1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your focus areas, overall and within FinTech
BlackFin is the largest fintech focused independent VC investor in Europe with a 150M€ fund. We invest 1-10M€ in series A-B fintech, insurtech, regtechs headquartered in Europe. Funded by lots of strategic investors (banks and insurance cariers) we have a strong but not exclusive focus on B2B business models. BlackFin is an entrepreneurial investment platform solely focusing on financial and insurance services in Europe. Blackfin is managing 600M€ in the buyout space and 150M€ in the venture space. BlackFin has been founded and is owned by ex-founders of Fortuneo, one of the first French online bank in 2000 sold to French bank Credit Mutuel Arkea.
2. What opportunities or challenges are FinTechs creating for European Financial Institutions?
Fintechs usually start by creating opportunities on niche markets which are underserved (like SMB today). They can then partner with financial institutions enabling them to expand their product range or their profitability. Basically fintechs provide the technology and financial institutions the trust (which is too often underestimated) and the customer base.
3. What do you think about their response so far, and what should they be doing?
We have seen a significant change over the last 5 years with financial institutions partnering more and more with Fintechs. Financial institutions have clearly realised the relevance, reliability and potential of Fintechs and have also become more innovation friendly meanwhile with better adoption of third party API or cloud solutions for instance.
4. Which way do you see the financial services sector going? Who would be the likely winners?
The financial sector is really exciting right now and arouses interest from players coming from other industries (telco, media, tech giants). Like in telco (apple, Samsung, google) and in media (facebook, google) some years ago it is more than likely that tech giants will be the winners in the financial space as well.
5. What’s on your bookshelf / holiday reading list?
After reading biographies of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk I am looking forward to reading the biography of Jeff Bezos.