Protect Your Bottom Line With 3 Proven Strategies

Countless American consumers and businesses are struggling to manage their money in meaningful ways that allow them to take advantage of long-term financial opportunities – living paycheck-to-paycheck, operating with minimal to no cash buffers, and trying to borrow without access to affordable credit.

Research shows that upwards of 80% of consumers want financial advice from their primary financial institution, but only 14% are getting it.[1] And failing to address these needs results in things like:

  • Lost customer loyalty.
  • Decreased revenue opportunities.
  • Declining share of wallet and app.

The gap in expectations between what customers want and need to help improve their financial health and the services they’re getting (or not getting) from their primary banks has also led to damaging financial fragmentation. As customers try to build a financial foundation by making better efforts to save, spend, borrow, and plan, they’re discovering gaps in what their local bank offers – forcing them to turn to non-bank competitors in their moments of need. And with each new financial relationship a customer forms, their primary bank moves farther away from being at the center of that customer’s financial life.

The good news is there are three key proven strategies community and regional banks can focus on today to protect your bottom line while simultaneously addressing root causes and potential outcomes of the financial health crisis:

  1. Become the financial hub.

The key to fighting financial fragmentation lies in becoming a financial hub. That means having access to – and offering – the right technology, reliability, control, and access.

  1. Offer the right tools.

The key to being first in line for new services and relationships is offering the right tools that support the execution of a comprehensive financial health strategy.

  1. Defend customers and strengthen trust.

The key to protecting customers and strengthening trust is balancing powerful technology with a strong human connection.

For more information about how your bank can protect your bottom line, better serve customers, and reap the rewards with these three proven financial health strategies, visit today.

[1] Achieving Financial Wellness: Innovative Companies Empowering Consumers, Aite, May 2021, 4 ­– 5.

Transactions: Visa, Tarabut Gateway to develop open-banking solutions

Payments giant Visa and open-banking platform Tarabut Gateway are coming together to develop products and solutions through open-banking technology. “Together with Visa, we will leverage our data infrastructure to bring new and improved products to customers,” Abdulla Almoayed, chief executive of Tarabut Gateway, said in a release. The pair will focus on delivering solutions for […]

First National Bank of Oklahoma Partners with Teslar Software to Streamline Lending

Teslar Software and First National Bank of Oklahoma announced a new partnership this week. The bank will leverage Teslar Software’s technology to streamline its lending processes. The partnership will also enable First National Bank of Oklahoma to better track exceptions and manage documentation.

First National Bank of Oklahoma president and CEO Mel Martin called Teslar Software a “natural fit to partner”. The relationship between the two entities goes back to the pandemic days when First National Bank of Oklahoma used the fintech’s PPP solution. “We experienced firsthand that they’re a nimble, dependable organization that truly understands and cares about community banks,” Martin said. He added that the technology from Teslar will not only help the bank become more efficient, “it will also help us better manage risk in our portfolio.”

Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, and founded in 2008, Teslar Software made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2015 as 3E Software. The company returned to the Finovate stage last year for FinovateFall. At the conference, Teslar demoed its technology that simplifies, digitizes, and automates the indirect lending process for community financial institutions.

“How can it be that a bank has a great relationship with a small business?” Teslar Software founder and CEO Joe Ehrhardt asked during his company’s live demo last fall. “How is it that they are financing them, but they fail to finance that business’ end user?” Teslar Software’s Indirect Lending product helps community financial institutions grow their customer base by teaming up with local businesses to provide financing for purchases of items like power tools, outdoor equipment, and furniture. As Erhardt explained, financing for these purchases is often cumbersome and inefficient for consumers. Facilitating partnerships between community financial institutions and local small businesses in the community is how Indirect Lending solves the problem.

With $750 million in assets, First National Bank of Oklahoma maintains offices in Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Tonkawa, and Tulsa. The bank was chartered in 1917, and recently celebrated its 105th anniversary. First National Bank of Oklahoma is only the most recent financial institution to partner with Teslar. The company teamed up with Ohio’s Merchants National Bank in March and announced a collaboration with Mississippi-based Magnolia State Bank in April.

