For more than a decade, venturelab runs the “Swiss National Startup Team” program called venture leaders with international roadshows to the Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and South Africa. This year, we partnered up with venture leaders supporting the different participating startups and giving our members the chance, to join these interesting trips.
Here we want to share some of the insights by Barbara Stamm, Head of Group Mergers & Acquisitions at Ringier AG, who joined the New York Fintech business and financing roadshow last week.
The intense journey took place in mid-September in New York with 10 selected startups as well as some of the program partners. The roadshow offered an accelerated learning curve and a solid network through exchanges with their peers in the team, as well as market exposure, pitching to investors and experts, and hands-on business development. Not only did the startups attend Finovate, the largest Fintech conference, but also met with several US investors and had an open demo night, to show the New York audience that Switzerland does not need to hide when it comes to the quality of its startups.
“I find it extremely interesting to see, how the startups have changed and become more professional in just one week. It’s great that they are doing these steps together, as a team, and not as competitors”, so Stamm. Patrick Barnert, CEO of Qumram, one of the ten startups participants, had a similar impression: “the venture leaders Fintech week in New York was tremendously valuable to Qumram and myself. We as organizations and single individuals learned and evolved in improving our business and skills.” Teddy Amberg, Partner at startup CreditGate24 added, that “the roadshow allowed us to demonstrate the quality and innovation of our Swiss companies and innovations to a global crowd at the Finovate conference”.
But not only the development of the startups and their representatives was very interesting for Barbara Stamm, she added that she has a lot of take-aways from this week: “you get to know the people behind the startups in a very different manner. You not only meet them on a more personal level, but you also get insights into the challenges they face and the hopes they have.” For any future relationships with these startups a solid basis is now laid. Furthermore, the exchange with the other supporters was highly valuable according to Stamm.
On Friday night the 10 Swiss fintech startups pitched at Barclays Accelerator Rise at the first Swiss Fintech Night in cooperation with swissnex and Swiss Business Hub in New York in front of investors, corporates and fintech influencers. François Briod from Monito who won the pitch competition summarizes the week: “The roadshow in New York organized by venturelab not only helped me to connect with experienced investors and driving Monito’s global expansion to the next level. It also gave me the chance to build relationships with great individuals behind Switzerland’s best fintech startups.”
The week in New York was not only of high importance to the startups and their future development, but may as well have served its supporters with insights, contacts to investors and corporates. They are unique ambassadors of the thriving Swiss startup scene, Switzerland’s innovation power and focus on real technology. The next chance to join the venture leaders around the globe will arise in 2018.
These Swiss Fintech startups traveled to New York:
- Advanon, Phil Lojacono: Advanon in its basic version is an online platform that allows SMEs to pre-finance their open invoices directly through financial investors. Thereby they don’t have to wait for the long payment terms anymore and investors on the other hand get access to a new type of asset class. In the long run, Advanon wants to make financing for SMEs redundant and fully automated. More information: advanon.com
- Algo Trader, Andy Flury: The startup provides an algorithmic trading software that allows automation of complex, quantitative trading strategies. AlgoTrader provides everything a typical hedge fund needs on a daily basis to run his operation. They help trading companies minimize manual labor and save costs. Their software AlgoTrader is the first and only algorithmic trading software to be available both on the cloud and on premise. More information: algotrader.com
- Carbon Delta, Oliver Marchand: Carbon Delta is a climate risk specialist that identifies and analyzes the climate change resilience of publicly traded companies. They assess a company’s Climate Value-at-Risk (VaR), thus how much its market value will possibly be affected by climate change, to help investors manage the climate risk within their portfolio. The startup uses big data analysis and their research can be used to calculate the Climate VaR for thousands of equities and corporate bonds. Three core risk scenarios are currently used for calculating a company’s overall climate resilience: expected regulations, extreme weather events, and the Paris Agreement’s 2°C target. More information: carbon-delta.com
- Creditgate24, Teddy Amberg: CreditGate24 is an independent Swiss company and a fully automated platform for lenders and borrowers which offers efficient, transparent and scalable credit processing at high quality. The startup operates online without physical branches and high operating expenses to enhance returns for lenders and lower costs for borrowers. CreditGate24 stands for a stringent underwriting process, based on established credit assessment tools, big data and social media analyses as well as insurance against risk of death and risk pooling to reduce loss risks. CreditGate24 is supervised by the Financial Services Standards Association VQF, is a registered financial intermediary under the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act and possesses a loan provision license (“Kreditvergabelizenz”). More information: creditgate24.com
- Futurae, Samuel Berger: Futurae empowers companies to deploy state-of-the-art IT security while improving the customer journey. Through user-friendly solutions, businesses can increase their customers’ satisfaction while gaining confidence in their ability to protect sensitive user data. Users choose weak passwords and reuse the same passwords for various applications. Futurae offers a complete strong Authentication Suite (2FA) for securing sensitive end-user data of every organization. Their product portfolio offers a high level of security while making 2FA more user-friendly and making the integration fast and cost-effective for companies. Futurae grew from within the research institutes of ETH and is now being led by top-of-class individuals with a vision. More information: futurae.com
- KiWi (eBOP), Christian Sinobas: KiWi transforms merchant’s phone into a smart point of sale. KiWi is the app small merchants use in emerging markets to accept card payments, finance their working capital, sell new services and better control their businesses. The company is live in Mexico with >2’000 paying merchants enrolled. The ambition is to quickly reach several hundreds of thousands micro-merchants in Mexico and to open five new markets by 2020. More information: kiwi-bop.com
- Monito (Global Impact Finance), François Briod: Sending money abroad? Monito is the Booking.com for money transfers, helping migrants and expatriates find, review and compare money transfer services. They are on a mission to change the industry for the better and free the world of $28bn excessive transfer fees paid each year. More information: monito.com
- OneVisage, Christophe Remillet: OneVisage is a leading cyber-security company developing biometric solutions to help financial services eliminating identity theft and increasing user’s digital experience. They are first to offer 3D facial biometry on standard smartphones that delivers higher security than fingerprints at the price of password-based solutions. More information: onevisage.com
- Qumram, Patrick Barnert: Qumram seamlessly records all digital interactions, across all channels (web, social media, mobile and instant messaging) capturing indisputable evidence to prove compliance, discover fraud, improve customer experience and open new digital channels to interact with Financial Service clients. Banks such as UBS, HSBC, Bankia, Russell Investments, and many more trust Qumram today. More information: qumram.com
- SONECT, Sandipan Chakraborty: SONECT enables every shop in the neighborhood to act as a virtual ATM. The APP is a location-aware, decentralized platform that brings together clients with stores. The gain is threefold: Shops attract more customers and therefore earn more money, without any costs. Everybody can withdraw cash at the click of a button wherever they are, for free, and banks reduce their ATM operations costs. SONECT recycles banknotes in circulation to reduce the cost of cash of banks and retailers while accelerating digital adoption of consumers. More information: sonect.io
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