches and given a lot of feedback. More than 350 FinTech startups have presented their business models in 7 minutes each.

From this we developed a template. We recommend that all founders cover at least the following eight themes in their presentation.

7 Questions with Manuel Silva Martínez of Santander InnoVentures

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

I am Manuel Silva Martínez and run the Investments team at Santander InnoVentures. At work, I have built a team that oozes dynamism and intellectual curiosity. We are a very lean structure where free speech and constructive opinions are the basis for our team dynamics and decision-making as investors. In my spare time, I am an avid traveller (70 countries and counting), long-distance hiker (Camino de Santiago several times, Inca Trail in Peru, Kumano Kodo in Japan…) and love to discover new restaurants and foods in East London, where I live.

Manuel Silva Martinez is among the investors who will be on stage sharing insights and investment trends in European FinTech at the 12th FinTech Forum, 19th Nov. 2020 in Frankfurt:
7 Questions with Nitesh Srivastava of Datawok

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

My name is Nitesh Srivastava and I’m the Co-Founder of Datawok.

Datawok is my first venture but I’ve worked in FinTech for most of my career. Before then, I was a management consultant at KPMG in Banking and Finance and I’ve worked in early-stage venture capital. I’m based in London but have lived and worked in Tanzania and Berlin and am fluent in French and German.

My professional background is mostly in tech and commercial product management. As I’m sure everyone has seem, product management operates at the interaction of UX, Tech and Business. I actually fell into this.

After I finished my degree at UCL in London, I moved to Tanzania to work for a charity. I then moved to Berlin with desire to work in a bar and take some time out but I ended up working for a VC. Since then, I worked for KPMG as a Banking Management Consultant and as an AI Product Manger. Corporate life wasn’t really for me, so I then moved in the London FinTech scene working as a COO or Head of Product for a few ventures. At the end of 2019, I decided to take the plunge and start my own venture.

I’m based in London but have lived all over. When not working, I like to lift heavy things and put them down again via my pursuit of CrossFit. The CrossFit allows me to experiment with my cooking and to enjoy the odd glass of red wine or a a negroni.

Swedish insurtech startup Omocom gets €3.7 million to insure the circular economy

Omocom, a Swedish startup that provides on-demand microinsurance for the circular economy, has raised €3.7 million in a round co-led by Inventure and Lisbon-based social impact fund Mustard Seed MAZE. Alma Mundi Insurtech Fund, Luminar, and some angels also participated.

The circular economy encourages sharing products that otherwise sit unused or get thrown away. Business models include peer-to-peer sharing, business to consumer rentals, and resale marketplaces. “We want to use insurance as a tool to drive sales on these circular platforms, thereby creating the conditions for products to be used more extensively and for a longer period,” says CEO Ola Lowden.

Dutch scaleup Slimmer AI that combats financial crime secures €4M funding

Slimmer AI, the Dutch AI startup has recently secured €4 million from a group of long-term strategic investors and experienced fintech entrepreneurs.

Its investors include a number of international family offices and experienced tech entrepreneurs including Daniel Ropers (co-founder and former CEO of, Adriaan Mol (founder of Mollie Payments and co-founder of MessageBird) and Maikel Lobbezoo (former Head of Growth at Adyen).

In the current times, credit risk and fraud are major cost items for companies and over €30 billion is laundered due to the same every week across the world.

Though policymakers have tightened regulations over the past two decades, the outdated technology deployed to detect suspicious transactions failed to keep up with the same.

French fintech startup Pennylane raises €4 million from Global Founders Capital, Partech and Kima Ventures

Paris-based fintech company Pennylane, which brings together accountants and tech to help startup founders and small business owners manage their admin, has scored €4 million in funding from Global Founders Capital, Partech and Kima Ventures, the investment vehicle of Xavier Niel.

The company was started by the founders of PriceMatch – acquired by in 2015 – which, judging by the team picture above, is a group that didn’t exactly include a lot of women.

Launched in beta only a few months ago in beta, Pennylane is already being used by some 100 companies, the startup says, helping them run their businesses ‘in real time’ with a single product based on accounting data. For the latter, it banks on a number of integrations with other platforms.

The financing round will help boost the development of the platform and to expand its team of accountants; it plans to hire 25 extra of those by the end of the year.

Belgian SaaS startup Hello Customer raises €6 million to grow customer feedback platform, with eye on US expansion

Hello Customer, a Belgian customer data platform, has raised €6 million from Munich’s Senovo Capital and Amsterdam’s Peak Capital. The company’s last funding was a €2 million seed round in 2018, raised from Dovesco, Seeder Fund and a group of business angels.

With the SaaS platform, businesses can analyse customer feedback and expectations, using those insights to improve the customer experience. The technology is based upon simple open feedback surveys to which linguistic algorithms and artificial intelligence are applied.

“Our platform makes it possible to analyse customer experiences quickly and in an automated manner in order to determine how those customers feel about a brand, a shop, a product or a service,” explains CEO Leslie Cottenjé.