Photo by Raychel Sanner

Three Tips for Improving Communication Efficiency Inside of Automated Processes

Many banks and financial institutions have invested heavily on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to streamline workflows around account opening, onboarding and customer service. Leading automation software solutions like Pega, Appian or IBM, as well as core systems like Salesforce, provide functionality designed to eliminate manual work and speed up response time.

However, these solutions often have key gaps when it comes to delivering a fast and seamless customer experience. Here are three ways banks are using the power of open APIs and cloud-native platforms to get more from their current RPA and core systems and connect the dots to remove friction along the customer journey.

        1. Rethink Forms and Process Automation

Many banking processes still today start with a form. And even if you’ve moved those forms online, chances are that you still have some sort of “swivel chair” work happening, where financial advisor or loan officer is rekeying data from one place into another system to kick off automated workflows. This human element creates data quality and integrity issues, and incomplete forms or manual processes usually mean delays that affect revenue and customer satisfaction.

Instead, think of that first touchpoint as a digital domino—where you use collected information to kick off workflows, bring in stakeholders and ultimately determine the next step in the customer’s path.

This means re-imagining forms-based data collection as a two-way, guided, digital interview, personalized with data you already have in your core system. Using any new or confirmed data, you can trigger straight-through processes like approvals and manage exceptions. And by connecting these smart forms and workflows, you can collaborate in real time with multiple stakeholders in the process and accelerate any business process.

       2. Deliver Compliant, Personalized Customer Communications On Demand

Customer communications are at the heart of banking customer engagement, from loan agreements and account opening documentation, to notifications and statements, to ad-hoc customer service correspondence. For many banks, here’s the challenge: the tools they use to produce these are managed by IT and exist in a silo, producing documents in batch to go out in the mail. This is not only slow, it it’s inefficient. Instead, look at how you can integrate document generation capabilities inside the systems your business already uses.

SmartCOMM for Pega, for example, works directly within Pega’s Customer Decision Hub and Customer Service applications, enabling users to create documents and other communication types from within the same interface. This includes communications with interactive capabilities – meaning customer service agents and business users can efficiently personalize every engagement with the customer to deliver an optimal customer experience – regardless of the channel – being sure that the right disclosures and language is applied for compliance.

For organizations looking to modernize and shift more of their tech stack to the cloud, the opportunity is to think about embedding an enterprise-class customer communications platform inside your chosen system (such as Pega, Salesforce or CGI Credit Studio) rather than thinking of communications or document generation as a completely different step in the business process.

       3. Connect Agreements to eSignature and Archiving Automatically

Does your straight-through process actually stop when someone needs to upload a document or agreement to your e-signature platform? Are agreements then stored automatically in Box, Sharepoint or your chosen content archive, or does that also require a human element?

Some e-signature platforms like DocuSign or OneSpan feature lightweight workflows, but for banks that want to build an efficient end-to-end process that leverages best-of-breed technologies, the best approach might be to focus on integrating that tool into enterprise-class platforms that tie in data collection and communications management.

Smart Communications offers prebuilt, proven connectors with the major e-signature and content management solutions, as well as many core banking and other systems, which can mean real cost savings and faster deployment. Learn how Smart Communications enables banks and lenders to reduce costs and improve customer experience, and check out our partner integrations, designed to help you get the most out of your technology investments.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: Wink

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

Wink’s revolutionary biometric payments and identity platform eliminates passwords and fraudulent activities utilizing advanced AI/Machine Learning, cutting-edge face, and voice recognition for unparalleled authentication.


  • Goodbye passwords, fraud, and compliance costs with multi-factor biometric authentication
  • Full-service payment orchestration delivers secure payment experiences with failover protection
  • Guest checkout elimination simplifies checkout

Why it’s great

Wink enables any institution to offer simpler and superior identity and payments experiences through biometrics that ensures full privacy protection that cannot be decrypted.


Deepak Jain, CEO & Founder
With multiple patents in payment and security technologies, Jain has built transformational businesses and products in the NFC payments, neobanking, blockchain and cross-border payment spaces.

Gary Bender, CBO
Bender brings a depth of experience with technology, payments, banking, fintech, and a track record for team building, refining strategies, and focused execution.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek:

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot. helps credit teams reduce risk and identify healthy borrowers. By unifying banking, credit, and proprietary performance data, their Scores & Attributes predict borrower behavior.


