FinTech Market Updates & Founder Fireside Chats
On Thursday, June 1st, the finance and technology worlds collided at the heart of Geneva. The setting? A stunning rooftop. The occasion? Aperture Capital’s inaugural investor event.
The first 6 months of the year for the FinTech VC market has been, let’s just say – interesting. Witnessing some challenges, venture capital funding has nearly halved to $23 billion in H1, but if anything, FinTech has been able to display its resilience, read more about it’s comeback here. (Link to Bens blog here). You could say the same story for us, with our focus on B2B we’ve seen our portfolio companies, as well as our marketing clients, performing incredibly well (Metaco being brought by Ripple was certainly a highlight) so we’re looking towards the second half of the year with a great sense of excitement and opportunity. With this in mind, we felt it was the perfect moment to bring together our investment community for the first time, as well as asking some familiar faces from our portfolio to join us and share their stories, the good, the bad and the ugly, on what it takes to succeed as a start-up in the current environment.
The Location: We hosted post-work drinks at RoofTop 42, an exclusive rooftop venue in the heart of Geneva. As the sun set, investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts arrived to share an evening of cocktails, canapé’s and conversations exploring the world of tech and witnessesing the rise of two exceptional B2B companies; Tuum and Metaco.
The Atmosphere & Network:
Guests were greeted by a vibrant atmosphere carefully fuelled by the right balance of wine, passionfruit spritz, and beer. We were very happy to see so many of our investors and connections join us for the evening.
The event provided a unique opportunity for investors, part of the Aperture Capital network and entrepreneurs, to forge new connections and strengthen existing ones. Conversations flowed as like-minded professionals engaged in discussions about the future of FinTech, the venture capital market and predictions on how new trends are building out (AI of course on the lips of many during the evening). From seasoned investors, to ambitious startups, the diversity of attendees added richness to the networking experience and we enjoyed meeting with connections old and new.
The highlight of the evening was the lineup of speakers who shared their expertise and insights from their own journey as a start-up to thriving businesses.
To kick off the evening, Ben Robinson, Aperture’s own CEO, took to the stage to provide updates on Aperture Capital and deliver his thoughts and observations on the ever-evolving FinTech market.
“Financial services is the largest profit pool of any industry. It’s 35% bigger than healthcare, which is the second biggest industry. But the reason the bubble got so big was because people were excited. They were investing in business models that were never going to work.
I think all B2C FinTech models suffer from this. A similar critique, is that it is very hard to scale distribution. It’s very hard to acquire time poor, attention poor, consumers, and get them to change their banking habits. And it’s very hard to scale production, or manufacturing of public or financial services, because you need a large balance sheet, you need to comply with regulations, and what a lot of these B2C FinTech companies were trying to do, was to do distribution and manufacturing.
It was really hard for them to do that at sufficient scale, and I think we’re going to see lots of those companies collapse, it’s already happening. To make it clear, we (Aperture Capital) are not fishing in that part of the Fintech Value Chain.”
You can read more about the FinTech market updates in Ben’s latest blog, where he explores the trends we are keeping an eye on, and explains why B2B models are where to play and win.
Ben was later joined by Adrien Treccani, CEO of Metaco, as his first public appearance since Metaco were successfully acquired by Ripple. Metaco is a remarkable Swiss tech success story, growing from a start-up to become the standard for enterprise digital asset technology, to eventually be acquired for 250 million. Ben asked Adrian to share some key milestones from its journey to success:
“Rather than concurring hundreds of small startups which may die in the next bubble pop, we’re going try to win the top 20 largest banks in the world. And it happened that our product therefore got shaped for these markets and we were extremely successful at this…Part of the secret was that we had Aperture in the background and we had a few competitors with a billion in their accounts, and that had probably a hundred million marketing budget per year. We had a 100k per year more or less, but we had Dan and Ben and Aperture in the background with the team leveraging our position much more than the competitors with a billion account would be able to do.”
Adrian captivated attendees with his reflections on scaling up a business, providing valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and getting a few laughs from the audience when it came to discussing mistakes and pitfalls of start-up life.
Finally, Ben spoke with Rivo Uibo, co-founder of Tuum, who showcased Tuum’s exciting opportunity in the core banking market, he asked Rivo about how Tuum are carving a differentiated proposition in this core banking space.
“I think from the number of things really. We tend to love banks because working with the large banking groups, has been the bread and butter throughout of all of our careers.
And also, what we saw out there, was that the current approach just wasn’t feasible.
And we had the lucky chance to rewrite basically the history. Not even to start writing a new chapter, but basically to start writing the whole new book. So we started with the key concept that the change is possible, but the change has to be gradual. So that basically like you pick either a transactional banking side of the things or you go into the lending or like money movement rails and so forth, so that we pick our battles and therefore also if you scan the marketplace, you have those large legacy vendors not getting much of attention anymore.”
As the evening progressed, attendees engaged in animated conversations, sharing experiences, ideas, and exploring potential partnerships. We took to the rooftop to enjoy some food and live music. The presence of the Aperture Capital team and select portfolio companies enabled attendees to delve deeper into the company’s investments and discover new avenues for collaboration.
Our first event in Geneva marked the beginning of a series of gatherings that will bring together industry pioneers, innovative startups, and forward-thinking investors.
The evening was also a testament to the power of bringing together bright minds from the worlds of finance and technology. As the Aperture Capital community continues to grow, the event served as a stepping stone for future collaborations and future events.
We’ll share more details on our next event soon, we have 2 events planned in January on the 16th in Geneva and the 18th in Zurich.
To stay updated on future Aperture Capital events and investment opportunities, be sure to follow us on social media, and you can apply to join our investor network here.