Scaling Enterprise FinTech | The Handbook

There is no dearth of news or insights about building B2C FinTechs here in Europe, but what about startups building B2B FinTech/ SaaS solutions for financial institutions and corporates?

B2B FinTech startups are (largely) unhindered by the regulatory and market-specific barriers that confront B2C FinTechs – which means they can sell and scale globally from day one. However, they must build an enterprise-grade product, price it accordingly (forget about freemium!), ensure water-tight compliance and security, survive sales cycles of 12-36 months, setup channel partnerships,  setup a sales and marketing machine, and more! 

Scaling Enterprise FinTech / The Handbook, launched in Mar. 2021 in partnership with SixThirty Ventures, features valuable insights from the founders and investors behind Europe’s leading B2B FinTech scale-ups, lessons learnt on the journey to scale, as well as SixThirty’s research of 65 venture-backed B2B FinTech scale-ups in Europe. You may download Scaling Enterprise FinTech / The Handbook 1st edition (Mar. 2021) and 2nd edition (Sep. 2021).  

If you are a founder looking to build a world-class B2B FinTech startup out of Europe/ EMEA, or an investor or corporate focused on this space, reach out to Samarth Shekhar via LinkedIn or email.

Thanks to our Contributors

Without you, Scaling Enterprise FinTech won’t exist- so a big Thank You for taking the time to share your journeys, achievements, lessons and insights with the rest of us! 

Foreword to The Handbook

Back in 2013 when I dived into the FinTech scene, the term was almost synonymous with “disruptive”, direct-to-consumer financial services. Over the last few years, the lines have blurred as several “disruptive” B2C FinTech players moved to (or added) B2B or B2B2C models, SaaS offerings to packaged B2C trends for incumbents (the “Enterprisation of Consumer”?), financial institutions spun off or acquired FinTech players, while Big Tech, Super-apps, Retailers, Telcos etc. launched embedded finance offerings.

In this changing landscape of startups in the financial sector, we define Enterprise FinTech as Enterprise Technology / SaaS that mainly sell to or monetise via financial institutions. We use the term FinTech broadly – to include startups building FinTech, InsurTech, Digital Health or Cybersecurity solutions targeting incumbents.

Enterprise FinTech or financial software is not new, but the last decade has broadened their target market and monetisation approaches. As B2C innovations got road-tested, more and more B2C startups partnered with or white-labeled their offerings for incumbents in the race to scale, distribution and profitability.

Most Enterprise FinTech founders bring deep domain and technology knowhow to create the right products, but scaling up sales and (international) go-to-market is a different ballgame. With (almost) no “freemium”, complex sales of up to 24-36 months, a longer journey to Series A, and the pressure to expand into the US (particularly for Europe or Asia-based startups), there is not a single boring moment here! While there is no dearth of news and hype about B2C startups or (horizontal) SaaS “Made in Europe”, building and scaling an Enterprise FinTech firm is nothing short of wizardry.

We are proud to partner with FinTech Forum for this Handbook. Whether you are a founder with an idea, an early stage startup looking for inspiration and learnings, or an investor or financial institution looking to understand the difficult but rewarding journey to building a world-class Enterprise FinTech firm, we hope The Handbook – thanks to contributors who agreed to share their valuable insights – will become your go-to resource.

Happy Scaling!

Samarth Shekhar | Regional Manager EMEA, SixThirty Ventures

Introduction to The Handbook

We came up with the idea for this Handbook back in June 2020, just as the first lockdowns were being relaxed in most of Europe.  We actually started off with some of the first interviews (with mixed success) in person in Amsterdam and Berlin. By the time Europe returned after the summer break, so did the lockdowns- so we moved to text interviews.

What we were asking the founders and CEO’s at scaleups was not easy (and certainly not on their priority list in times of turmoil): share insights about their journey to scale with Europe’s rather hidden, understated and disconnected Enterprise FinTech ecosystem. Meet the leaders at some of Europe’s most promising Enterprise FinTech scaleups as well as investment firms that took the time to do just that! 

The Handbook has run into more than 100 pages (who said building an Enterprise FinTech firm is easy?), but there are three main parts to dive into at your pace:

  • Mapping Europe’s Enterprise FinTech Scene: features key results from a research by SixThirty Ventures of 65 venture-backed Enterprise FinTech scaleups in Europe
  • Journeys to Scale: the heart of the Handbook, featuring insights and lessons learnt from founders and leaders at 16 scaleups  
  • Insights from Investors: we asked 10 leading Enterprise FinTech investors the five key questions facing Enterprise FinTech founders in Europe

When we put the collage of contributors on the cover page, it became clear that diversity in the Enterprise FinTech space has a long way to go. We would love to see that change, and hope the Handbook helps in some small way to draw in more diverse talent into the Enterprise FinTech space.  

We are looking forward to your feedback, and to working with some of you on the next edition of the Handbook! Meantime, register for our newsletter to stay updated with the latest from Europe’s leading FinTech startups and investors.

Q&As with Contributors