  • Supplement credit report data with real-time cashflow to identify healthy borrowers
  • Dynamically adjust credit limits
  • Personalize payment plans to improve collections success

Why it’s great

With new data comes new risk – credit risk teams can’t keep up with the explosion of consumer permissioned data. Pave gives credit risk teams the best tools to power credit decisions with cashflow intelligence.


Raymond Rouf, CEO & Co-Founder
Rouf is a 3x analytics founder with over 15 years of experience building and growing analytics products.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: Total CollectR

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

Total CollectR helps banks, credit unions, and other credit grantors solve one of their most challenging problems: unpaid receivables.


  • Built by domain experts who understand consumers and how to get them to pay
  • Collect more money with fewer resources
  • Collect money faster than ever before

Why it’s great

Total CollectR is the collections platform built by domain experts that can collect more money than a human counterpart.


Jordan Akins, CEO
From serving in an executive-level role at the nation’s largest collection agencies to establishing, growing, and selling multiple collection agencies, Jordan Akins has more than 17 years of experience.

Janice Boyd, COO
Boyd is a global operations and business development professional with over 23 years of experience and success partnering with clients on collections and BPO strategies.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: Flybits

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

Flybits is an award-winning personalization platform, enabling financial institutions to deliver best-in-class personalized digital banking experiences across mobile, web, and the metaverse.


  • Deliver hyper-personalized experiences
  • Bring the person back into personalization by contextualizing digital touchpoints and interactions
  • Create interactive VR experiences in a secure environment

Why it’s great

Flybits’ Open Dome enables users to deepen their relationship with their customers by interacting with them in a secure VR environment using advanced capabilities.


Hossein Rahnama, CEO & Founder
Rahnama is the Founder of Flybits, a data intelligence company with over $60M in funding and global offices. He’s a visiting MIT professor, co-founded the DMZ, and has 40+ publications/patents.

Chris Pinkerton, CGO
Pinkerton has over 15 years of experience working with companies like Google and Microsoft to apply insight to their acquisition and monetization models.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: Front Financial

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

Front Financial is a modern embedded infrastructure with transfer and execution capabilities across 300+ financial institutions, exchanges, wallets, and brokerages.


  • One click asset transfer to exchanges and wallets
  • Read, write, and transfer capabilities
  • Account aggregation across asset classes

Why it’s great

Front Financial offers embedded experience to their clients across asset classes and financial operations with their read, write, and transfer integrations.


Bam Azizi, Co-Founder & CEO
Azizi is a serial tech entrepreneur and an API integration expert. At his previous startup, his team built over 2000 integrations with third-party apps.

Rani Nagpal, VP Marketing
Nagpal is an innovative, tech-centric senior leader with deep operations and marketing experience and a background in economics.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: upSWOT

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

upSWOT enhances FI relationships with business clients by offering real-time, actionable insights, personalized suggestions, and relevant financing at the right time during the customer’s journey.


  • Provides real-time actionable insights
  • Offers SMB underwriting data
  • Includes comprehensive health indicators for business clients

Why it’s great

Embedding upSWOT insights will improve outcomes and profitability for both the FI and the SMB.


Adam Dolby, SVP Partnerships & Alliances
Dolby has been in the global fintech space for 20+ years and has worked to deliver solutions in partnership with industry leaders, such as Q2, Alkami, NCR, FIS, Fiserv, Jack Henry, and others.

Meet at the Cafe: Fintech Bloodbaths, Brand Building, and Adulting in Financial Services

What is the state of fintech midway through 2023? I caught up with our Meet at the Cafe analysts to hear their thoughts on the trends and tensions that are driving fintech today. My conversations featured Chris Skinner, author and CEO of the; Richard Neve, Managing Director | Partner, Cognito Media; and Suraya Randawa, Head of Omnichannel Experience, Curinos.

Join our upcoming Meet at the Cafe conversation featuring myself and Finovate Senior Research Analyst Julie Muhn, at FinovateSpring on Wednesday May 24th.

Chris Skinner: On Crypto Winters and Fintech Bloodbaths

For Chris Skinner, the circumstances for cryptocurrencies in specific and fintech in general are dire. Referring to our current moment as “the crypto winter and fintech bloodbath,” the CEO of The Finanser and frequent Finovate keynote speaker sees the crisis in crypto and the current challenges to fintech as part of the fallout from the overinvestment, overvaluation, and over-enthusiasm of the COVID era. He explained that we are now seeing those valuations plunge as the overhyping of all things digital becomes corrected post-pandemic. Skinner’s recent blog post “The 7 Deadly Sins of Startups” underscores the ways many would-be innovators of our time have, in too many instances, brought misfortune down upon themselves.