Envelop Risk Raises $6M in Series A Financing

Envelop Risk, a Bristol, UK-based data-driven underwriting and risk analytics company, raised approx. $6m in Series A funding.

The round was led by Alpha Intelligence Capital, with participation from existing investors MS Amlin and Dymon Asia Ventures.

The company intends to use the funds to invest in proprietary machine-learning and data-driven underwriting activity in London and Bermuda and grow both within and beyond cyber (re)insurance.

Led by CEO Jonathan Spry, Envelop Risk is a global specialty cyber and emerging risk insurance analytics and underwriting company.

UK fintech startup Smarterly snags £7 million to help employees automatically save and invest their income

Smarterly, a London-based fintech startup that allows employees to invest and save directly through their payroll, has raised £7 million to expand the business through the UK. The round was led by family office Major Oak, which invested £5 million; existing angels and crowdfunders chipped in the rest.

Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) let British citizens earn interest without paying any income tax.
Using Smarterly, employees can have a bit of income deducted from their paycheck each month and put directly in their ISA.

Modulr Raises £18.9M in Growth Funding

Modulr, a London, UK-based digital payments scaleup, raised £18.9m in funding.

The round was led by Highland Europe with participation from existing investors including Frog Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to develop its platform and expand into new product areas and markets.

Led by Myles Stephenson, founder and CEO, Modulr is a Payments as a Service API platform for digital businesses, which integrates into any product or system.

Businesses can automate payment flows, embed payments into their platforms and build entirely new payment products and services themselves.

Fintech ANNA nabs €19.7 million for its SME app and debit card that “miaows”

Welsh startup ANNA, which stands for ‘Absolutely No-Nonsense Admin’, has joined forces with ABH Holdings SA (ABHH), who are taking a majority stake and investing over €19.7 million into the company. The startup will continue as an independent brand, but with more resources behind them to invest into new products and grow the businesses.

ANNA, founded in 2017, is a design-led mobile business current account for freelancers and small businesses. Users can open an account in 3 minutes with an ID, and track all their transactions and payments on the app. Their long term goal? They see a future where ideas, creativity and innovation are encouraged and running a business is fun.

Anyfin Raises $30M in Series B Funding

Anyfin, a Swedish provider of consumer loan refinancing solutions, raised $30m in Series B funding.

The round was led by EQT Ventures with participation from existing investors Accel, Northzone and Global Founders Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to expand operations and its business reach.

Launched in 2018 by Mikael Hussain (CEO), Sven Perkmann (CTO) and Filip Polhem (COO), Anyfin uses loan data with publicly available consumer data and AI to enable consumers to refinance their existing loans, based on their actual risk profiles.

Via its website or native iOS and Android apps, consumers can select their current loan provider from a dropdown menu, snap a picture of their statement or upload it.
Fly Now Pay Later Raises £35m in Series A Funding

Fly Now Pay Later, a London, UK-based fintech startup focused on the travel industry, raised £35m in Series A equity and debt funding.

The round was led by Revenio Capital with participation from Shawbrook Bank and BCI Finance.

The company will use the funds to support its product offering in the UK including further development of its proprietary payment technology designed to offer travel providers with payment solutions for their customers, launch a consumer payments app called “Fly Now Pay Later”, offering a flexible payment solution that will ensure flights are financially accessible for people and businesses looking to book their trip with any provider once travel restrictions are lifted, followed by France later this year.

Led by Jasper Dykes, CEO, Fly Now Pay Later is an FCA regulated alternative payment provider making it easier and more flexible for people to spread the cost of big-ticket trips and flights from as low as 0% APR.

Fintech Raisin launches Savings as a Service software for U.S. banks and credit unions

Raisin software brings first private-banking experience to U.S. retail deposits market
New solution enables banks to control costs while attracting deposits
American deposits market grew by $1.5 trillion in first 6 weeks of pandemicThe fintech Raisin U.S. ( has launched a tailored business solution for banks and credit unions looking for cost-effective new deposits. Raisin’s software enables financial institutions quickly and easily to offer customized time-deposit products with a range of flexible features.

We are proud to partner with Money20/20 Europe- now taking place from 22nd – 24th September 2020, still at the Rai, Amsterdam (rescheduled from the original date of 16th – 18th June 2020). Join us using discount code MP20FOR:

Meet us at:

NOAH Conference, Berlin, 4-5 Jun. 2020 (going virtual)

FinTech Junction, Tel Aviv, 1 Jul. 2020 (subject to decision based on COVID-19)

Swiss FinTech Fair, Zürich, 8 Sep. 2020

Money2020 Europe, Amsterdam, 22-24 Sep. 2020

Bank+FinTech EFMA, Madrid, 21-23 Oct. 2020

Digital Insurance Agenda, Amsterdam, 28-29 Oct. 2020

MoneyConf / WebSummit, Lisbon, 2-5 Nov. 2020

12th FinTech Forum, Frankfurt, 19th Nov. 2020

Our Partners: Heussen | InsurTech Insights | Finovate Europe | FN FinTech 40