Neat makes the world of international trade more
accessible to entrepreneurs, SMEs and ambitious young companies
from across the globe. Small businesses for a long time have been
underserved by traditional financial players which have resulted in
many businesses being financially excluded. Closing that gap on
financial exclusion for SMEs and giving them access to products
that suit their needs is a big part of what Neat is trying to do.
Started in 2017, Neat has helped more than 5000 business customers
to expand internationally with offices in Hong Kong and London.
David Rosa, CEO of Neat
David Rosa is CEO, co-founder of Neat and a
Fintech entrepreneur. Throughout his career, he has been exposed to
managing teams across time zones in complex corporate environments
all the way to agile business development for startups and related
pivots to find product-market-fit.
What has been the traditional Neat response to financial
Neat’s response to financial technology innovation has always
been to embrace it. There are many different forms of financial
technology in play now, which means as a fellow fintech we are able
to mix and match to suit our needs. We actively seek out other
fintech companies to work with that specialise in what they do.
Collaboration is extremely important to us as a business.
For example, if we look specifically at regtech, this plays a
huge role in the onboarding of our customers and so we partner with
companies that tackle that particular part of the customer journey.
When we partner with other financial technology companies, we are
familiar with how they operate and the like-minded nature that
comes with innovating.
How has this changed over the past few
The fintech ecosystem has grown exponentially over the past few
years, which means depending on what stage you are in your
lifecycle you also have the ability to partner with different
fintechs along the way, who are also at different stages of their
journey. It has created a parallel world to the incumbents. This
ecosystem has also become multi-jurisdictional and you see fintechs
working together on a more global scale.
This in effect has meant that it has become easier to embed
financial technology into companies. The way in which fintech has
evolved means that there is much more choice, spanning all aspects
of financial products and also peripheral financial services that
are crucial to the customer journey like regtech or accountancy
Is there anything that has created a culture of change
inside the company?
Neat has always championed having a culture that embraces change
as a normal state of being. A fintech is always in a state of
change. In the fintech community, we talk about these near-death
experiences, most startups will go through at least one and I think
that those experiences will always accelerate that change in
Neat like all fintechs has been on a rollercoaster journey and
our near-death experience really helped us to become more prepared
and adaptable to what is around the corner. Change means you have
to constantly evolve as a company and there always needs to be
multiple backup plans in place to help mitigate those risks.
What Fintech ideas have been implemented in
So, Neat is first and foremost a fintech and has the mentality
of a fintech. We as a company arenât afraid to partner with other
fintechs that specialise in what they do as opposed to thinking and
doing everything ourselves.
We look at what our customersâ needs are and what pain points
they are feeling and so we focus on solving those problems our
customers are facing and then implement fintech ideas that are
really going to benefit them. For example, looking at our small
business accountancy needs, we implemented an integration with
Xero to give our customers a more streamlined
What benefits have these brought?
Customer centricity is at the heart of the decisions that we
make. So we will always look at what benefits these have brought to
our customers and ultimately we want our customers to have a more
wholesome experience. One that is catered to the needs of SMEs and
For our company it means that we are more agile, we can
implement and get to market quicker which in turn has allowed us to
help close that gap on small businesses, an integral part of the
global economy that are financially excluded.
Do you see any other industry challenges on the
I am going to look specifically at China for this one. Their
fintech ecosystem is extremely advanced and very mainstream. It is
really led by big technology companies moving into the fintech
space. However, because of their advancement in technology, I think
it may become harder to innovate whilst regulation becomes
increasingly more stringent, leading to traditional players having
less pressure to innovate.
Can these challenges be aided by Fintech?
I think the sandbox that fintech operates in has become
increasingly more defined as the industry matures. However, I think
there are still huge opportunities for fintech to continue to
disrupt and challenge the status quo and ultimately deliver on
product offerings that the incumbents struggle to develop.
The fintech industry has come a long way in the last few years
and is helping to level the playing field. Customers are really
seeing the benefits of what fintechs are trying to do. Gone are the
days where you create a product and customers have no choice but to
use it. Now we are seeing customer-led products which ultimately
lead to a better experience.