Fortunately, Skinner noted, the underlying systems that have made Bitcoin and digital assets possible – and continue to make fintech innovation possible – remain intact. In this, he sees a period for startups not unlike the era of retrenchment. It will be a “rocky road” in Skinner’s estimation, but perhaps not as long a journey as we might fear. He suspects we could start to see new business cases in crypto and digital assets as soon as the next two years.

What should we look for to know when the crypto winter is starting to turn toward spring? Skinner suggests not just watching for a recovery in venture capital and private equity spending, but also noticing what they are investing in. He’s on the lookout for strong B2B use cases, as well as companies solving real customer problems in retail and banking. Lastly, he points to the leaders – the Nubanks, the Klarnas, the Stripes. If fintech rebounds, then companies like these should have long coattails for a new round of startups to chase.

Richard Neve: Make Profits and Invest in Your Brand

For Richard Neve, the days when all that mattered were growth, top line gains, market share – the idea of getting big first and making money later – are gone. Now that fintechs are increasingly graded based on their profitability – or lack thereof – there are few things more important than showing potential investors and partners that you have a clear pathway to a strong bottom line.

“Now it’s about return on equity,” Neve said. “Companies need to think about their product – which customers do – not just the number of customers they have.”

But profitability isn’t easy. Not the least of which is because, as Neve, puts it plainly: “financial services is an expensive business.” A significant portion of that expense, he notes, is the result of meeting regulatory obligations consistently and accurately, which drives costs in a notoriously “people-intensive” industry like financial services.

The key to profitability, Neve explained, is volume, and the path toward greater volume for fintechs is via distribution. “If you’re a fintech, you need to grow in order to keep up with the HSBCs, the larger players,” he said. Fortunately, there are multiple ways for fintechs to grow and what works for one fintech may not work for another. In some instances, partnering with a larger player is preferable. The larger partner may be a bank, of course, but partnerships with Big Tech and Big Retail – and even Big Social – could all provide opportunities for fintechs to reach more customers. More intimately, M&A and joint ventures with other fintechs will also be routes startups will pursue to achieve greater scale and profitability. “The smart entrepreneur will scout out any opportunity available,” Neve said. “In a larger constellation, (they) will always be stronger than they will be on their own.”

Lastly, Neve wanted to make a point about the importance of brand in financial services – especially when it comes to attracting partners. “People want to do business with people they know,” he said. “If people don’t have a narrative about you, (then) they don’t want to partner with you or invest in you. The fintech that will win is the one that continues to invest in its brand.”

Suraya Randawa: Adulting in the World of Banking

The importance of making money as a financial services organization – bank or fintech – is a major issue from Suraya Randawa’s perspective, as well. “Investors are patient,” Randawa said, “but at the end of the day, you need to turn a profit.” She recalled the meme in recent years that “balance sheet banking was dead” – not so much, it seems, as the recent spate of bank failures attests.

Randawa is sympathetic to the challenges that fintechs face, and she is clear on their strengths, as well. “Fintechs are good at targeting segments, designing interfaces, and then delivering excellent user experiences – if not excellent customer experiences,” she said. “Fintechs are great for discovery. (They) are the place for innovation and failure. That’s why banks are attracted to them.”

But as the popularity of the fintech’s solution grows, and the number of users grows, new challenges appear. Some users will be content with a company’s initial offerings. Yet the sheer volume of these individuals can become an issue as startups realize the importance – and cost – of the less glamorous aspects of running a customer-facing business. These issues include things like dispute management, or customer service at a time of social panic (like a global pandemic or a systemic financial crisis or a terrorist attack).

Other users will bring new demands, a phenomenon we’ve seen – at its most powerful – help an online bookstore become The Greatest Retailer on Earth and turn a teen dancing app into a major international social marketing tool. Randawa talked about fintechs that have successfully expanded their offerings over time, companies like Monzo, Revolut, Chime, and SoFi. “They were strong with their initial segments, and then successfully grew,” Randawa said. Asked how much of this ability to scale – and even transform – is customer-driven and how much is powered by the vision of company leaders, Randawa suggests both factors are likely at work.

Given all the attention on the lifecycle of companies, Randawa reminds us that the customers have a lifecycle, too. And as customers get older and their lives become more complicated, so will their financial needs. “Customers are adulting and maturing along with your company,” Randawa said. The customer who only needed a savings account and a debit card today may be seeking financial advice – let alone a car loan, a mortgage, or a college savings fund (or two) – sooner than anyone thinks. As such, Randawa believes that successful fintechs will keep this in mind and come up with innovative ways to respond to these needs as they arise. “The successful fintech,” she said, “puts the customer at the center, at the heart of their service and innovation.”

Progressive banks prioritize AI, cloud

Financial institutions continue to prioritize technology and innovation in 2023 as operational efficiency and client experience remain a priority amid uncertain economic times. In a report earlier this year by Arizent, 70% of banks said they would increase tech spend in 2023, a trend that proved true in the first quarter. For example, in Q1 […]

Listen: Fraudsters using AI to create synthetic identities

Generative AI has beneficial uses for financial institutions, but fraudsters have taken note, employing the technology to create thousands of fake identities.  The emergence of generative AI has made rooting out fake users even more challenging for financial institutions (FIs), with cybercriminals harnessing it to deepfake a person’s appearance or replicate their speaking voice, Ajay […]

Paydora Finance Unveils White-Label Banking Platform
  • Paydora Finance is publicly launching its white-label embedded finance tool today.
  • Germany-based Paydora Finance can help organizations launch their own branded digital bank account, payment card, and onboarding experience.
  • Dock is powering the technology and regulatory infrastructure behind Paydora Finance.

Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) company Paydora Finance announced its public launch today. The Germany-based company offers a white-label banking platform that enables organizations to offer their own embedded finance solutions.

Businesses and organizations can leverage Paydora’s solution to offer their B2B or B2C customers a fully branded digital banking account, Mastercard payment card, onboarding experience, and customer data hub. The product enables companies to create new revenue streams while maintaining control of the branded experience. What’s more, Paydora’s BaaS platform can be launched in as few as 30 days, with no coding experience necessary.

“Companies and organizations can now embed B2C and B2B banking solutions into their own product ecosystem much faster and without any development effort and bring them to market in the shortest possible time. This allows them to offer significant added value to their existing and new customers, which generates additional revenue,” explained Paydora Cofounder and CEO Claudio Wilhelmer.

Wilhelmer comes to Paydora from Revolut and NumberX. He is joined by co-founders Matthias Seiderer, previously with Anyline and NumberX; and Christofer Trowe, previously with PPRO and Payback.

Paydora, which was originally founded last year, counts retail chain Metro, mobility service provider Eurowag, travel portal, and more as clients. The company’s technology and regulatory infrastructure is built from Dock, a BaaS company that helps businesses digitize complex financial processes and simplify their processing.

BaaS has taken off not only within the fintech world, but also across a range of industries. Many companies have sought to create additional revenue streams by adding digital banking tools, payment cards, and more under their brands. However, as BaaS popularity has increased, so has regulatory scrutiny. Last week, the FDIC sent a cease-and-desist order to fintech partner bank Cross River Bank. The government agency accused the bank of engaging in unsafe or unsound practices related to its fair lending compliance.

Less Fraud, Less Friction: Darwinium Launches Continuous Customer Protection
  • San Francisco, California-based fraud prevention startup Darwinium has launched its Continuous Customer Protection platform.
  • The new offering helps close the gap between digital security and fraud prevention silos.
  • Darwinium made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateEurope in London.

Security and fraud prevention specialist Darwinium has launched its Continuous Customer Protection platform. The technology helps deal with the problem of disconnected point-in-time API integrations and risk scores. These issues can lead to both data breaches and a poor customer experience. Darwinium’s Continuous Customer Protection platform provides continuous visibility and control throughout the entire customer journey. This enables the technology to proactively cover the distance between the silos of digital security and fraud prevention.

In a statement, Darwinium co-founder and CEO Alisdair Faulkner noted research that highlighted the impact of fraud controls on the customer experience. More than 80% of businesses, according to the report, said that fraud controls contribute to unwanted friction for customers. “To create a low-friction customer experience while also enabling optimal fraud and security controls, Darwinium has architected a new path forward for improved fraud detection in real time that performs dramatically better and faster and takes only minutes to deploy – all while providing a positive and privacy-protected customer online experience and frustrating fraudsters,” Darwinium CEO and co-founder Alisdair Faulkner said.

Darwinium is deployed at the network edge, via content delivery network (CDN) infrastructure, using edge workers. This gives the technology full, omni-channel visibility and the ability to provide real-time insights into device, network, identity, behavior, content, and location. The solution also can call out to third-party APIs to conditionally refine risk decisions.

Darwinium’s primary customers are payment service providers, fintechs, gaming companies, and online marketplaces. Faulkner indicated that further penetration of these markets was high on Darwinium’s agenda. “The challenges online U.S. businesses face with surging fraud and operational silos, combined with our unique solution make this an ideal time to expand and enter the market in force,” Faulkner said.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Darwinium made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateEurope in London. The company was launched in 2021 by the team that founded, built, and scaled digital identity innovator ThreatMetrix. Relx Group acquired ThreatMetrix in 2018.

Photo by Johannes Plenio

Funderbeam Lands $40 Million for Angel Investing and Trading Platform
  • Funderbeam has received $40 million in funding, boosting its total raised to just under $60 million since it was founded in 2013.
  • Venture private equity group VentureWave led the round, taking a majority stake in Funderbeam.
  • The investment also brings a strategic partnership between Funderbeam and VentureWave, as the two seek to facilitate venture deals and offer access to the secondary market.

Angel investing and trading platform Funderbeam received $40 million in funding this week. The investment brings the U.K.-based company’s total funding to just shy of $60 million. Leading the round is Ireland-based venture private equity group VentureWave, which now holds a strategic majority stake in Funderbeam.

With this week’s fresh funding and strategic partnership, the two organizations will combine efforts to facilitate venture deals and offer access to the secondary market for venture deals for both institutional and angel investors.

“VentureWave’s investment in Funderbeam is a game-changer for the industry, shaping the future of venture markets and enabling access to global venture deals and secondaries,” said VentureWave Chairman Alan Foy. “Together, we have the necessary assets, technology, and capital to take on the entire venture investment life cycle. This represents a transformative moment to put impact at the centre of the investment industry.”

Notably, the partnership will enable Funderbeam to serve institutional clients, including VC funds, family offices, brokers and investment banks. The company will continue to serve investor networks and provide its flagship private-market-as-a-service offering, Angel Market. Additionally, as Funderbeam Founder and CEO Kaidi Ruusalepp noted, the deal will enable his firm to accelerate its vision, which he described as “to serve venture investments across borders and create a unique secondary market for private assets.”

Additional investors in today’s round– which is subject to approval by regulators in the U.K., Singapore, and Estonia– include Mistletoe, Draper Associates, and Ruusalepp.

Founded in 2013, Funderbeam offers a platform to help solve liquidity for angel and venture investments. The company’s technology helps investor networks, accelerators, and other venture investors manage their syndicated investments, post-investment flows, and handle secondary transactions across borders.

Finovate Global London: Helping Companies Raise Capital with Ulyana Shtybel of Quoroom

Meet Ulyana Shtybel, CEO of Quoroom: the end-to-end fundraising and cap table management software provider for private companies.

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in London, Quoroom made its Finovate debut in March at FinovateEurope. At the conference, Shtybel demoed Quoroom’s investor relations tools that help companies connect with the right investors, provide a clear visualization of the company’s financial metrics, and keep shareholders “in the loop” as the business grows.

In this Q&A, we talked about the current challenges private companies are facing when it comes to securing funding. We also discussed the enabling technologies and strategies that are available to help enhance and accelerate the process of raising capital.

What problem does Quoroom solve and who does it solve it for?

Ulyana Shtybel: Capital raising is broken. Private companies spend months and even years in the fundraising process, learning how to raise capital and repeating the same mistakes, approaching the wrong investors and often spamming them with irrelevant investment opportunities.

In today’s world, startups have to become professionals in raising capital, as they cannot get funded otherwise. However, hiring a professional adviser is not a common practice, as they are expensive and there is no appropriate culture to hire an investment banker until a business becomes pre-IPO.

While fundraising, companies become distracted from their core business activities and rely too much on raising capital. Investors often express their desire for startups to focus more on product development.

The reality is that there are a lot of nuances and techniques involved in the fundraising process. Without proper knowledge and execution of these techniques, startups and scaleups often fail to raise capital. According to a study by CB Insights, 47% of startup failures in 2022 were due to a lack of financing.

With over 10 years of experience in capital markets, finance, and venture capital, my team and I decided to address this issue and rethink how fundraising is done. We automated the fundraising workflow, data visualization, and sharing of updates with investors so companies can easily do what is necessary for successful capital raising: building relationships with investors prior to the funding round and creating an investor’s FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Quoroom also provides a data room and investor portal to close deals with investors and a capitalization table to manage shareholders and the administration of the company.

How does Quoroom solve this problem better than other companies?

Shtybel: Quoroom is the first data-centric capital raising and company administration software. Companies use Quoroom to build relationships with investors and raise capital up to four times faster while saving thousands of dollars in software and legal fees annually.

We have a deep understanding of the capital raising process and what actually drives investors to invest in startups. Unlike other investor relations software on the market, we help companies send investor updates and share data with potential investors, not just existing ones.

Quoroom combines all the necessary tools for raising capital and managing investors, which are currently fragmented, in one place. It covers private company administration from funding to secondary liquidity in one platform, saving companies tons of money and time in the long term.

Who are Quoroom’s primary customers? How do you reach them?

Shtybel: Our primary audience is private companies from the technology sector, including startups and scaleups. We reach out to them through our useful content, events, and our partners, such as lawyers, corporate finance advisers, and other fans of our product.

Can you tell us about a favourite implementation or deployment of your technology?

Shtybel: Quoroom is not only a SaaS platform for companies, but we also offer our technology as a white label for investment banks and boutiques to provide great value to their clients.

Our technology is easy to deploy, and through investment firms, even more companies and investors can experience a seamless capital raising process.

What in your background gave you the confidence to respond to this challenge?

Shtybel: As a former Executive Director of the Warsaw Stock Exchange Office in Ukraine, I had the opportunity to meet many technology companies that were not ready for an IPO, but wanted to raise capital to scale their businesses. This is how I started working with startups and scaleups on the one hand and VC investors on the other. Later, I co-founded my first tech business and went through the fundraising process, running into many of the same problems and mistakes, despite having a fantastic network of investors in my contacts.

My firsthand experience in successful and unsuccessful fundraising helped me identify patterns, and this is how Quoroom was born and launched in late 2020.

The private capital market is yet to grow and decisions will become more data-driven, I’m quite confident Quoroom is a solution to help traditional inventors and AI-driven VCs take better decisions.

What is the fintech industry like in your area? What is the relationship between emergent fintech startups and the country’s established financial services sector?

Shtybel: Quoroom is legaltech and fintech software that operates in the capital markets industry, which is predominantly represented by solutions for public capital markets, and some solutions that service private companies. However, these solutions are fragmented, and an average private company usually invites investors to five different platforms and uses eight platforms to manage the same investment, which can be a costly and inconvenient approach. One of the most established players in our industry is Carta, which is U.S.-based cap table management software. They don’t have the fundraising component, but they are actively acquiring companies in the sector. The U.S. venture capital and private equity market are much larger than the European market – 60% versus 21% of global VC deal value – but Carta acquired a European portion of the cap table management market via the acquisition of Capdesk. The year 2022-2023 is showing that the fintech market tends to consolidate.

You recently demoed your technology at FinovateEurope in London. What was that experience like?

Shtybel: FinovateEurope was truly one of the best events I have ever attended. The format was very different from any other conference, as the entire audience was there to listen to startup demos. This was absolutely fantastic and unique, as both corporate and investors came to listen to the demos. After our demo, we received much attention from investors and potential partners.

What are your goals for Quoroom? What can we expect from the company over the balance of 2023 and beyond?

Shtybel: We rectify the capital raising process to help more companies thrive. Our platform offers both capital and compliance solutions for companies, as well as data, high-quality deal flow, and exit infrastructure for investors. We look forward to working with companies and partners from different countries, so more people can explore the value of Quoroom.

Photo by Recal Media

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